Playing With Canons

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Published by The New York Theatre Experience, Inc.
Edited by and with a Preface by Martin Denton


18 plays by some of indie theatre’s most exciting playwrights in a single volume celebrating the enduring power and spirit of classic literature and drama. These remarkable plays reshape familiar material in challenging, innovative, and unexpected fashion, pushing these timeless works into the 21st century in resoundingly resonant high style.

In addition to the complete text of these 18 plays, the anthology includes:

- Brief introductory essays by critic Leonard Jacobs, dramaturg/producer Chad Gracia, actor Tim Cusack, and directors Stephen Speights, Eric Parness, and David Fuller
- Complete production information and how to obtain permission to produce each of the plays
- Biographical data about each of the playwrights

Included in this anthology:

Part I - Reflections on Shakespeare

WANT'S UNWISHT WORK by Kirk Wood Bromley
Cyberpunk poetry response to Love’s Labour’s Lost and other works of Shakespeare. KIRK WOOD BROMLEY is a playwright, actor, theater writer, musician, and Artistic Director of Inverse Theater Company.

LA TEMPESTAD by Larry Loebell
Characters and situations from The Tempest assembled in a timely new play set in Vieques, Puerto Rico. LARRY LOEBELL is a playwright and a dramaturg currently teaching at Arcadia University and the University of the Arts.

TITUS X by Shawn Northrip
Titus Andronicus as a punk rock musical. SHAWN NORTHRIP is a playwright, composer-lyricist, and a teacher.

Part II - From Legend, Myth & Sacred Sources

GENESIS by Matthew Freeman
Contemporary re-imagination of five medieval Mystery plays telling familiar Bible stories. MATTHEW FREEMAN is a playwright with a BFA from Emerson College in Boston.

THE EUMENIDES by David Johnston
A modern adaptation of the last play of The Oresteia of Aeschylus. DAVID JOHNSTON is an actor and playwright and a graduate of the College of William and Mary.

PRINCIPIA by Michael Maiello & Andrew Recinos
A peppy musical fable based on the Principia Discordia and other post-modern legends. MICHAEL MAIELLO is a playwright and stand-up comedian. ANDREW RECINOS is a composer and sound designer.

Part III - Chekhov and Other Russians

UNCLE JACK by Jeff Cohen
Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya transplanted to present-day West Virginia. JEFF COHEN is a director, playwright, an acting teacher and recipient of a Drama Desk Award.

STORY OF AN UNKNOWN MAN by Anthony P. Pennino
Chekhov himself appears in this comic drama based on one of his stories. ANTHONY P. PENNINO has a B.A., M.A., and M.F.A. from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the University of London.

THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, PARTS I AND II by Alexander Harrington
An epic, faithful dramatization of the classic Dostoyevsky novel. ALEXANDER HARRINGTON has a B.A. in English from Columbia University, and an M.F.A in Theatre from Louisiana State University.

Part IV - American Literature on Stage

BEL CANTO by Reneé Flemings
Poe’s suspense story “The Tell Tale Heart” recast among noirish gangsters, with jazzy overtones. RENEÉ FLEMINGS is a playwright, actor, director, and singer and works in the educational theatre field.

SALEM by Alex Roe
A savvy morality tale, after Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown.” ALEX ROE has a B.A. from Harvard College and is the artistic director of Metropolitan Playhouse as well as an actor, director, and playwright.

BARTLEBY THE SCRIVENER by R. L. Lane
Herman Melville’s famous novella is brought to the stage in this moving adaptation. R. L. LANE is a writer and director and has taught university theatre at Stanford and M.I.T.

Part V - European Literature on Stage

FRANKENSTEIN by Rob Reese
A highly theatrical rendering of Mary Shelley’s classic novel. ROB REESE is a playwright-director, artistic director of Amnesia Wars, has a degree from Boston College and teaches improv workshops and classes.

NORTHANGER ABBEY by Lynn Marie Macy
Jane Austen’s novel fuses with the gothic adventure The Mysteries of Udolpho in this delightful and inventive comedy. LYNN MARIE MACY is a playwright, actor and director and has a B.F.A. in Theatre Arts.

THE MAN WHO LAUGHS by Kiran Rikhye
A live “silent film” version of Victor Hugo’s touching, macabre tale. KIRAN RIKHYE has a B.A. in English Literature and Theater Studies from Swarthmore College and an M.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Part VI - Fresh Looks

BALD DIVA! by David Koteles, conceived by Jamee Freedus and Jason Jacobs
Absurdist satire set among the well-heeled, shallow Chelsea gay boys. DAVID KOTELES holds a B.A. from Queens College and a M.F.A. in Playwriting from Columbia University. JAMEE FREEDUS graduated from Columbia University with an M.F.A in Dramaturgy. JASON JACOBS is a director, writer, and the co-artistic director of Theatre Askew.

FATBOY by John Clancy
Bold, sensationalized update of Jarry’s Ubu plays, from the pen of this Obie-winning director. JOHN CLANCY is a playwright, director, actor and producer and a recent recipient of an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Direction.

THE PERSIANS by Waterwell
A raucous vaudeville based on the oldest extant work in the Western canon. HANNA CHEEK attended Sarah Lawrence College and the British American Dramatic Academy. RODNEY GARDINER is an actor-writer and a graduate of the actor training program at the State University of New York at Purchase. ARIAN MOAYED is an actor-playwright-creator, artistic director of Waterwell and a graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington. NICOLE PARKER is an actor-writer-singer with a B.A. in Theater from Indiana University. TOM RIDGELY is an actor, writer, and director holding a B.A. in Theatre & Drama from Indiana University.