The world premiere of Taylor Mac's The Fre begins at The Flea February 28, directed by artistic director and frequent Taylor Mac collaborator Niegel Smith. 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 speaks to today's political and cultural divisions.
Set in a giant ball pit, with audience seating inside and out, The Fre asks theatregoers to literally and figuratively 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 runs through April 12, features two companies of The Bats (The Flea's resident acting company), 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 world premiere features 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.