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Burning Coal Presents “PoliTheatrics 2012,” a Festival of “Devised Theater,” on June 28-July 1 and July 5-8

Burning Coal Theatre Company of Raleigh will host "PoliTheatrics 2012," a festival of "devised theater," on June 28-July 1 and July 5-8 in Murphey School Auditorium

Burning Coal Theatre Company of Raleigh will host “PoliTheatrics 2012,” a festival of “devised theater,” on June 28-July 1 and July 5-8 in Murphey School Auditorium

Burning Coal Theatre Company will present PoliTheatrics 2012, North Carolina’s first ever festival of “devised theater,” loosely centering on the theme of politics in the Southeastern United States, on June 28-July 1 and July 5-8 in the Murphey School Auditorium, near then Historic Oakwood Section of downtown Raleigh, NC. Festival participants include Haymaker of Durham, NC;  Urban Garden Performing Arts of Raleigh, NC; Awkward Elephant Project of Pittsburgh, PA; and Machine Theatre of Charlotte, NC; Neutral Ground Ensemble of New Orleans, LA; and Force/Collision of Washington, DC. On June 30th from 12 noon until 4 p.m., Anna Jones of London and New York will teach a $25-per-person workshop entitled “Approaches to Devising — Exploring Process: A Workshop Taught by Anna Jones.” Tickets for all other performances are just $5 each.

According to Burning Coal Theatre Company:

WHAT’S THAT COST? THE FEDERAL BUDGET AND YOU (Haymaker, 7:30 p.m. June 28 and 29, 4 p.m. June 30, and 2 p.m. July 1): “The United States Federal Budget takes your money, divides it up unfairly, and then spends that hard-earned cash on frivolous things like missiles and food stamps. The United States Federal Budget connects you to me, responds to the needs of 313 million Americans, and remembers your grandparents’ greatest fears. The 2011 United States Federal Budget reported taking in $2.3 trillion, spending $3.6 trillion, and running a deficit of $1.3 trillion. Haymaker investigates…. Haymaker: Haymaker is a performance company based in Durham, NC, producing original work by collaging found texts and personal experiences. Living with the Tiger (October 2011) marked Haymaker’s premiere production in Durham, and was written and performed by its three principal artists, Akiva Fox, Emily Hill, and Dan VanHoozer.”

MARK TWAIN’S JOAN OF ARC (Urban Garden Performing Arts, 8:30 p.m. June 28, 5 p.m. June 30 and 8:30 p.m. July 1 and 8): “Twain meets True Grit in France. With dancing [and] live music and original songs by the band, Bevel Summers…. Urban Garden Performing Arts: Urban Garden is local to Raleigh and dedicated to cross-pollinating arts audiences and practitioners. Since 2004 Urban Garden has produced 12 original live arts events in Indianapolis, IN; London, UK; and Raleigh, NC. They are planning their first full scale season in the Triangle for the coming year.”

BLACKOUT (Awkward Elephant Project, 7:30 p.m. June 29, 9 p.m. June 30, 7:30 p.m. July 1, and 8:30 p.m. July 7): “When the House of Representatives announced they were postponing plans to draft the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in January, many ████████ the death of what they considered censorship and a █████████ of First Amendment rights. Blackout explores the ███████ █████ and ███████ of censorship and the ███████████ it serves. Devised using an ensemble of Carnegie Mellon actors, the world premiere of Blackout has █████ and █████ for █████████. ██ ██ very ██████ ███ ███ entertaining █████! … Awkward Elephant Project: Awkward Elephant Project aims to present cutting-edge theatre and original ensemble work relevant and applicable for the progressive, adventurous audience. Founded by Alex Tobey, our work often explores taboo and controversial topics difficult to explore and receive, but always prompting a necessary dialogue with the self, the audience, and the artists. Awkward Elephant Project premiered as Necessary Dialogue in 2010 with Columbinus, and will produce Daniel Talbott’s Slipping in December.”

APPROACHES TO DEVISING — EXPLORING PROCESS: A WORKSHOP TAUGHT BY ANNA JONES (Anna Jones, 12 to 4 p.m. June 30): “[This $25-per-person w]orkshop will look at a range of starting points (e.g., text, image, space) and work through stages of the devising process, looking carefully at source material, brainstorming ideas, active workshopping of ideas, and the editing process. Anna Jones: Anna Jones is a freelance theatre director and maker. She is currently under commission to the London Sinfonietta to devise a new piece based on the Greek myth of Persephone with puppeteer Seonaid Goody and composer Elspeth Brooke. Anna’s directing work in New York has been seen at Theaterlab, The Culture Project, The Brick Theater and in many site-specific venues, including a former coffin factory in Brooklyn and on Governor’s Island for Figment. In the U.K., she has devised and directed work at The Roundhouse Studio, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre and Southwark Playhouse. From 2007-09 Anna ran Bone Orchard theatre company and directed/devised five original productions, including TIMES 365:24:7 (‘a teeming mosaic,’ New York Times) about the 24-hour nature of the news with the input of over 20 New York based journalists. She is now co-Artistic Director of NYLon Productions, a theatre company dedicated to telling powerful, timely stories and creating a bridge between the New York and London theatre scenes. Anna has devised new work with children for England’s National Theatre: Discover and taught directing workshops for teenagers at The Old Vic in London and has been a Teaching Artist for The New Victory Theater, the West Side YMCA and The Center for Arts Education in New York. Anna trained at Cambridge University and the Yale School of Drama.”

