"I think we've lost the ability to just be human with each other...and we've lost a way of even talking about what's going on in our country that needs fixing as a collective body. And so that's part of the reason why I think this kind of work is still important." — Leigh Fondakowski
As a new addition to our regular offerings of interviews, features, and artist commentary, we’re posting a weekly roundup of theater from around the world that falls under the realm of investigative, immersive or interactive theater, the three approaches we cover here on Extended Play. They’re not endorsements, as we’ve not personally seen everything, but they are known to be solid companies, great artists, or hot tickets. It’s our way of keeping you current on the global goings-on with these cutting-edge theater-makers.
“Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education”
Created, written, and performed by Anna Deavere Smith
Music composed and performed by Marcus Shelby
Directed by Leonard Foglia
Urgent and inspiring, “Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education” outlines the civil rights crisis currently erupting at the intersection between America’s education system and its mass incarceration epidemic. In act one, Anna Deavere Smith introduces the students, parents, teachers, and administrators caught in America’s school-to-prison “pipeline” through her trademark portrait performances.
A leader in national conversations on race and justice, Smith (“Fires in the Mirror;” “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992;” “Let Me Down Easy;” “Nurse Jackie”) now asks audiences to talk back. In the tradition of call and response, a second act before a final coda performance invites audiences to reflect on how we might begin to collectively move forward from difficult histories and devastating social policies.
Click here to listen to a discussion with Anna Deavere Smith on theater and activism with WNYC.
at Ellen Gates Starr High School
Created by Albany Park Theater Project and Third Rail Projects.
Extended: Tickets for Oct. 19 – Nov. 19 on sale Today, August 3 at 10am (Central).
“Learning Curve” is an immersive performance that places you within the walls of a Chicago public high school and in the shoes of its students. With each step, you’ll experience the real-life triumphs and struggles of students, teachers and parents during the years that hopefully lead to a high school diploma.
“Learning Curve” is not recommended for audience members who are uncomfortable standing, walking, or climbing stairs. Children under 14 will not be admitted.
“The Enchanted Realm of Rene Magritte”
August 6-September 25, 2016
Saturdays & Sundays
1 PM & 4 PM
Governors Island, Nolan Park, House 17
For Sale: one house, belonging to one René Magritte, surrealist, painter, philosopher, lover, cowboy, tree, and much more. Swim on down and enjoy a guided tour of the great man’s mind, run your fingers along the dust of his memories, appraise the net worth of his melancholy heart — with the aid of his wife, his lover, his wife’s lover, his mother, and a fish. Exquisite Corpse is happy to hold your hand as you take a dip, then a dive, then a plunge into “The Enchanted Realm” of, well, you know who. Each tour will accommodate only 15 interested buyers at a time, so reserve your spot while you can!
“Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Bloody Beginning”
When: July 22nd – August 13th, 8:00pm
Where: Secret location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Speakeasy Dollhouse: The Bloody Beginning is back for a limited time only at a hidden Williamsburg speakeasy.
The Bloody Beginning is one of the city’s most unique, interactive, and surreal theater experiences. Performing to sold-out audiences from 2011-2015, The Bloody Beginning is back for a limited time and brings the actual unsolved Prohibition-era murder of Cynthia von Buhler’s bootlegger grandfather to life. The Prohibition-era time capsule features live jazz, burlesque, mobsters, moonshine and more.