NYC's Inverse Theatre Company will present the world premiere of the latest play by contemporary verse playwright, Kirk Wood Bromley. The American Revolution fires up July 4-24 at The Connelly Theatre on East 4th Street. The production will be directed by Emma Griffin, who previously staged Bromley's Death of Griffin Hunter last fall.
The play follows General George Washington on his epic quest to defeat the world's largest empire, The British Army. Along the way, he faces not only Brits, but American Tories, Hessian mercenaries, mutinous generals, a bankrupt Congress, and his own struggling, incompetent troops. He is followed by a wild and endearing troop of new recruits -- The Rebel Mess -- a gang of five crazy patriots tumbling through the war by making jokes and singing songs. The action for this epic take on classic American History spans Boston, New York, Philadelphia, London, Paris, and Yorktown.
Bromley told PBOL (June 9), "I started reading about the Revolution and I was entranced by, what you could call, the main event and main actors. I wanted to tell the story of everything that happened to these people between 1775 - 1783, and I became interested in what the war did these people and how they emerged after the war -- the transformation of pre- American British identity to post-war American identity and how the national character was built from the event."
"I had an anthropological, historical desire to tell the whole story -- well, as much you can tell on stage, when the real story involves 7 million people," Bromley joked.
"I plan on writing a bunch of history plays, specifically, I'm interested in American history: the growth of the country West, and the ideals of liberty and other classic American values and how they changed throughout our history. I chose the American Revolution because, I had already written a play about pre-constitutional America and what was 'American' at a time before America knew as a country what we wanted." When asked about his peculiar choice of writing in verse, Bromley simply replied, "I'm interested in musicality, rhythm and the innate philosophy of language. Verse is a form which helps me investigate that."
Bromley has the reputation as being New York's only downtown verse playwright. His Want's Unfinished Work was recently produced to critical acclaim in its regional premiere in Los Angeles. Bromley had previously penned such ambitious, sprawling works as The Death of Griffin Hunter, Icarus and Aria, and Life's Loss's Loved.
For tickets ($10) or more information, call (212) 501-4528, or check out Inverse's website at: http://www.inversetheater.com.
-- By Sean McGrath