MUM’S THE WORD (Machine Theatre, 2 p.m. July 1, 7:30 p.m. July 6, 2 p.m. July 7, and 7:30 p.m. July 8): “A fractured and bleakly comic fever dream of a performance, Mum’s the Word brings privileged white suburbanites and African child soldiers into each other’s orbit in Machine Theatre’s award-winning satire of race, politics, and family in the New South…. Machine Theatre: Since 2009, MT has been creating new works for the stage, as well as curating and presenting up-and-coming playwrights/creators from the Piedmont. The Machine has become known for a blend of slapstick comedy, intellectual acrobatics and heartfelt storytelling that places the performer/spectator relationship at the center of the theatrical event.”

CHILDREN IN THE DARK (Neutral Ground Ensemble, 8:30 July 5, 3 p.m. July 7, and 2 p.m. July 8): “‘Men fear death as children are afraid to go in the dark.’ — Francis Bacon. Happening upon an old self-tortured soul, a group of ghosts enter into the man’s head with hopes of providing some relief. What they find will push them to their limits. This peculiar look at catharsis and fear is a unique theatrical experience through one man’s American mind. Children in the Dark is parts sad, funny, whimsical, intense, bizarre and all original! … Neutral Ground Ensemble: Neutral Ground Ensemble, based in New Orleans, is made up of young artists with big hearts and bigger courage. Our artistic vision is one that will tirelessly seek for the truth in us and in art as performance. In order to further our search we will not rely on what has worked in the past or attempt to recreate what audiences have enjoyed. Instead, we will look for a new path in every single piece no matter the material and ask ourselves what is important to us and to the piece. In order to create original art we believe that we must face new challenges in process as well as material.”

SHAPE (Force/Collision, 7:30 p.m. July 5, 8:30 p.m. July 6, 7:30 p.m. July 7, and 4 p.m. July 8): “1900 Ambrose Park, Brooklyn witnessed a vast spectacle of vaudeville dances, variety acts, folklore, and songs with a cast of 500 African-Americans in the show Black America. In 1921, the Tulsa Race Riot destroyed the African-American community of Greenwood, leaving close to 300 dead. Based loosely on the biographies of African-American vaudevillians Billy and Cordelia McClain, Shape concerns the life and labors of vaudevillian fairies exploited for their historical songs and dances, used by the dominant culture and abandoned at times of great need. Force/Collision will create a devised work which concerns the historical record of early 20th century African-American performance with text by associate artist Erik Ehn…. Force/Collision: Force/collision is an interdisciplinary contingent of artists/collaborators whose mission is the creation of new performance works. Based in Washington, DC, force/collision was created by theater director John Moletress for the purpose of bringing together artists of mixed disciplines in order to spark dialogue and create space for the presentation of new work. The Force/Collision ensemble is John Moletress, Sue Jin Song, Collin Ranney, Karin Rosnizeck, Daniel Paul Lawson, Frank Britton, Ilana Faye Silverstein, and Dane Figueroa Edidi. Associate artists include Erik Ehn and Erica Rebollar/Rebollar Dance.”

SECOND OPINION: June 27th Durham, NC Independent Weekly preview by Byron Woods: http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/a-festival-of-political-devised-theater-at-raleighs-burning-coal/Content?oid=3093160.

Burning Coal Theatre Company presents POLITHEATRICS 2012 WHAT’S THAT COST? THE FEDERAL BUDGET AND YOU (Haymaker, 7:30 p.m. June 28 and 29, 4 p.m. June 30, and 2 p.m. July 1); MARK TWAIN’S JOAN OF ARC (Urban Garden Performing Arts, 8:30 p.m. June 28, 5 p.m. June 30 and 8:30 p.m. July 1 and 8); BLACKOUT (Awkward Elephant Project, 7:30 p.m. June 29, 9 p.m. June 30, 7:30 p.m. July 1, and 8:30 p.m. July 7); APPROACHES TO DEVISING — EXPLORING PROCESS: A WORKSHOP TAUGHT BY ANNA JONES (Anna Jones, 12 to 4 p.m. June 30); MUM’S THE WORD (Machine Theatre, 2 p.m. July 1, 7:30 p.m. July 6, 2 p.m. July 7, and 7:30 p.m. July 8); CHILDREN IN THE DARK (Neutral Ground Ensemble, 8:30 July 5, 3 p.m. July 7, and 2 p.m. July 8); and SHAPE (Force/Collision, 7:30 p.m. July 5, 8:30 p.m. July 6, 7:30 p.m. July 7, and 4 p.m. July 8) — in the Murphey School Auditorium, 224 Polk St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27604.

TICKETS: $5 for shows and $25 for the June 30th workshop.

BOX OFFICE: 919-834-4001 and http://www.etix.com/.

FESTIVAL: http://burningcoal.org/politheatrics/.

SHOWS:

What’s the Cost? The Federal Budget and You: http://burningcoal.org/federal-budget/.

Mark Twain’s Joan of Arc: http://burningcoal.org/mark-twains-joan-of-arc/.

Blackout: http://burningcoal.org/blackou/.

Mum’s the Word: http://burningcoal.org/machine-theatre/.

Children in the Dark: http://burningcoal.org/children-in-the-dar/.

Shape: http://burningcoal.org/shape/.

VIDEO PREVIEW: Blackout: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JShQrUfTBoo.

WORKSHOP:

Approaches to Devising — Exploring Process: http://burningcoal.org/approaches-to-devising/.

PRESENTERS:

Burning Coal Theatre Company: http://www.burningcoal.org/.

Haymaker: http://gohaymaker.com/.

Urban Garden: http://urbangardenpa.wordpress.com/.

Awkward Elephant Project: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/awkward-elephant-project.

Anna Jones: http://nylonproductions.org/.

Machine Theatre: http://www.machinetheatre.org/.

Neutral Ground Ensemble: http://www.neutralgroundensemble.org/.

Force/Collision: http://force-collision.org/.

VENUE/DIRECTIONS: http://burningcoal.org/murphey-school-auditorium/.

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.

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