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Monday, November 5, 2012

Free “44 Plays for 44 Presidents” Reading Tonight

Posted By on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Election eve might be the perfect time for this free program of super-short biographical plays presented Downtown, by Bricolage Productions.

What’s more, the script of 44 Plays for 44 Presidents originated with The Neo-Futurists, a brilliant performance troupe from Chicago who blew the roof off the O’Reilly Theatre in their lone appearance here, at First Night two years ago.

Basically, I’m saying, if the Neo-Futurists came up with it, it’s probably worth seeing.

The script is by Andy Bayiates, Sean Benjamin, Genevra Gallo-Bayiates, Chloe Johnston and Karen Weinberg.

Here, from the Bricolage press release, is a description of the two-hour 44 Plays: “[The] actors … take turns donning a star-spangled coat that symbolizes the presidency. Beginning with George Washington’s almost Eden-like perfection, the scenes shift frequently between the comic and the tragic, from Ben Franklin giving Thomas Jefferson a Borscht Belt-style roast, to the frank portrayal of William Henry Harrison’s life as an ‘Indian slayer’ …”

Ultimately, the show “arrives at a polarized America in both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama plays.”

The show’s directed by Mark Staley. The locally based cast includes Karen Baum, Cassie Brehmer, Weston Blakesley, Maggie Ryan and Andrew Swackhamer.

This special Bricolage production is part of the national Plays for President Festival. It also continues Bricolage’s Fifth Wall series, which seeks to break down the barriers between scripted storytelling and current events.

Bricolage is located at 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. The show starts at 7 p.m., and will end early enough so you'll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for your polling place in the morning.

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