November 17, 18 at 8pm, November 19 at 2pm
Included in this year's offering are: Author En Loco by Sybil Rosen directed by Douglas Brautigam, Chekhov's Mistress by Kelsie Chance directed by Michael Chamberlin, Coffee Talk by Brian Mori directed by Rachel Wood, Deer Season by Donald Yonker directed by Peter Zazzali, Dessert Desert by Tony Foster directed by Philip Emeott, Eight by John Fiorillo directed by Michael Nathanson, Floorwalker by Steven Levi directed by Cheryl Katz, Gluttony and Sloth by Elizabeth Nell Dubus directed by Frank Licato, Heart of Gold by Maureen A. Martin directed by Cailin Heffernan, I'm Gonna Run Away by Kathleen Warnock directed by Kimberly Dilts, La Madia Cycle by Adrienne Dawes directed by Jude Domski, Leaving the Universe by Barbara Bryan directed by Elena Araoza, Life 101 by Robin RIce Lichtig directed by John FitzGibbon, Love at Stake by Larry Stallings directed by Wendy Liscow, Permanent Paper Perishing Stone by Vladimir Zelevinsky directed by Jason King Jones, Port Wine by Rebekah Lopata directed by Kathleen Huber, Reckoning by Vladimir Zelevinsky directed by George Hansel, Regularly Scheduled Programming by Al Sjoerdsma directed by Janice Goldberg, Innocence by Richard Paris directed by Debra Whitfield, Seven 4 Seven written and directed by Joel Stone, Sloth by Mike Folie directed by Brian O'Halloran, Someone Borrowed Someone Blue by Kathy Coudle King directed by Kittson O'Neill, The Duel by Jerome Martin directed by Brad Lemons, The Neighbors by Lia Romeo directed by Ames Adamson, The Saga of Ginny by Ian August directed by Ken Wiesinger, The Seven Diddly Sins by David Berger directed by Bricken Sparacino, Sin is In (musical) by Darryl Curry & M.K Wolfe directed by Mary Lynn Dobson, Lenny Bruce Lives Inside My Shirt by Betty Siler directed by Shana Soloman.
Theatre Brut (The creative impulse unfettered by social and artistic convention...)
It is our contention, that at this moment in history, mankind is standing at a precipice, and the critical question is whether the current conventions of theater as an art form are sufficient to confront the daunting ethical, moral, social, ecological, and political issues that we face today in America and the world. Theatre Brut is a search for those elements in theater that can begin to answer among other concerns, Camus’ concerns about a “universe that is…deprived of illusions…and where man feels a stranger”. It is a proposed forum to explore the psychic impulses and external forces that have led to man’s evolution into a species, that though sometimes prescient is rapidly moving toward self-destruction as well as the destruction of this once green earth.
Our search for a model and conceptual framework for such a theater led us to the Art Brut or outsider art movement, a concept first articulated in 1923 by the German psychiatrist, Hans Prinzhorn, when he published his visionary book, "Bildnerei der Geisteskranken" ("Artistry of the Mentally Ill"). Prinzhorn had been collecting the paintings and drawings of patients in insane asylums that were generally destined for destruction by doctors and staff that considered the works too disturbing, too obscene, or meaningless exercises. However, he theorized that these works provided a clear glimpse into the subconscious, and when executed by talented, and generally untutored artists working outside of accepted artistic conventions, deserved the term, art. Although more accepted today, in his time, Prinzhorn’s concept was revolutionary, and it was gradually embraced by the Surrealists as a model for their work. Decades later the artist, Jean Dubuffet, purchased Prinzhorn’s original collection, that is now housed in a Swiss museum. He felt that there was a stigma attached to the term "psychotic art" and coined the more dignified name "Art Brut" or "Raw Art". Dubuffet further recognized that intuitive and original expression was not just the province of the insane but could be produced by anyone who worked free of normal cultural influences, thereby anticipating the broader term, outsider art. He felt that the cultural world had destructive effects on originality and creativity, and that true individuality of expression could only be found outside of cultural barriers. He further suggested that the mainstream culture always manages to co-opt each new development, thereby destroying its power, and that only the art of the artless was immune from the insidious influences of the cultural establishment in which no artist of genuine originality could survive.
Theater Brut is not "untutored" nor is it isolated from the cultural mainstream, but it does seek a new vernacular, and a new "theatrical language" with which to explore a world where man is increasingly cut off from his religious, metaphysical, and transcendental roots (Esslin). It adheres to no particular movement or style, and aspires but to develop plays unfettered by social and artistic convention where the "strait jacket of logic" (Freud), and "the fossilized debris of dead language" (Esslin) are replaced by innovation and wonderment so that the human condition can become flesh on stage.
In 2004, we presented for our first Theatre Brut project, a three-day festival of short plays that had as their central motif the American cowboy, the quintessential American icon, a figure that embodies our most potent myths of America. We received over 200 submissions and selected 19 for presentation. Each play was performed only once during the festival.
In March 2005 we held the Second Festival where all the plays dealt with sacrifice. From over 300 scripts submitted we once again selected 19. The Asbury Park Press, our major local newspaper called the Festival “the theatrical event of the year” among New Jersey’s twenty professional theaters.
This coming November, 2006, we will present
our Third Theatre Brut Festival and for this event we are soliciting
ten-minute plays that deal with the "Seven Deadly Sins", their counterparts, or both. Playwrights can submit more than one script and once again we stress that innovation is viewed as a virtue not a detriment.