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Multi-Camera, Live-Streamed, Queer Performance, CIRCLE JERK, Investigates Digital Life and White Supremacy

There will be six live-streamed performances only, October 18–23 at 7:30pm.

Multi-Camera, Live-Streamed, Queer Performance, CIRCLE JERK, Investigates Digital Life and White Supremacy

Fake Friends, a new theater and media collective led by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley, is set to premiere Circle Jerk, a queer comedy about white gay supremacy, at Circle Jerk is a multi-camera, live-streamed performance that investigates digital life and its white supremacist discontents. A homopessimist hybrid of Ridiculous theater and internet culture, it tells the story of gay right-wing trolls and the algorithms they invent to spread their agenda. In an era when truth is dead and fact is fiction, Circle Jerk is a realistic comedy about a farcical reality. Circle Jerk will broadcast live from MITU580 in Gowanus, Brooklyn, for six live-streamed performances only, October 18-23 at 7:30pm.

In Circle Jerk, it's winter on Gaymen Island, a summer retreat for the homosexual rich and fame-ish. This off-season, two White Gay internet trolls hatch a plot to take back what's wrongfully theirs. Cancelations, meme schemes, and political and erotical flip flops abound as three actors playing nine parts play out this chaotic live-streamed descent into the high-energy, low-brow, quick-change shitpit of the internet. Circle Jerk combines quick changes and live chat, theatricality and the post-COVID live-stream, to take on the laptop-orchestrated shitshow that is online life and its political discontents. It takes a Ridiculous theatrical angle on our contemporary world of deep fakes, fake news, viral memes, and white gay supremacy.

Circle Jerk examines how politics (made in the bedroom) can empower a group of people who have been historically oppressed to become the oppressors. The title takes its name both from the homoerotic ritual in which men masturbate in a circle, getting off on watching each other get off, and the subreddit "/r/circlejerk," a forum for the derisive critique of groupthink, popular among young men in the US. This "circle jerk" is an attempt not only to look at but to direct our collective gaze upon our inherited supremacies and the underbelly of our cult of culture.

In Circle Jerk, co-writers and performers Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley, who are nevertheless still willing to identify as white, gay, and men, stage an (impossible?) experiment in indicting themselves and mainstream white gay supremacist culture in the US. Breslin and Foley, joined by Cat Rodríguez, take inspiration from Charles Ludlam's The Mystery of Irma Vep and sci-fi genre films like Ex Machina (both the Gothic children of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and the German Expressionism of Fritz Lang's Metropolis) to send up plotlines about the crisis of technology in relationship to humans and the concept of "reality."

Circle Jerk marks the first official production by new theater and media company Fake Friends. The company is composed of Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley (creative directors), Ariel Sibert, and Catherine María Rodríguez (core company members). Previous projects created by these collaborators, then under the name Michael+Patrick, have included This American Wife (NYTW Next Door) and A Doll's House, Part 3 (Exponential Festival, ANT Fest). Breslin and Foley were members of Ars Nova's Makers Lab 2019, and they are currently commissioned by Ars Nova and Seaview Productions to develop a new musical.

The creative team for Circle Jerk includes video & lighting design by David Bengali, scenic design by Stephanie Osin Cohen, sound design by Kathy Ruvuna, costume design by Cole McCarty, wig and make-up design by Tommy Kurzman, video and lighting associate Ted Boyce-Smith, costume associate Alicia Austin, stage management by Codey Leroy Butler, production management by Violet Tafari and Russell Maclin, video engineering by Ido Levran and Ted Brown, master electrician Megan Lang, graphic design by Kameron Neal, and production assistant Yolanda "Kim" Richards.

Tickets to Circle Jerk are priced on a sliding scale of $5-$50 and can be purchased at Live-streamed performances will broadcast nightly at 7:30pm from October 18-23.

The cast and crew of Circle Jerk, along with the staff of MITU580, are following strict social distancing and safety guidelines during the creation and presentation of Circle Jerk.

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