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burst into flames, laugh like children
written and performed by the whole company under the influence of Peter Handke directed by the directing team
Mathew Adames Jakob Borgen Alex Brase Alice Davidson Katie Dixon Lauren Fischer Da’Merius Ford Louisa Friedrich Emma Galitzer Miranda Hairgrove Cherokee Hayden Faith Janicki Macy Lanceta Bailey London Mary Matthews Kayla McClintock Lydia Parish Amanda Pettay Cecilia Potts-Moore Dakota Santiago Anneliese Spence Joy Spickelmier Kendra Truitt Rian Winter
Playing with Fire
written and performed by Amanda, Emma, Louisa, Katie, Matthew under the influence of Laurie Carlos directed by Chad & Hunter
Ashley Flinn Jim Hamilton Chad Hodge Laura Reagan Hunter Rose
Pandora’s Balls, or the Contemplation of Emotion Inside and Outside of the Box
written and performed by Alex, Alice, Da’Merius, Lydia, Macy under the influence of Bertolt Brecht directed by Chad & Laura
lights + sound
written and performed by Bailey, Cherokee, Dakota, Miranda under the influence of Harry Kondoleon directed by Gwethalyn & Hunter
Hannah Atchison Avery Fowles Mercedes Santiago
INTERMISSION mighty BOOTS, & cats
written and performed by Cecilia, Jakob, Joy, Lauren, Rian under the influence of Tristan Tzara & the Dadaists directed by Gwethalyn & Jim
written and performed by Annie, Faith, Kayla, Kendra, Mary under the influence of Jerzy Grotowski directed by Flinn & Gwethalyn
Megan Clark Ashley Flinn
A Little Viscera
written and performed by the whole company under the influence of Jean Cocteau directed by the directing team
In Greek mytholog y, it has been written that the brother Titans Prometheus, “forethought”, and Epimetheus, “afterthought”, were tasked with creating all the creatures on the Earth. Epimetheus rashly gave all the best traits to the other animals, so when the time came to create man, having no other gifts left, Prometheus formed him from clay in the image of the gods. There are two stories concerning Prometheus’ trickery of Zeus and the wrath that followed. In the early days, man was immortal and all was provided for man by the gods. However, Prometheus thought man, being made in the image of the gods, deserved to have the power of fire, which the gods selfishly kept for themselves. Prometheus placed fire in a fennel stalk, hid it in his bosom, and took it to man. Zeus soon perceived an unusual light on the Earth and discovered the theft. In some versions, Prometheus’ theft of fire symbolizes his gifts of learning, mathematics, and technology. The second trick occurred during the first sacrifice to the gods. Prometheus slaughtered an ox and made two different offerings. One contained all the best cuts, hidden under skin and entrails. The other was all the bones and other unsavory bits, but was wrapped in glistening fat. He then asked Zeus which one he preferred and Zeus chose the portion that looked best: the one covered with fat. Thereafter, only bones and fat were burned on altars dedicated to Zeus, and man kept the better portions. After being tricked twice, Zeus vowed to punish both mankind and Prometheus. As mankind’s punishment, Zeus ordered all the gods to create the first woman. Each god also gave her
a “gift”: beauty, grace, fine clothes; but also unquenchable curiosity and deceitfulness, so she would always be trouble for man. The gods named her Pandora, or “gift to all”. Zeus offered Pandora to Epimetheus as a wife, and Epimetheus accepted her, despite Prometheus’ warning to not accept any gifts from Zeus. The gods also gave to Epimetheus and Pandora a large jar (later mistranslated as box), and asked them to hold onto it for safekeeping. Before long, Pandora heard whispers coming from the jar. One day, when she could resist her gods-given curiosity no longer, she opened the jar, and out of the jar escaped Sickness, Pain, Suffering, and all the bad things which have plagued mankind ever since. Only one thing remained in the jar by the time she managed to put the lid back on: Hope. Ever since, man has had to toil for bread to survive and suffers the duration of his time on earth. In some versions of the story, man becomes increasingly evil with each generation and Zeus chooses to