Six actors. Twenty-four shows in a row. No breaks. No kidding. Brat Productions’ A 24-Hour THE BALD SOPRANO will be performed by Ursinus College students in the Black Box Studio Theater. This will be the first college production of the Brat concept.
Eugene Ionesco’s hour-long absurd comedy is repeated every hour on the hour. Grab some coffee, grab a pillow, because once the curtain rises at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2 in the Black Box Studio in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center at Ursinus College, it won’t fall again until 8 p.m. the next night. Audiences are welcome to come and go, entering and re-entering this screwy world. Tickets ($2) are sold in two-hour blocks, but can also be used for other time slots as long as seats are available. Tickets are available at firstname.lastname@example.org and by calling 610-409-3030.
A family time is scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon Saturday when there is no charge for kids under 12 with a paying adult. During this time, families can come for an hour or stay for all four as the play is repeated.
Brat Productions’ unique take on Ionesco’s classic tests the mental and physical fortitude of every performer in this spectacle of metaphysical nonsense, suburban banality, and sleep deprivation. Eugene Ionesco’s THE BALD SOPRANO, a biting satire of British social conventions, finds the Smiths and Martins, the Maid and Fire Chief trapped by silly routines, mindless manners and non-stop non-communication. Written as a continuous loop, the ending begins the action all over again, having substituted the Martins for the Smiths and the Smiths for the Martins. Brat Co-Artistic Director Madi Distefano directs this absurd-a-thon that will feature onstage pranks and campus cameos as the cast changes roles every hour on the hour.
Founded in 1996, Brat Productions is committed to “thinking outside the proscenium” with performance pieces that are surprising and incendiary, entertaining and unsettling. Brat’s mission is to create an audience of the future by producing theatre that breaks the rules; theatre that tests conventions; theatre that rocks! Over the years, Brat has established itself as one of Philadelphia’s most adventurous theatre companies and is known for using unusual performance venues to enhance original and noteworthy productions. Its numerous productions have included Three Chord Fiction, winner of the Ted and Stevie Wolf Barrymore Award for New Approaches to Collaboration, Haunted Poe, A 24-Hour The Bald Soprano, A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant and Eye-95: Retarred.
Guest Director Madi Distefano is founding artistic director of Brat Productions. She works at Philadelphia companies such as The Walnut Street Theatre, Azuka Theatre, Theatre Exile, Brat Productions and The Live Arts Festival, which produced her original rock-a-billy musical, EYE-95 RE-TARRED. She has received nine Barrymore nominations for Excellence in Theatre in the categories of Directing, Best New Play, Original Music, The F. Otto Haas Emerging Artist Award and Best Leading Actress Award, which she won in 2005. Madi’s original one-woman show, Popsicle’s Departure, 1989, won Best Solo Show at the Edinburgh Festival and a Fringe First for new writing. A finalist for a PEW Fellowship in playwriting in 2010, Madi is also a recipient of grants from Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Independence Foundation, Philadelphia Theatre Initiative, and the Leeway Foundation. Madi holds an M.F.A. in Directing from Temple University, where she is an adjunct professor.