Friday, April 3, 2015

Beertown Takes America with dog & pony dc

From our friends at dog & pony dc...

Helen Hayes Award-Nominated Production to Be Shared Nationwide

Following successful runs at New York City Off-Broadway theater 59E59 and at Lincoln Center Theater’s Director’s Lab, dog & pony dc will bring their critically acclaimed production of Beertown on tour from October 2015 to November 2016. The tour, Beertown Takes America, will stretch from East to West with current planned stops including Omaha Community Playhouse (Omaha, Nebraska), Know Theatre (Cincinnati, Ohio), Raleigh Little Theatre (Raleigh, North Carolina), and Z Space (San Francisco, California). Beertown Takes America will conclude with a Washington, DC performance celebrating the fifth year of its creation. The tour will feature dynamic collaborations with local artists and their communities across the country, each time crafting a new and uniquely relevant Beertown.

"We have an amazing collection of theaters we're collaborating with, such as Raleigh Little Theatre in North Carolina," says Rachel Grossman, the tour’s director. "dog & pony dc co- founders all met while working at Shakespeare Theatre Company at the same time as RLT’s Artistic Director Patrick Torres. Patrick and his team are so connected to their community and committed to bringing new theatre forms to Raleigh, and we share a passion for positioning the arts as a catalyst for civic engagement. We’re excited to bring that ‘perfect fit’ energy with us throughout the tour."

dog & pony dc’s ensemble-devised Beertown is an interactive exploration of history, civic ritual, identity, community, and memory that incorporates live music, dance, group song...and a dessert potluck. Part-civic ceremony, part-theatrical pageant, the show welcomes audiences into the 20th Beertown Time Capsule Day celebration, where every five years the imagined small American town unearths its beloved Time Capsule and ritualistically reviews its contents.

Beertown Takes America provides an exciting opportunity for dog & pony dc to connect with both new and old collaborators as the production is re-shaped to fit each theatre and its community, with each stop of the tour featuring a newly customized Beertown. dog & pony dc ensemble members and local artists will form a creative team to rehearse and perform the show, shaping it to reflect local concerns, hot-button issues, and history. During performance, the audience is then empowered to generate dialogue specific to their values and experiences, mirroring the pulse of each particular community.

"After touching both coasts and their communities, we'll be really excited to bring Beertown back home, to where it all began," comments Wyckham Avery, the tour’s co-director. "This time, we'll have a version of the show which has been molded by all of the people who have interacted with it: molded by America. We might have new scenes, new characters, or maybe even new objects in the time capsule. We can't wait to get started."

Devised by dog & pony dc

Directed by Rachel Grossman

Original Music by: Wyckham Avery, J. Argyl Plath, Mitch Mattson & Jon Reynolds

Director: Rachel Grossman

Original Devising Ensemble: Wyckham Avery, Colin K. Bills, Joshua Drew, Cory Ryan Frank, Max Freedman, Jess Holman, Colin Hovde, Rachel Grossman, Kate Langsdorf, Jessica Lefkow, Mitch Mattson, Elaine Yuko Qualter, J. Argyl Plath, Lorraine Ressegger, Jon Reynolds, Ivania Stack, Elizabeth Stone, Matthew R. Wilson.

Tour beginning in October 2015 with stops to include Omaha Community Playhouse (Omaha, Nebraska), Know Theatre (Cincinnati, Ohio), Raleigh Little Theatre (Raleigh, North Carolina), and Z Space (San Francisco, California). Additional tour dates to be announced in the coming months, concluding with performance run in Washington, DC November 2016.


ABOUT dog & pony DC:
dog & pony dc is an ensemble-based devised theatre company focused on providing audiences new ways to experience theatre. The company creates (“devises”) new plays as a collective (“ensemble”) that playfully explore the elastic relationship between artist and audience. dog & pony dc has been recognized as the “upstart company” blazing a new path for audience engagement in performance. The company was highlighted in Washington Post as one of the local companies working on “broadening playgoers’ understanding of the riddles theater can unravel.” Since its founding in 2008, dog & pony dc has devised and mounted eight theatrical productions, including five world premieres and two original adaptations, all created collaboratively by the ensemble. The most recent productions, Beertown and A Killing Game, have received widespread critical acclaim. Beertown was nominated for a 2011 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play (the first ensemble-based devised play to receive this nomination), before making The Washington Post's top-10 shows list for 2012. Beertown made a critically acclaimed Off-Broadway debut in February 2014 at 59E59 Theaters and performed for participants of the Lincoln Center Theatre’s revered Directors Lab program in July 2014. A Killing Game (AKG) won “Producers’ Pick of the Fringe” and League of Cincinnati Theatre’s “Best use of Improvisation/Audience Participation” at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival in June 2013. dog & pony dc has presented about its work locally (Shakespeare Theatre Company, Capital Fringe) and nationally (Theatre Communications Group, Network of Ensemble Theaters, Americans for the Arts, Association for Theater in Higher Education) and was included in American Theatre magazine’s July 2013 cover-story on immersive theatre.