destroy all mankind in a flood. Only Pyrrah (Prometheus’ daughter) and Decucalion (Epimetheus’ son) survive the flood. They win the favor of Zeus because they are pious, and therefore survive to repopulate the earth. For Prometheus’ punishment, Zeus orders Hephaestus to bind him to a rock. While bound, Prometheus reveals that he has seen Zeus’s successor. Zeus sends Hermes to demand Prometheus reveal the mother of the son who will overthrow him. However, Prometheus refuses, and in retaliation Zeus sends a bird of prey (a vulture or eagle depending on the version) to eat Prometheus’ liver. Since Prometheus is an immortal, his liver regrows during the night, and the
bird returns every morning to devour the liver. Prometheus, though he knows the tortuous future that awaits him, accepts his fate, and does not reveal the prophecy to Zeus. In Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound, while Prometheus is on the rock Io, who has been turned into a cow by Zeus and set upon by gadflies by Hera so that she is chased all over the world, happens by. Prometheus tells Io of where she must go to finally get relief from her tortures and tells her that the many places she passes through on her journey for relief will be named after her.
Peter Handke: Austrian, 1949-present
Handke’s Sprechstücke focus more on language and sound than on the stage picture. They are largely non-narrative and lack defined characters. Instead, language is presented in a flowing format using simple and powerful sentences. As audiences listen to the sentences as intently as Handke intends (through his experiments in sound), what appear initially to be simple explorations of grammar or mere sound, often become very pointed statements about the nature of society and reality. In burst into flames, laugh like children, we use Handke’s techniques to explore our own relation to the work we have done and to allow you to explore your relation to your own expectations and to our actual work.
Laurie Carlos: American, 1949-present
In the play White Chocolate for My Father, Carlos explores the diasporic history between her great-great grandmother who was buried neck high on the shores of Africa to her mother in America, who was incapable of helping her as a result of the same colonization and violence. In her play she uses rhythm, song, and gestures to give voice to the childhood trauma she experienced as a result of these perpetuated cycles of violence. Though Carlos’ play is autobiographical, the students in the Carlos group drew from the story of Prometheus and Pandora to explore what kinds of lessons we may be taught as children about curiosity and helping one another that, in their own way, perpetuate a form of violence.
Bertolt Brecht: German, 1889-1956
There are few areas of modern theatrical culture that have not felt the impact or influence of Brecht’s ideas and practices. Brecht tried to always provoke his audience to think critically, instead of identifying with emotions or characters on stage. One of Brecht’s most important principles was the Verfremdungseffekt, defamiliarization effect, “stripping the event of its self-evident, familiar, obvious quality and creating a sense of astonishment and curiosity”. This piece takes after The Elephant Calf, in that it features a farcical judicial system in which power plays overcome logic.
Harry Kondoleon: American, 1955-1994
His first work, The Brides, on which this group modeled their piece, is a series of monologue-like vignettes that explore the myth of fairy tale love and desire, and the disillusionment that reality brings to seemingly happy endings. Kondoleon uses sparse, but poetic and lyrical language. The story is told from a single perspective, but the speaker imagines what the other characters in the story might have to say, interpreting those characters’ behavior through their own experience. The scenes are not presented in chronological order, but are recalled in an order influenced by the emotions of the speaker, like an internal thought process. This group chose to focus on the effects of Zeus’s punishments on the mortals who unknowingly incurred his wrath by accepting Prometheus’ gift of fire, forever changing their existence on earth.
