Thomas Gibbons' New Play Is One of Two World Premieres for Philly's InterAct Season

News   Thomas Gibbons' New Play Is One of Two World Premieres for Philly's InterAct Season InterAct Theatre Company, the home of socially aware contemporary theatre in Philadelphia, will stage two world premieres in its 19th season in 2006-07.

In January 2007, InterAct Theatre Company and the National New Play Network present the world premiere production of A House With No Walls, written by Philadelphia playwright Thomas Gibbons, and directed by producing artistic director Seth Rozin.

According to InterAct, "Following on the extraordinary success of Permanent Collection and Bee-Luther-Hatchee, both of which have gone from their world premiere productions at InterAct to becoming two of the most produced plays across the country, A House With No Walls represents the final part of Gibbons' 'race trilogy.' The play — inspired by real-life events in Philadelphia — dramatizes the conflict between a conservative African-American academic and an ultra-liberal, Afro-centric political activist. The battleground for these two opposing forces is the proposed site for the new American Museum of Liberty, which happens to be on the grounds of George Washington's Philadelphia home, including its slave quarters. Flashing between a current day debate over what 'freedom' truly is, to the dramatic story of one of Washington's slaves as she contemplates escape, A House With No Walls serves as a springboard for a complex and volatile exploration of whether or not African-Americans should embrace the legacy of slavery as their primary cultural identity or discard it as a mantle of 'victimhood.'"

Performances will play Jan. 19-Feb. 18, 2007.

The world premiere of Sherry Kramer's When Something Wonderful Ends follows, playing April 6-May 6, 2007.

"This poignant, funny, edgy, theatrical and politically-astute one-woman tour de force weaves three seemingly unrelated threads — the death of the playwright's Midwestern Jewish mother, the Barbie Doll craze of the early 1960s, and the complex and insidious oil-driven global economy — into one an astounding whole," according to InterAct. It "artfully spins a yarn that reveals the full extent of America's consumerism and oil addiction, while hearkening back to a time of seeming innocence, when anything seemed possible; a time when Barbie represented a bright new future."

The season will open Oct. 20-Nov. 19, 2006, with Manuel Puig's drama, Kiss of the Spider Woman, directed by Seth Rozin and featuring a cast lead by Philadelphia favorite, Frank X. The play was adapted from Puig's acclaimed novel — about two imprisoned Argentinean men, a gay window dresser and a socialist rebel — prior to its incarnations as a film and Broadway hit musical.

The season will conclude with the East Coast premiere of Skin in Flames, written by Guillem Clua and translated by DJ Sanders. Rozin will direct the drama about "a famous photojournalist who returns to the country where his career was launched during a brutal civil war."

One of his photographs — of a schoolgirl flying through the air after a bomb explosion — "has since become a world-renowned icon of war, violence and innocence," according to InterAct. "While the photograph has become a household image, the girl has never been found or identified. Twenty years later, the photographer is scheduled to receive a prestigious prize from this infant democracy, but first he is to be interviewed by a young woman with a mysterious past."

Performances play May 25-June 24, 2007.

For more information, visit www.InterActTheatre.org.

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Founded in 1988, InterAct "is a theatre for today's world, producing new and contemporary plays that explore the social, political, and cultural issues of our time."