Thursday, October 30, 2008

metaDRAMA: What Makes the FLEA Tick?

I'm proud to introduce another "trusted theater" to my site: The Flea, a downtown staple which first got my attention for its focus on training young actors (The Bats) in a similar fashion to what I've been working on with Theater Talk over at the New Theater Corps. If there are sometimes misses in the programming, that's simply because Jim Simpson takes risks, not just booking stuff from Beau Willimon, Will Eno, and Adam Rapp, but also wildly experimental stuff, like Offending the Audience or seating ARRANGEMENTS. Currently playing is Cato, the sort of revival I'd expect from Metropolitan Playhouse, but done--I'm told--very nicely here; and coming soon are World Premieres from Thomas Bradshaw (Dawn) and Itamar Moses (But You Will Get Used To It), not to mention the prolific A. R. Gurney and a comissioned piece called Kaspar Hauser, which is a contemporary opera. What's most impressive about The Flea is that much of their work is generated with the young resident company in mind: not only does this results in a lot of hip and edgy work, but it makes it a lot easier to justify paying those already low ticket prices. It's nice to feel connected to development like that.

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