Peculiar Works presents ANDROBOROS: VILLAIN OF THE STATE
Peculiar Works Project announces a new site-specific, political farce: Androboros: Villain of the State, a 1-hour adaptation of America's first play in celebration of its 300th Anniversary. In this contemporary staging - in an actual boxing ring - characters inspired by today's political leaders will metaphorically slug it out just days before Americans go to vote. This is a rare opportunity to see an American first in a unique sett ng during an extraordinary election season - right for theater lovers and politics haters!
For three nights only - November 4-6, 2016: Friday at 9pm, Saturday at 7pm, and Sunday at 5pm - 15 actors and musicians will transform OVERTHROW Boxing Club at 9 Bleecker Street (just west of Bowery) into a ma cap performance venue for partisan satire and clownish merriment. Admission is FREE (donations accepted), and reservations are available online at peculiarworks.org or by calling OvationTix at 866-811-4111.
In 2007, Peculiar Works received an Obie Award for its traveling tribute to O f-Off Broadway, OFF Stage, and now the company returns to the East Village with Co-Artistic Director Ralph Lewis's election-eve concept for this rare and seminal play. Adapted by resident playwright, S.M. Dale (PWP's 3Christs), with live music composed and performed by Spencer Katzman (The Grey Lady film score), the script includes additional text by Peter Davis, author of From Androboros to the First Amendment: A History of America's First Play, by special permission from University of Iowa Press. Other artists include clown director Adam Auslander, dramaturg Barbara Yoshida, producers Catherine Porter & Barry Rowell, and a comical cast of clowns: Oliver Burns, Patrick Caughill, Rob Gaines, Bianca Ilich, David King, Kathryn Krull, Caiti Lattimer, Chris Manley, Kevin Percival, Benjamin Strate, Kathleen Schlemmer, with a special appearance by Trav S.D (I'll Say She Is and writer of No Applause, Just Throw Money).
Much more than just America's first play, Androboros exposes many incredible comparisons to the current political scene, with a surprising and edgy humor that couldn't be more right for our non-stop election madness. 300 years later, its parallels to today's trendy rebellion against an ambiguous "establishment" government are both undeniable and comical.
New York had already endured a slew of horrible leaders by the time Robert Hunter arrived in 1710. And like today's President, this honest, humble Governor was stymied at every turn by a contentious Assembly. He bore the barbs in silence, but later wrote this clever, mocking farce to relieve his frustration and hit back at his political enemies.
Androboros is a biting critique of early civic angst when New Yorkers had little faith in their provisional government. Hunter crafted a well-structured spin on the true story of a political crime (The Vestment Scandal of Trinity Church), filled with witty wordplay, physical comedy, and scatological humor that are just as stinging today. The characters were real-life people given sarcastic names, embarrassing dialogue, and clownish actions to satirize America's first political gridlock.
This contemporary adaptation has been updated with visual and physical parallels, but the story is all Hunter's. Originally written for publishing only, this slapstick-infused adaptation will give Androboros a bold, new life on stage. These colonial clowns capture the craziness of governance, proving that little has changed in the games of politics, and showing how Hunter's words fit our current times all too well.