Cutting Ball Theater continues its 14th season with the adventurous RISK IS THIS…THE CUTTING BALL NEW EXPERIMENTAL PLAYS FESTIVAL, one of the only play festivals in America solely dedicated to experimental works for the stage. Pushing the boundaries of what theater can be, this year's festival features three new works and two new "Risk Translations" in staged readings. Like the 2012 edition, which featured five new "Risk Translations" of August Strindberg's Chamber Plays, which were performed this fall as part of the main stage season as Strindberg Cycle: The Chamber Plays in Rep, this year's festival offers a unique opportunity to see plays in development, alongside the artists creating them, as the works find their theatrical voice.
The schedule for the 2013 RISK IS THIS…THE CUTTING BALL NEW EXPERIMENTAL PLAYS FESTIVAL is as follows:
Written and directed by Sean San José
January 11-12, 2013
Defiant, passionate, and bursting with poetic energy, SUPERHEROES tells the story of a journalist working to separate fact from fiction as she investigates the sordid history of the crack-cocaine epidemic. Partially inspired by Gary Webb's groundbreaking investigative journalism into the relationship between the CIA and Nicaraguan drug traffickers, this incendiary new play traces a lyrical labyrinth through churches, courthouses, and street corners in pursuit of a shocking truth.
By Alfred Jarry
In a new translation by Rob Melrose
Directed by Yuri Urnov
January 18-19, 2013
When Alfred Jarry's UBU ROI premiered in Paris on December 10, 1896, the audience broke into a riot at the utterance of its first word. Jarry's irreverent parody of Shakespeare's Macbeth defies theatrical tradition through its scatological language and disregard for audience expectations, replacing Shakespeare's tragic hero with a greedy, sadistic, obscene ogre who becomes the king of Poland by force and through the debasement of his people. Cutting Ball's version explores UBU ROI as a reflection on the fall from grace of many a contemporary political leader corrupted by power on the international stage.
By Josef and Karl ?apek
In a new translation by Bennett Fisher
Directed by Rob Melrose
January 25-26, 2013
In Karel and Josef ?apek's masterpiece THE INSECT PLAY, a vagrant, disgusted and disillusioned by the hypocrisy and cruelty of men, wanders into the forest to live in isolation. As night falls, he experiences fantastic visions of anthropomorphic insects and embarks on a journey of self-discovery. One of the last plays from renowned Czech dramatist Karel ?apek and his brother Josef, THE INSECT PLAY constructs an impish satire of human relationships, using butterflies, ants, and beetles to explore human vices in a powerful allegory about what it means to be human.
By Dipika Guha
Directed by Amy Mueller
February 1-2, 2013
On an unnamed colonized island, an ill-suitEd English couple are engaged in a desperate attempt to make their marriage work. But soon after the loss of their baby, a young indigenous island girl enters their home, changing both the course of their lives and history forever. Viewed through the frame of an art exhibition, PASSING examines how we construct historical narratives through our museums, our theaters, and our hearts.
By Basil Kreimendahl
Directed by M. Graham Smith
February 8-9, 2013
SIDEWINDERS owes as much to Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot as it does to SF Pride. In this absurdist-western romp through gender queerness, Dakota and Bailey find themselves lost, possibly upside down, in a strange world with even stranger characters. Their journey to getting right side up provokes questions of sex anatomy, transgenderism, and who we really are from the inside out.
Co-founded in 1999 by theater artists Rob Melrose and Paige Rogers, Cutting Ball Theater presents avant-garde works of the past, present, and future by re-envisioning classics, exploring seminal avant-garde texts, and developing new experimental plays. Cutting Ball Theater has partnered with Playwrights Foundation, and the Magic Theatre/Z Space New Plays Initiative to commission new experimental works. The company has produced a number of World Premieres, West Coast Premieres, and re-imagined various classics. Cutting Ball received the 2008 San Francisco Bay Guardian Goldie award for outstanding talent in the performing arts, and was voted "Best Theater Company" in the 2010 San Francisco Bay Guardian Best of the Bay issue. The company also earned the Best of SF award in 2006 and "Best Experimental Theater Company" in 2012 from SF Weekly, and was selected by San Francisco magazine as Best Classic Theater in 2007. Cutting Ball Theater was featured in the February 2010 and 2012 issues of American Theatre Magazine.