Mark Russell's "Under the Radar" Festival Begins at Public Jan. 19

News   Mark Russell's "Under the Radar" Festival Begins at Public Jan. 19
The second annual "Under the Radar" theatre festival, founded by former P.S. 122 artistic director Mark Russell, will being Jan. 19 at its new home, the Public Theater. It will run through Jan. 23.

Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis announced his theatre would be the festival's new host at a press conference on April 21, 2005. The partnership is somewhat ironic, since Russell was once a candidate for the hotly sought Public job that Eustis eventually won.

This year's featured productions are:

Rehearsal.Hamlet by Cia dos Atores, from Brazil. "An explosive retelling of the Shakespearean masterpiece as seen through the wildly inventive and cracked lense of one of Rio de Janeiro's most highly regarded theater groups. Over the past seventeen years the work of Cia dos Atores has developed its own individual style in which humor and Brazilian-ness provide a bold, contemporary aesthetic mix."

Kommer by Kassys, The Netherlands. "How do we deal with unfathomable grief? By surrounding ourselves with friends? Dead flowers? Easy listening music? A tender and hilarious portrayal of human fragility rendered in 50% theater and 50% film, Kommer displays the beauty of human success and failure while exposing the `little angles' of large human suffering."

Big 2nd Episode (show/business) by Superamas, France/Austria. "In this darkly comic funhouse critique of consumer culture two men meet a pretty stewardess and begin to flirt. Scenes repeat. Perceptions slip. The wages of desire emerge as glimpses of global economics, war, and workplace politics bubble up when least expected. Superamas splices and dices reality shows, soap operas, conceptual art, and Hollywood icons in a wickedly malicious examination of seduction and ideology." My Arm by Tim Crouch, UK. "A startling play about a boy who holds one arm above his head and never takes it down. A story of bloody-mindedness, modern art and how the things we do when we're ten stick with us for life - told through the animation of everyday objects supplied by the audience."

Shadows by William Yang, Australia. "Through William Yang's eyes, dispossession becomes Shadows, a moving account of two people—the Australian Aborigines and the migrant Germans in South Australia—who have suffered under ignorance and fear. Hauntingly underscored by Colin Offord and his original instruments, Yang's monologues are accompanied by literally hundreds of slides projected from multiple projectors. Part documentary, part personal observation, Yang offers an unselfconscious, affecting and wry meditation on reconciliation."

The first "Under the Radar" was held Jan. 7-10, 2004, at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn. Among the companies participating were old P.S 122 habitues The Foundry Theatre and Elevator Repair Service.

The four-day event was Russell's first "theatre curating" undertaking since he surprised the downtown theatre world in late 2003 by resigning as head of P.S. 122—a post he had held for 20 years.

The five acts featured at St. Ann's Warehouse in 2005 included Cynthia Hopkins' Accidental Nostalgia; Herbert Siguenza's ¡Cantinflas!; Marc Bamuthi Joseph's Word Becomes Flesh, The Civilians' Gone Missing; and Ethel's Streaming Ethel.

Participating off-site productions included the Elevator Repair Service's production of Gatz at The Performing Garage; The Foundry Theatre's staging of K.I. From Crime at The Freight Entrance Theater; and Big Dance Theater Plan B at DUMBO Stable.

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