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GENERIC MALE is Now at Rochester Fringe

The show will get an Off-Broadway run this December and January.

GENERIC MALE is Now at Rochester Fringe

Rochester's internationally renowned PUSH Physical Theatre's two-person Generic Male: Just What We Need, Another Show About Men has just received the International Fringe Encore Series Award from NYC's SoHo Playhouse, which means the show will get an Off-Broadway run this December and January.

"We are thrilled to be one of only nine shows chosen from fringe festivals all over the world for this incredible opportunity," exclaims PUSH Founding Artistic Co-Director Darren Stevenson.

Meanwhile, hometown audiences have two more chances to see Generic Male before its NYC debut during this second week of the 11th annual Rochester Fringe Festival in Hart Theatre at the JCC: tonight, September 21 at 7:30 PM (ASL-interpreted); and Saturday, September 24 at 8:15 PM. The 60-minute show is recommended for ages 13 and over*. General admission tickets are $20 ($15 for students with ID), and are available via the Fringe website here.

The long Generic Male journey began in 2019, with COVID presenting many challenges to development of the masculinity satire along the way. The comic but moving show made its world premiere to rave reviews at last year's Rochester Fringe, but Stevenson and his co-star - PUSH Creative Director Ashley Jones - are proud of its further evolution during their whirlwind summer tour of international fringe festivals that included Orlando, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Edmonton Fringes. The show scooped up armfuls of "best of" awards in addition to being scouted by SoHo Playhouse.

"Of our 16 Encore Series, this is the strongest season we have ever presented," says SoHo Playhouse Artistic Director Darren Lee Cole. "As we resurrect and regain our footing in the live arts, it seems the perfect time to bring the world together to experience the best of this year's emerging theatre through these amazing productions."

Stevenson and Jones credit Rochester input for allowing them to polish the show to its current, award-winning state. Like all of PUSH's work, Generic Male began as an improvisation and progressed through years of refinement and audience input, much of it from very non-generic males.

"Getting feedback from audiences is a very important part of our creative process," explains Jones, who - like Stevenson - hails from the U.K., where physical theatre is much more prevalent. "Our entire process is collaborative rather than the more common practice of a choreographer "setting" their work on a company."

For their honest and insightful interviews starting in 2019 when this project was a mere idea, PUSH would like to thank: Thomas Warfield, Vicki Duval, MacClurg Vivian, Desire Stevenson, Frank Staropoli, Mike Bucher, Dr. Fahad Saeed, Penny Sterling, Gerald Coleman, Linda Chaudron, Katie Davis, Hassiem Muhammad, Dominic Moore-Dunson, Bill Wade, Steven Jarose, Tanya Bakhmetyeva, and the University of Rochester Office of Diversity and Inclusion

"I'm very grateful for all the people who have helped in the evolution of this show," says Stevenson. "We hope it will empower people to speak up and begin to have the conversation that our characters can't quite seem to engage in."

Critical acclaim for Generic Male: Just What We Need, Another Show About Men:

"Like Cirque du Soleil meets Samuel Beckett with a dash of Monty Python...I can pretty much guarantee you've never seen an acrobatic clowning show as cleverly complex as Generic Male...This pair doesn't merely break through the fourth wall; they tear it down entirely and dance merrily on the rubble." (Seth Kubersky, Orlando Weekly, full review here.)

"This is the type of inventive, thought-provoking, relevant art the Fringe was made for... Darren Stevenson and Ashley Jones of PUSH Physical Theatre combine playfulness, theater of the absurd, social commentary, strength and grace to create a mesmerizing look at nothing less than the patriarchy. But this is no rant; this is true art." (Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel)

"Macho competition, absurd immaturity, touching emotion, all displayed through incredible movements...This show stays with you - you'll find yourself turning over moments in your mind hours or even days later... it's no wonder it's award winning and has already traveled to other Fringes around the globe." (Samara Caplan & Laura Gauthier, apt613.ca)

*From PUSH: "Can you bring kids? Probably. There are some swears and one awkward conversation about consent. If it were a movie, it would probably be a PG-13. The underlying message for boys and girls is positive and thoughtful. There will be lots to talk about on the ride home."




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