Our weekly roundup today features a few artists we’ve featured on Extended Play. Last year we interviewed César Alvarez, who is a former Civilians R&D member, has a new musical up in the Philly Fringe Festival. And EP’s Tommy O’Malley has a new feature about Irish theater that shines the spotlight on two shows — one in Dublin and one in New York City at the Irish Repertory Theatre as part of the 1st Irish Festival. We’ve also got some immersive action out of Los Angeles that tackles LGBTQ issues in a Lutheran church where the audience becomes the congregation.
As always, the weekly roundup isn’t an endorsement, as we’ve not personally seen everything. It’s our way of keeping you in the loop.
On 1 July 1916, the 36th (Ulster) Division took part in one of the bloodiest battles in human history. The Battle of the Somme. One hundred years on, the Abbey Theatre presents a major new co-production of Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme directed by Headlong’s Artistic Director, Jeremy Herrin.
This iconic war play by Frank McGuinness is a powerful portrayal of mortality, love, and loss. In the extraordinary circumstances of World War 1, eight ordinary men are changed, changed utterly… What more have we to tell each other?
“IT IS DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE A PIECE OF THEATER MORE PERFECTLY SUITED TO OUR JITTERY, ANTAGONISTIC AMERICAN MOMENT THAN QUIETLY.” – NEW YORK TIMES
Extended through September 25th!
Belfast is a place where things need to be said. Following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, the guns were silenced but the chasm between the Republican and Unionist sides remains wide and bitter. Tonight, in a small back-street bar, while Northern Ireland plays Poland on the TV, Jimmy and Ian will meet for the first time. They share a violent past and this is a conversation that’s been brewing for more than 20 years…
Quietly is a story about what happened in a particular bar in 1974, but also what happened in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s to the late 90s. It is a “powerful, “gripping” play about violence and forgiveness and the ‘spiritual lesson of time and healing.’ After enjoying huge international success, the Abbey Theatre brings this important new work to Irish Rep.
“The Elementary Spacetime Show”
Music and Words by César Alvarez
Directed by Andrew Neisler
A co-presentation with The University of the Arts
You can die, you just have to answer a few crazy questions first. And sing. And dance.
A young girl attempts suicide and wakes up trapped in a cosmic vaudevillian game show that she must win in order to enter the void of death. But the more Alameda wants to die, the harder she has to work—winning means she must confront avatars of scientific truth, ostentatious musical numbers, elaborate dance sequences, and acquaint herself with the enigmatic laws of the universe. From the creator of Futurity, comes a new not-your-traditional musical of up-tempo genre-bending songs and a healthy dose of the absurd in the search of why to exist when you no longer want to.
“Captian of the Bible Quiz Team”
Rouge Machine Theatre
Written by Tom Jacobson
Directed by Michael Michetti
The new play by immersive and site-responsive veteran Tom Jacobson (Hopscotch, Diet of Worms), puts the spotlight on “an idealistic Lutheran minister returns to a country church in Minnesota for Christmas and experiences an epiphany at a time of reckoning. Seven sermons in a single service: a tragicomedy…complete with an organist and hymns, the audience becomes the congregation.”