Thursday, September 24, 2009

Insurgent Theater Takes Intensity to Pittsburgh

The Insurgent Theater is in Grand Rapids, Michigan, tonight and will transport to Pittsburgh for a performance tomorrow, September 24th. The post-industrial steel town and site of the G-20 economic summit is a most appropriate location for the troupe's touring show featuring the play, "Ulysses' Crewmen." The Pittsburghperformance is scheduled in the Tent City at Carnegie Mellon University at 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.(EST). There were hot rumors at Gone Wired Cafe last night that they will be connecting with Reverend Billy at CMU. Pittsburgh activists -- and their G-20 guest from around the globe -- shouldn't miss this show, with or without the Reverend.

Insurgent Theater's performance last night was intense, to say the least. This two-person play -- featuring actors Kate Pleuss and Ben Turk -- revolves around the fictional tale of a kidnapped American heading to an international global trade conference, a nice irony for the audience in Pittsburgh. Pleuss carried the show with a riveting performance in the lead role of the kidnapper. Turk, the playwright for 'Ulysses' Crewman,' deserves praise for giving Pleuss the words to deliver a powerful anti-capitalist, anti-establishment message, not an easy task to make a weighty subject entertaining.

Adding to the unique experience, Turk designed the show to be a "transparent" theatrical experience by attempting to eliminate the "manipulative" and hierarchical relationship built into conventional theater. To begin, the audience was gathered around the performance space in a circle. Turk and Pleuss at center stage introduced the play, the project, and the tour, piece by piece, while dressing into custom piece by piece. Away we went from there, with the unseasonably warm Michigan temperature adding to intense ambiance of the play.

For all those activists in Pittsburgh tomorrow, grab your favorite G-20 rep and escort them to see Ulysses' Crewmen. They won't forget it after they return home, and neither will you.

-- Rico Thomas Rico

P.S. See photos from the Lansing performance here.

Photo from "Ulysses' Crewman" Performed in

Lansing, Michigan, September 22, 2009

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