FOR THE NEW CITY'S DREAM UP FESTIVAL PRESENTS THE WORLD PREMIERE OF
"A CRACK UP AT THE RACE RIOTS," ADAPTED BY TONEY BROWN
NEW YORK, August 7 -- Toney Brown has fashioned an experimental play based on "A Crack Up at the Race Riots" by Harmony Korine. The play meditates on the Artaudian notion of psychology and suicide, focusing on how the term "mad" is thrust upon those who dare to speak unbearable truths to society. Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival will present the piece August 27 to September 16, directed by Brown.
Korine's novel "A Crack Up at the Race Riots" is comprised of prints, photographs, drawings, news clippings, a poem, diagrams and clip art to tell a story of a race war in Florida. It has been described as a book of fictional set pieces, capturing the fragmented moments of a life observed through the demented lens of media, TV, and teen obsession. A highly experimental montage of scenes that seem both real and surreal, it is a bizarre collection of jokes, half-remembered scenes, dialogue fragments, movie ideas and suicide notes. Korine has described it as his attempt "to write the Great American Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Novel."
The text of the play is taken directly from the novel and is brought to life on stage with a cast of seven performers. The play starts off with Tupac Shakur reading a letter to his mother followed by several vignettes, occasionally with Shakur interrupting with another letter to a different recipient. Each vignette contains a story of a unique individual in the community, ranging from a nineteen-year-old crank dealer discussing literature with his ex-high school librarian to a son recounting the abusive relationship his mother and father had over the years. At the end of the performers kill themselves.
Harmony Korine is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker, writer and artist who became the youngest credited screenwriter at age 19 for his screenplay "Kids (1995)." He has written and directed the award winning films "Gummo" (1997), "Julien Donkey-Boy" (1999), "Mister Lonely" (2007), "Trash Humpers" (2009) and "Spring Breakers" (2012). He currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Rachel and their daughter Lefty. He gave the rights to Toney Brown over a phone conversation.
Toney Brown is a creative artist residing in Astoria, Queens. He has worked on productions at Abrons Arts Center, HERE, Theater for the New City, The Brick and with Target Margin Theater and Dennis Yueh-Yeh Li. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where he was a recipient of the Rand Scholarship for Directing. Recently he has joined The Living Theater.
The cast features Will Healy, Kevin Lynch, Veronica Sisson, Ryan Usher, Kristi Winkelman and Noel Anthony Martinez. Lighting Design is by David Levitt. Stage Manager is Bobby Peatman.
The eighth annual Dream Up Festival (www.dreamupfestival.org) is being presented by Theater for the New City from August 27 to September 17. An ultimate new work festival, it is dedicated to the joy of discovering new authors and edgy, innovative performances. Audiences savor the excitement, awe, passion, challenge and intrigue of new plays from around the country and around the world.
The festival does not seek out traditional scripts that are presented in a traditional way. It selects works that push new ideas to the forefront, challenge audience expectations and make us question our understanding of how art illuminates the world around us.
A unique and varied selection of productions will again be offered that draw upon a variety of performance specialties including singing, clowning, poetry, street music, magic and movement. The Festival's founders, Crystal Field and Michael Scott-Price, feel this is especially needed in our present time of declining donations to the arts, grants not being awarded due to market conditions, and arts funding cuts on almost every level across the country and abroad.
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