Politics of the Absurd Reading Series Featuring RHINOCEROS, THE TRIAL, and THE HOT HOUSE Set for this Spring at the Baruch Performing Arts Center
A new reading series, Politics of the Absurd, set to launch in February, will feature three classic absurdist comedies that strikingly resonate in the current political environment. Rhinoceros by Eugène Ionesco, directed by Srda Vesiljevic(Dust Can't Kill Me, When I Started Dating Men), considers the plight of the individual in the face of a brutal popular movement (February 5- 7).The Trial by Steven Berkoff, adapted from the novel by Franz Kafka and directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt (What We're Up Against, Dry Land), follows the fate of an accused man amidst an inhuman bureaucracy and eroding civil rights (March 5-7). The Hothouse by Harold Pinter, explores what happens when the inmates run the asylum (April 5-7).
Hilarious, provocative, and timely, Politics of the Absurd reexamines rarely produced classics for a contemporary audience. The series is presented by the 2016 T. Fellow (founded by Hal Prince) Christopher Maring/ CM Stage Productions and will be performed at Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue.. Casting will be announced shortly.
By Eugène Ionesco
Translated by Derek Prouse
Directed by Srda Vasiljevic
February 5th, 6th, 7th @ 8 pm
It starts with two rhinoceroses (or was it the same one twice?), rampaging through the quiet town square, a momentary disruption to daily life. Very soon there are more, grunting and snorting, running amok and destroying everything in their path. Berenger, a kindhearted drunkard, is determined to resist, even as more and more of those around him make the transformation - but what can one simple man do in the face of such a monstrous force?
Romanian-French playwright Eugène Ionesco was one of the foremost figures of the French Avant-garde theatre. He wrote Rhinoceros in 1958 as a response to totalitarian movements in Europe and was influenced by the rise of fascism in Romania in the 1930's.
Adapted from the novel by Franz Kafka
Directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt
March 5th and 6th @ 8 pm, March 7th @ 2 pm
On the morning of his 30th birthday, Josef K. is unexpectedly arrested by two unidentified strangers from an unidentified agency for an unspecified crime. Confident of his innocence, despite not knowing the charges, K. sets out to face the justice system with the help of an increasingly bizarre cast of characters. With the web tightening around him, K. struggles to make sense of what is happening as he stumbles towards his inevitable fate.
Widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-Century literature, Franz Kafka began writing The Trial in 1914 but never finished. The novel was published posthumously in 1925. Award winning actor/director Steven Berkoff's stage adaptation premiered in London in 1970.
Director to be announced at a later date
April 5th, 6th, 7th @ 8 pm
The scene is a government institution, possibly mental or possibly medical and presumably penal, run by Roote, a pompous man who may be even more psychologically disturbed than his wards. Faced with a perplexing dilemma - one of the patients has been murdered and another is pregnant, but no one seems to know anything about it - Roote orders his scheming lackeys to find the perpetrator. But the search for truth amongst the group of bumbling, sometimes sinister bureaucrats may have unexpected consequences.
Harold Pinter was a Nobel-Prize winning playwright, screenwriter, director, and actor whose career spanned more than 50 years. Originally written in 1958, Pinter shelved The Hothouse for almost 20 years. In 1980, he decided it was too politically relevant to ignore and directed the first production himself in London. The play is a searing comic indictment of unchecked state power, casual inhumanity, and the spurious decisions leaders make in the name of a better society.
Politics of the Absurd is general managed by KGM Theatrical. Tickets start at $45 and are on sale now at www.BlueCaterpillarProds.com or the BPAC box office Tues-Sat from noon-6PM or by calling (212) 345-3101
Baruch Performing Arts Center
55 Lexington Avenue
(enter on 25th Street between 3rd & Lexington Aves, south side of street)