Not Man Apart-Physical Theatre Ensemble's THE SUPERHERO AND HIS CHARMING WIFE Opens Today

A wonderfully absurd and deeply philosophical hero story dramatized in the world of the graphic novel, the premiere of THE SUPERHERO AND HIS CHARMING WIFE is an entertaining wild journey into our fear of the unknown. Presented by Not Man Apart-Physical Theatre Ensemble, written and directed by NMA associate artistic director Aaron Hendry and choreographed by Michelle Broussard, opens at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica today, April 15.

Inspired by archetype and dreams, THE SUPERHERO AND HIS CHARMING WIFE is an original story of a career SuperHero whose marriage collapses when his wife develops the surprising ability to transform into other women. Devoted to security and order, the Hero discovers that he is terrified of change. He struggles to defend his sense of identity, to hold his ground at any cost, and finally to accept the loss, collapse, and revelation that come to pass.

"I chose to make THE SUPERHERO AND HIS CHARMING WIFE an adventure comic book in order to make high stakes action out of basic human struggles. It is a play about fear of the unknown and how that fear can control our lives, growing into all sorts of terrors and anxieties that may not be real. It seeks to be wildly ridiculous and at the same time deeply human," explains Hendry.

The Hero, a man renowned for courage in the face of danger, is forced to confront his deep terror of chaos, change and losing control. In search of her own identity, the Hero's wife discovers a dark side of herself that she was not prepared to face. It is a wild journey into our fear of the unknown in our relationships, and in ourselves - an exploration of fluidity versus consistency and the polarization of masculine and feminine.

Rooted in NMA's passion for the classics, THE SUPERHERO AND HIS CHARMING WIFE is modern mythology. A mix of the Jungian archetype with the Eastern spiritual warrior, a Hero's tale for a pop-culture age. A philosophical and psychological journey balanced with modern action, music, and absurd humor.

THE SUPERHERO AND HIS CHARMING WIFE features Joanna Bateman (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Tartuffe & Alice, Odessa) as Julie; Alina Bolshakova (NMA productions, TV's Criminal Minds, Worst Cooks in America) as the Master Criminal; Jessica Carlsen (Solace) as the Evil Dirty Witch; Laura Covelli (NMA's Ajax in Iraq, Falling, No Way Around That But Through, member of Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company) as Julie the Changed; Zach Davidson (Coriolanus, Moby Dick, Dante's Inferno, Faust, The Warren Commission) as the Waiter; Syd Mason (Theatricum Botanicum) as the Waitress; Courtney Munch (The 5th Wave, Review, Halo: The Masterchief Collection, The Dark Knight Rises; Stunt credits include Bones, Criminal Minds, Star Trek, I am Legend) as Julie the Hunted/The Chef; Anne-Marie Talmadge (Diavolo/Architecture in Motion and Art in Action) as the Dark Creeper; Paul Turbiak (has performed onstage at The Geffen Playhouse, LATC, Bootleg/Rogue Artists Ensemble, Colony Theatre, Actors Co-op, A Noise Within, Sacred Fools, company member at Theatricum Botanicum) as the Demon; and Jones Welsh (Diavolo/Architecture in Motion, founding member of NMA) as the Hero.

NMA's signature style is athletic, dynamic, transformative; a marriage of classical literature and explosive movement which is evident throughout The Superhero and his Charming Wife. Movement artist Michelle Broussard, along with Hendry and Welsh, choreographed the highly physical movement pieces. Crafting several dances of multiplicity - the art of choreographing many dancers performing as a single character, blending the world of modern dance, colored with the NMA signature athletic style set to edgy/funky remixes of pop songs. This collaborative choreographic team effort will prove very dynamic and yet abstract. For example, when the entire cast swiftly carries many table-like platforms, raised to shoulder height, swooping them back and forth across the stage while one of the characters is elevated off the ground, jumping back and forth from one platform to the other to create a fun, action packed roof top chase scene, seemingly from a comic book.

Aaron Hendry is the Associate Artistic Director of Not Man Apart-Physical Theatre Ensemble and the playwright and director of The Superhero and his Charming Wife. Aaron is also an actor, horseman, swordsman, pioneer, writer, actor, aerialist, street performer, construction worker, and director. A former company member of Diavolo Dance Theatre and the Theatricum Botanicum Academy of the Classics, Aaron has equal passions for athletic performance and brilliant literature. Working with Not Man Apart is the perfect opportunity for him to marry dynamic movement with epic story telling. He has recently been seen on shows such as NCIS, TeenWolf, Ray Donovan, Liv & Maddie, and the soon to be released School of Rock. He can also be heard as the voice of Monster and Beast in Sleepy Hollow, Gods of Egypt, the all new Jungle Book, and many more.

Not Man Apart-Physical Theatre Company, founded in 2004, is a collective of performers, dancers, actors, designers and theatre artists who make dance/movement inspired theatre pieces using a mash-up of theatre traditions, modern technology and poor theatre approach. Cultivating new storytelling forms from ancient techniques to present thrilling staging of both modern and classic texts using multi-track scoring, physical prowess, unconventional dance and movement.

Known for their athletic, intense modern versions of Shakespeare, NMA creates original theatre experiences or reexamine classics from the physical tradition of Grotowski, Meyerhold and the dance theatre world, then to share that work both nationally and internationally. Not Man Apart is an internationally touring physical theatre troupe that performs in a 'poor theatre' style. Maximum effect, with least means, NMA is dedicated to the creation, development, and progression of new works by emerging artists in the performing arts, and sponsors many other Los Angeles based artists as a producer. NMA's mission is to communicate through many mediums- drama, comedy, dance, music, original/classical text and multi-media; and to create highly athletic and innovative theatrical events which are both life affirming and consciousness expanding; to establish a new kind of physical theatre genre that is at the same time exciting, relevant, accessible, ineffable and inclusive. NMA strives to be among one of the premiere physical theatre ensembles of the Americas.

Highways Performance Space is Southern California's boldest center for new performance. In its 24th year, Highways continues to be an important alternative cultural center in Los Angeles that encourages radical artists from diverse communities to develop and present innovative new works.

Performances of THE SUPERHERO AND HIS CHARMING WIFE take place on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. and two Sundays, May 8 and 15 at 3:30 p.m., April 15 through May 15. Tickets are $30; Seniors and Students are $20. Highways Performance Space is located at 18th Street Arts Center, 1651 18th Street, Santa Monica, 90404. For reservations and information, call (310) 315-1459 or go to highwaysperformance.org.

Pictured: Anne-Marie Talmadge, Jones Welsh, Alina Bolshakova. Photo by Daryl Jim Photography.??



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