Cutting Ball Set for RISK IS THIS... Experimental Festival this Summer

Cutting Ball Theater closes its 12th season with the adventurous RISK IS THIS…THE CUTTING BALL NEW EXPERIMENTAL PLAYS FESTIVAL, one of the only play festivals in America solely dedicated to experimental works for the stage. This year's festival, which will run June 8 to July 14, features two new works and five new translations in staged readings. Like the 2011 festival, which featured workshops of two Cutting Ball commissioned works, this year's festival offers a unique opportunity to see plays in development, alongside the artists creating them, as the works find their theatrical voice.

The new plays presented will be anomienaulis by Christopher Chen and GIZMO by Anthony Clarvoe.

By Christopher Chen
June 8 – 9, 2012

anomienaulis is Christopher Chen's bold post-modern take on Euripides' Iphigenia in Aulis. In this harrowing portrait of heart-wrenching choices, Agamemnon and his armies are set to sail for Troy, but are unable to depart due to a strange lack of wind. This is no mere meteorological abnormality, but rather the will of the gods. In order for the winds to blow again, Agamemnon must sacrifice his only daughter Iphigenia, or condemn his entire army, and nation, to defeat. Jessica Holt directs.

By Anthony Clarvoe
June 15 – 16, 2012

In GIZMO, playwright Anthony Clarvoe (Show and Tell, Pick Up Ax) wrestles with the topic of technology today. This new play was inspired by Karel ?apek's play R.U.R. (or Rossum's Universal Robots); considered the first science fiction play, it was written in 1921 and introduced the world to the word "robot." Rob Melrose directs.

In addition to these two new works, this year's festival features Risk Translations, five workshops of August Strindberg's Chamber Plays in new translations by Paul Walsh. Cutting Ball Artistic Director Rob Melrose will direct all five readings. The Risk Translations are part of Cutting Ball's year-long celebration of the centennial of August Strindberg's death; the company is honoring the playwright's vast career throughout 2012 with symposiums, lectures, and staged readings of his works, culminating in a festival of fully-staged new translations of Strindberg's five Chamber Plays, entitled Strindberg Cycle: The Chamber Plays in Rep, in October of 2012, the first time all five of Strindberg's Chamber Plays will be performed together in repertory in any language.

June 29 – 30, 2012

THE GHOST SONATA tells the story of a strange encounter between a student and an old man and begins the morning after a terrible fire. A "ghost supper" ensues in a round room, secrets are shared, plots are foiled, illusions are shattered, and the true haunting nature of things is revealed. The most well known of Strindberg's Chamber Plays, THE GHOST SONATA will serve as the centerpiece of Cutting Ball's upcoming Strindberg Cycle: The Chamber Plays in Rep.

July 6 – 7, 2012

Based on the belief that a Pelican sheds its own blood to feed its young, THE PELICAN presents a family where the exact opposite is true. The widow Elise plots with her lover to steal her children's inheritance while they starve in their own home. When the children discover the truth, the revelation sparks a small revolution.

In THE BLACK GLOVE, it is the day before Christmas Eve in a five-story apartment building. An old man and a caretaker find a black glove in the entryway, precipitating a strange chain of events involving a young wife, two maids, two fairies, a missing ring, and child.

July 13 – 14, 2012

In STORM, an elderly gentleman near the end of his life lives peacefully in a building neighbors call "the quiet house." His peace is shattered, however, when the new neighbors upstairs, the young wife and child he left so many years ago, and her new husband, plan to turn their home into a private casino. Years of jealousy and resentment rise to the surface as he tries to help his former wife out of a bind and finds that the ghosts of his past still haunt him.

In BURNED HOUSE, Arvid arrives in his hometown of Stockholm after decades of living in the United States only to find that his childhood home burned down the night before. While detectives search through the rubble for clues about the cause of the fire, Arvid sifts through the ashes to uncover the dark secrets hidden by his family and the town. As more secrets are revealed, Arvid finds the tools he needs to exact revenge on his brother for crimes committed long, long ago.

All performances run Friday-Saturdays at 8pm at The Cutting Ball Theater in residence at EXIT on Taylor, 277 Taylor St., San Francisco. The shows are free and open to the public; $20 donation for reserved seating. $50 donation for 5-play reserved seating festival pass. For more information, the public may visit or call 415-525-1205

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