The Present Company production of artistic director John Clancy’s one man show, Notice of Default and Opportunity to Cure, returns for an encore May 31-June 17 at the troupe’s Theatorium on the Lower East Side. The autobiographical play first played the Manhattan space March 29-April 22.
Notice of Default and Opportunity to Cure is based on the recent do or-die dealings with the Present Company's landlord at the large Theatorium space south of Houston. Happily, that landlord issue is now resolved.
"It's a broad and personal meditation on cash," Clancy told Playbill On Line. "It's about what it means to live in America with that value of cash and money hanging above us. It's damn near embedded in our genetic code."
Clancy admits not liking many of the one-man shows he sees and says that half-way through his show, the performance offers "a very sharp critique" of the genre. Deepening the cash meditation, Clancy's Notice of Default & Opportunity to Cure will then assay the meaning of "cash values" by addressing the topic of ticket prices and theatre economics. Clancy's idea is to have the actual box office take brought on stage each evening where it will be counted before the audience.
"The whole idea is that you can't really place a value on a performance, " Clancy said. "You're really pricing the anticipation, or the idea. You can't price the performance. So we'll take the actual cash and count it and then pass it around the audience and tell them, 'Look, if you think it wasn't worth the $12 admission, then take a few bucks out. But, if you think it was worth more, then maybe you can throw a few more bucks in.' Afterward, we'll bring the hat back on stage and count the cash again." Any surplus monies will benefit the nonprofit Present Company/Theatorium.
In addition to creating some of the more original fundraising ideas in recent theatre history, Clancy is the author of numerous plays and short theatrical works. These include the 1992 San Francisco Playwrights Center Dramarama winner Charmer, the 1993 Florida Studio Theatre's American Shorts contest winner The Paper Man, and the Julie Harris Theatre Guild finalist piece, Secret Agent Man. Clancy has directed American Absurdum, Texas Radio, Horse Country, The Egg Game and Goner.
As mentioned, tickets to Notice of Default & Opportunity to Cure are $12...more or less. The Theatorium is located at 196-198 Stanton Street between Attorney and Ridge Streets on the Lower East Side. For information and reservations call (212) 420-8877.
--By Robert Simonson
and Murdoch McBride