dog & pony dc to Tackle Social Justice Issues in SQUARES at Capital Fringe This July
Nationally-acclaimed "upstart company" dog & pony dc announces their next production, Squares, will be part of the Capital Fringe Festival in July 2015. Performances will run Wednesday through Sundays (excepting Fridays) on the playground at the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School on the Gallaudet University campus, weather permitting (800 Florida Ave NE, Washington, DC).
Squares is dog & pony dc's first foray into theatre for social justice, igniting conversations around power, privilege, and the "game" of life. The show features a multi-lingual cast: spoken English and American Sign Language.
Tickets will be available for purchase through the Capital Fringe Festival website.
dog & pony dc's ensemble-devised Squares takes audiences back to the playground, when childhood games determined social standing. The rules of the playground were simple: play nice, play fair, and have fun. But the rules of life? More complicated. Play nice, and you're not assertive enough; play fair, and fall behind. And only winners have fun. Sometimes it seems like the bullies are still king. That hardly seems fair, or right, or... American. Squares asks: can you retake the blacktop and square the game, for all of us?
With Squares, co-creators Shannon Davies Mancus and Rachel Grossman aim to subvert systemic inequality with playground games. It's both a potential powder keg and an opportunity for meaningful dialogue. By returning to the playground in both environment and spirit, the audience will come together and work towards true change in the game of life.
"Dealing with systemic inequality is daunting and hard to tackle. It makes us feel powerless and without any agency," comments the show's director, Shannon Davies Mancus. "dog & pony dc knows the audience has the intelligence and enthusiasm to dissect these systems and make better ones. We want to give the audience that freedom to play with difficult concepts in order to radically imagine what a more just game or system might look like."
dog & pony dc are trailblazers for audience engagement in performance. They recognize the risk in utilizing the context of playground games to ask audiences to confront deep-seated social injustices and our own complicity in them. But the DC ensemble is no stranger to risk, and the reward is worthy: an audience member's expanded perspective, increased personal awareness, and hopefully a desire to keep this dialogue going.
Performing Ensemble: Lisa M. Austin, Joseph Caverly, Rachel Grossman, Jorge Silva Design Ensemble: Nasreen Alkhateeb, Colin K. Bills
Production Stage Management: Jon Reynolds, with Joan Cummins
Tickets can be purchased through the Capital Fringe Festival website, CapitalFringe.org, or by calling 866-811-4111. For more information, visit www.dogandponydc.com/squares, or follow on Twitter @dogandponydc
#WhosGame #WhoseGame and Facebook: www.facebook.com/dandpdc.
dog & pony dc is an ensemble-based devised theatre company focused on providing audiences new ways to experience theatre. The company creates ("devises") new plays as a collective ("ensemble") that playfully explore the elastic relationship between artist and audience. dog & pony dc has been recognized as the "upstart company" blazing a new path for audience engagement in performance. The company was highlighted in Washington Post as one of the local companies working on "broadening playgoers' understanding of the riddles theater can unravel." Since its founding in 2008, dog & pony dc has devised and mounted nine theatrical productions, including six world premieres and two original adaptations, all created collaboratively by the ensemble. The most recent productions, Beertown and A Killing Game, have received widespread critical acclaim. Beertown was nominated for a 2011 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play (the first ensemble-based devised play to receive this nomination), before making The Washington Post's top-10 shows list for 2012. Beertown made a critically acclaimed Off-Broadway debut in February 2014 at 59E59 Theaters and performed for participants of the Lincoln Center Theatre's revered Directors Lab program in July 2014. A Killing Game (AKG) won "Producers' Pick of the Fringe" and League of Cincinnati Theatre's "Best use of Improvisation/Audience Participation" at the Cincinnati
Fringe Festival in June 2013. dog & pony dc has presented about its work locally (Shakespeare Theatre Company, Capital Fringe) and nationally (Theatre Communications Group, Network of Ensemble Theaters, Americans for the Arts, Association for Theater in Higher Education) and was included in American Theatre magazine's July 2013 cover-story on immersive theatre. dog & pony dc are the recipients of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities INNOVATE DC grant for their project, NexUs DC.