Sandy Chastan Sheldon Edelman Jane Gibson Varney’s Book Store
Anonymous Tom & Mary Elizabeth Atwood Enid & Lew Cocke Jim & Sharon Coffman Olivia Collins John & Judy Exdell Melisa & Seth Galitzer Steven & Jan Galitzer Jan & Fred Gibbs Barbara & Dick Hayter Bill & Faye Kennedy Mark & Ann Knackendoffel Robert & Janet Kruh David Margolies & Shiela Hochhauser Deborah Murray & Jerome Dees Debbie Nuss & Brad Fenwick The Oviatt Family Sharon & Charles Reagan Rich & Penny Senften Gabrielle Thompson & Larry Weaver Patricia Weisenburger The Trust Company of Manhattan
Phil & Dawn Anderson Sally Bailey Michael Donnelly & Jackie MacDonald Gene Ernst Enell Foerster Steven & Cheri Graham Gene & Sue Klingler John & Karen McCulloh Jan & Maureen Olewnik Martha & Dick Seaton Karen Mestrovich Seay & David Seay Rix & Phyllis Shanline George & Julie Strecker
Tristan Tzara (Dadaist): Romanian/French, 1896-1963
In the wake of the devastating violence of WWI, the Dadaists felt all logic had left the world and that bougeois nationalism and colonialism was to blame. The art establishment at the time was viewed as being complicit in this violence, and so the Dadaists wanted to start anew. They rejected logic and rationality, embracing disorder and chaos as the nature of the world. They aimed to demystify the role of the artist by suggesting that anyone can create art and anything can be art. Performances purposely didn’t include a clear meaning or message and were often created using chance practices. The Dadaists aimed to provoke their audiences by undermining the very notion of what can be considered art.
Jerzy Grotowski: Polish, 1933-1999
The essence of theatre, according to Grotowski, is “the actor-spectator relationship of perceptual, direct, ‘live’ communication.” He thought of the intimate revelations of the actor to be something like a gift from the actor to the audience, and spoke of his actors “burning” like flames in front of an audience of witnesses. Grotowski worked with classic texts, paring them down to only what was essential, ending up with just enough of the plot and characters from a given story to help the audience recognize what they are witnessing. Actors grimacing their faces into fixed masks is one of the many techniques this group borrowed from Grotowski. This group imagined Prometheus in his state of being bound, and put together lines taken from our source texts, to explore both his defiance of his fate during his daytime torture and his contemplation of what led to his state each night as he awaits the coming of morning.
Travis Hopkins John Uthoff Cim Roesener Carol Habermeier Charlie Sutterlin Trevor Bashaw Felix Amanor-Boadu
Jean Cocteau: French, 1889-1963
This piece is influenced by Cocteau’s early scenario for the stage, The Wedding on the Eiffel Tower, in which Cocteau uses theater to rejuvenate the mundane by heightening the truth of the everyday to absurd ends. He presents a surreal world where there is no clear boundary between reality and illusion and there is a schism between narration and action wherein the performers speaking the characters’ lines are not the performers who are acting out the characters’ actions. Cocteau uses this dream logic to subvert both storytelling conventions and the accepted social order in an outrageous comedic manner.
The Wonderful Staff of the Manhattan Arts Center
executive director: Penny Senften education + marketing director: Kim Belanger office manager: Sandy Mead
MAC Dance Attack II
Saturday, July 27 7:30 pm Back for its second year. Experience a variety of dance and music styles performed and choreographed by local talent. Tickets: Adult $10; Military/Student/Child $5
2nd Annual One Act Play Festival
August 16 & 17 7:30pm Rated PG-13: Not recommended for children Tickets: Adult $10; Military/Student $5 Festival Director: Brent Sigman
Blind Date by Samara Siskind directed by Randy Rhoten At Home by Conrad Bromberg directed by Jacob Belden They’re My People Too by Shel Edelman directed by Rachel Braddy H.I.M. - written and directed by Amy Tichy Untitled by Eric Spears, directed by BeckiJo Neill for more information please visit manhattanarts.org
Smoke Free Wheelchair Accessible
The Manhattan Arts Center is funded in part by the City of Manhattan and Friends of MAC.
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