Kittens. Babies. Warm fuzzies. These are not things that are part of our next production.
In a way this, our fourth annual collection of contemporary one-act plays, is a return to what began this project. Five years ago we were doing mostly Shakespeare, and while that is fantastic and fun, we felt a need to stretch ourselves in different ways every now and then.
The first set of one-acts was incredibly dark.
Though it was simply titled Boys & Girls, it contained death of a parent, alcoholism, drug abuse, murder, psychological trauma, molestation, rape and revenge. It was not the feel-good hit of the summer.
The material was disturbing, and it did push us. It challenged us as actors and directors, but also challenged the audience – who even got to vote on whether one of the characters lived or died after he confessed his crimes to them.
These one-act collections – which we are now simply calling WINTER ACTS – come about from a variety of processes. We accept original script submissions each year, we collect interesting plays from a variety of sources, and we workshop new material. We don’t set out to create a theme, but rather let the various works speak to us and see where that guides our directors.
The goal is to tackle new material and show audiences something different, that they may not otherwise see. It’s not The Music Man.
We’re kicking off 2013 with an evening of entertainment that will amaze and thrill. For starters, this WINTER ACTS will feature performance artists from Cirque De Vol Studios in Raleigh. This is a preview of coming attractions – we’re performing The Comedy of Errors in May with an old-fashioned circus theme in collaboration with Cirque De Vol and their affiliates.
The scripted material gets decidedly more ominous, as you may be able to tell from the title, “The Hitler Youth Knife.” This is a play from a former member of our Rogue Company student conservatory, R. Alex Davis. We’ve been talking about doing this short piece for the last three years, but the starts finally aligned this time out. Playwrights, take note: just because we don’t choose your script one year, it doesn’t mean we won’t ask you about doing it in the future!
Heather is directing a piece called “Fun House” that caught our attention among the scripts from our last call for submissions. It’s by a young playwright named Jordan Carlson, who is originally from Tarboro, NC (we love doing work from local playwrights!). This supernatural story keeps twisting in new and creepy ways, and has been a lot of fun in rehearsal.
Finally, we have “The Tape Recorder” by British television writer Pat Flower, a transplant to Australia. This play was originally a teleplay, and it was the first color transmission of the BBC back in the late 1960’s. Despite it’s being obviously dated (how many readers remember tape recorders?), it is a fascinating psychological thriller. It is rare in that it involves two actors, neither of whom has to memorize any lines. One is seen onstage the whole play, but never speaks; the other is heard but not seen (or is he?).
We’ll post more details in coming posts. Go ahead and put it on your calendar, though, because we’re only doing one weekend of shows. Or, grab tickets early: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/323181.
Happy New Year! Hope you kicked off this year of the snake with a bang.
We are gearing up for what will be an ambitious year. It will involve collaboration with some amazing artists and organizations in the Triangle and it will be a ton of fun.
We will be returning to our roots and mounting TWO Shakespeare productions this year…but first we will explore short works that have not been previously seen in the area. Our fourth annual installment of Winter One-Acts at Common Ground Theatre runs February 21-24, and it will be funny and creepy! More on that to come.
This Spring, mistakes will be made. We perform Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors at Raleigh Little Theatre’s amphitheater May 24 – June 1. We are looking to collaborate with Cirque De Vol and local circus artists to turn the town of Ephesus into a vintage circus! Bring a picnic or grab some grub from a tasty food truck and enjoy amazing feats and mistaken identities under the stars!
Bare Theatre is also in talks with Historic Stagville to remount Let Them Be Heard. If last year you did not get a chance to see this show, taken from the testimony of former slaves in North Carolina, this is a powerful experience not to be missed. More details will follow.
This Fall, Artistic Director Heather J. Strickland will return from baby-break to direct Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It at the RLT Amphitheater. This show is shaping up to be incredible already. We are partnering with Pinecone – the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music – to create a bluegrass version of the show with live music!
All in all, it’s going to be a good year. Stay tuned!