These are wild, unprecedented times, but it is in times like these that the bonds of community are even more vital. Theater in Asylum has been trying to figure out what to do with our various programs and how to adjust (logistically, financially, emotionally!) and we realized that our Cold Reading series, now in its 6th year, is perfectly poised for this moment. We hope you'll join us and share in some great theater these next few Wednesdays!
For those of you who've never been...
Cold Readings are totally unrehearsed– "cold"– readings of plays, usually with wine and snacks in our favorite rehearsal room at The Artist Co-op. We cast quickly (disregarding age, gender, ability, race, etc) to give actors and non-actors alike an opportunity to read a role they might not otherwise be cast in. At the start of every reading we say something along the lines of, "Make big, bold choices. You're already cast and this is closing night." After each reading we have a discussion about the play and its themes, focusing in on where/how the play should be produced and what the challenges of producing it might entail. We've hosted 65 of these readings so far and you can find a complete list of the plays here.
How to participate in a Cold Reading (during these quarantined days)
Join us these next few Wednesdays!
All are welcome (theater artists and theater lovers alike)!
by Eugene Ionesco
Over the course of three acts, the inhabitants of a small, provincial French town turn into rhinoceroses; ultimately the only human who does not succumb to this mass metamorphosis is the central character, Bérenger, a flustered everyman figure who is initially criticized in the play for his drinking, tardiness, and slovenly lifestyle and then, later, for his increasing paranoia and obsession with the rhinoceroses. The play is often read as a response and criticism to the sudden upsurge of Fascism and Nazism during the events preceding World War II, and explores the themes of conformity, culture, fascism, responsibility, logic, mass movements, mob mentality, philosophy and morality.
Wednesday, March 25 at 8pm EST / 5pm PT
Join us for this absurdist masterpiece.
by Neil Simon
"Has nothing on its mind except making the audience laugh." - The New York Times
At a large, tastefully-appointed Sneden's Landing townhouse, the Deputy Mayor of New York has just shot himself. Though only a flesh wound, four couples are about to experience a severe attack of Farce. Gathering for their tenth wedding anniversary, the host lies bleeding in the other room, and his wife is nowhere in sight. His lawyer, Ken, and wife, Chris, must get "the story" straight before the other guests arrive. As the confusions and mis-communications mount, the evening spins off into classic farcical hilarity.
Wednesday, April 1 at 7pm EST / 4pm PT
We're all about to come down with a case of Farce...
IN THE NEXT ROOM
(THE VIBRATOR PLAY)
by Sarah Ruhl
Set in the 1880s at the dawn of the age of electricity and based on the bizarre historical fact that doctors used vibrators to treat 'hysterical' women (and some men), the play centers on a doctor and his wife and how his new therapy affects their entire household.
In a seemingly perfect, well-to-do Victorian home, proper gentleman and scientist Dr. Givings has innocently invented an extraordinary new device for treating "hysteria": the vibrator. Adjacent to the doctor's laboratory, his young and energetic wife tries to tend to their newborn daughter—and wonders exactly what is going on in the next room. When a new "hysterical" patient and her husband bring a wet nurse and their own complicated relationship into the doctor's home, Dr. and Mrs. Givings must examine the nature of their own marriage, and what it truly means to love someone.
Wednesday, April 8 at 7pm EST / 4pm PT
You can learn more about our Cold Reading series here.
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay hopeful.
Theater in Asylum
Theater in Asylum (TIA) is a New York-based theater company founded in 2010 to provide asylum to highly charged subjects and characters. With an ensemble-driven process and performance, we investigate to inspire curiosity, empathy, and action. We seek a freer world and believe theater is both the means and the ends.
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