The world premiere of Taylor Mac's The Fre will be set in a giant ball pit at Off Off-Broadway theatre The Flea with audience seating inside and out. Following the Tony-nominated Gary, which was inspired by Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, Mac's newest work is loosely based on Aristophanes' The Frogs, and similarly to Gary, the play will also speak to today's political and cultural divisions.
The Fre, which will be directed by The Flea’s artistic director and frequent Taylor Mac collaborator, Niegel Smith, will ask audiences to literally and figurately jump into the mud to hash out the current divide.
In The Fre, a rambunctious group of fun loving anti-intellectuals spend their days cavorting in the mud in what is known as the land of two bridges. Into their midst descends Hero, a dandy aesthete, who longs to cut the bridge and finally escape the mud pit. But first he must convince the leader Frankie Fre and the other fatuous inhabitants that there is a better life outside of the swamp.
The Fre, which will play February 28 through April 12, will feature two companies of The Bats (The Flea's resident acting compnay), including Ryan Chittaphong (The Sandalwood Box & The Fez), Alex J. Moreno (Bad Penny), Yvonne Jessica Pruitt (Southern Promises), Adam Coy (Southern Promises), Nate DeCook (Sincerity Forever), Sarah Alice Shull (The Invention of Tragedy), Joan Marie (The Sandalwood Box & The Fez), and Marcus Jones (Inanimate, ms. estrada, Southern Promises), Lambert Tamin (Bad Penny, Southern Promises), Sam Geoffrey (Not My Monster!), Drita Kabashi (The Invention of Tragedy), Jon Cook, Cesar Munoz, Georgia Kate Cohen (The Sandalwood Box & The Fez), Ure Egbuho (Locked Up Bitches, Scraps, good friday), and Matt Macca (Not My Monster!).
The upcoming world premiere will also feature scenic designer Jian Jung, costume designer Machine Dazzle, lighting designer Xavier Pierce, sound designer and composer Matt Ray, choreographer Sarah East Johnson, video designer Adam J. Thompson, associate directors Kristan Seemel and Rebecca Aparicio, assistant scenic designer Cori Williams, associate video designer SooA Kim, associate costume designer Sarah Lawrence, and stage manager Haley Gordon.