Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009

Youngblood Theatre's New Season

The New Group Announces Three Shows in 2010

By Russ Bickerstaff
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With a weekend of five (or was it six?) openings firmly behind me, I finally have time to mention the new Youngblood season that was announced at last week’s performance of The Laramie Project.

Youngblood Theatre, which opened no less than three shows in July by way of introducing itself, has a much more relaxed pace in the early part of 2010 with three shows opening between January and April. The season in question was mentioned on Youngblood’s website a few days ago. Youngblood’s openig month appeared on three different stages. It’s recently been announced that the new season will be staged in the cozy space of the Alchemist Theatre. Youngblood and Alchemist should be a really good pairing as the young theatre company closes out its first year.

Here’s a glance at what Youngblood has ahead:


playwright Adam Rapp

IN JANUARY Youngblood opens its season with a contemporary sexual drama by Adam Rapp. Rapp’s first play debuted in 2001. He’s been averaging about two plays a year since then. Given the kind of creative momentum Rapp’s had, he could be the first fully-cononized playwright of the next generation. Red Light Winter debuted in ’05. The story follows a pair of guys in their 30s who take a trip to Amsterdam and come into conflict when a beautiful young prostitute enters the picture. The play has received a great deal of acclaim since it debuted. The Alchemist Theatre has served as a tiny apartment before on a few different occasions. The intimacy here should do wonders for a very tight close-up on a very intimate side of human emotion. 

NEXT MARCH Youngblood presents “Ben's New Play.”
playwright Benjamin James Wilson
Youngblood presents a new play by Benjamin James Wilson, who wrote Youngblood’s God Bridge last June. No clues as to what this might be, but God Bridge was some of the best work to be staged by a local playwright recently . . . it’s on par with recently staged experimental work debuted by Insurgent Theatre in the past few years. Wilson is comes across as sort of a more accessible, more commercial version of local, young experimental playwright Peter J. Woods. It’ll be interesting to see what Wilson comes-up with for next March.




AND IN APRIL Youngblood stages a really strange comedy. This one looks like a huge amount of fun. Contemporary playwright Mickle Maher comes up with a really bizarre idea and runs with it for what could quite possibly be very, very brilliant comic effect. The idea is this: a group of twelve superheroes and a Shakespearian character hold a telefundraising drive in a submarine for their upcoming production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Characters include the Intoxicator, the Untangler, The Ocean, The Tune, Fragrance Fellow, The Page, The Pleaser, Memory Lass, the Snow Heavy Branch, the Bad Map and, oddly enough, Ariel.

Okay, so the idea is pretty interesting to begin with . . .  Past productions had played with the visual of twelve superheroes at a long table facing the audience with a single, Shakespearian character in the center. There was a production staged in Texas that looked like a variation on DaVinci’s Last Supper. It sounds really, really clever. And Youngblood has a good half a year to work out exactly how to get twelve people onstage on twelve phones in a very, very narrow venue. (The rows in the house of The Alchemist are only six seats wide . . .) 

Youngblood has yet to make tickets available. Specific dates should be hammered-out between Youngblood and the Alchemist soon.


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