Erin Jorgensen | Concert Four Feb 25, 2015

by Erin

The fourth concert took place on Valentine's Day in the upstairs OtB lobby. Thank you to all who attended, and special thanks to OtB Ambassador Chris Weber for making all the treats and valentines! Scroll down for piece sources. Photos by David Lichterman.

Sources used in piece: JS Bach, Cello Suite 4 in Eb Major; Serge Gainsbourg, L'anamour; Thomas Tallis, ...

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PHOTOS FROM Michelle Ellsworth's CLYTIGATION #2 Feb 25, 2015

by Monique

In Clytigation #2  aka "The Libation Bearer” Ellsworth attempts to deliver what is required to escape the consequences of her bad choices. Because punishment is very difficult to avoid (especially in a 4’X4’X7’ box), “The Libation Bearer” will only be performed for three people who meet the criteria for redemption (one at time).

An online application will be available for interested parties and will be posted by 5pm on Friday, February 27, 2015. The application will be available through Monday Mar 2, 2015 at 11:11pm and the selected participants will be notified by Tuesday Mar 3, 2015 at 11:11pm.



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PHOTOS FROM Michelle Ellsworth's CLYTIGATION #1 Feb 25, 2015

by Monique

On November 24, 2014, Michelle Ellsworth performed Clytigation #1 at Seattle's Mediterranean Hotel with dancer Zoe Scofleld.  The work explored corn based hotel accoutrements, surveillance, and ancient community bathroom rituals. Below are some documentary images.



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The Evening Feb 22, 2015

by David Schmader

In The Evening, writer/director Richard Maxwell uses three actors, three musicians, and On the Boards' vast mainstage for a 50-minute exploration of familiar shapes and predictable patterns and what it feels like to break free. As a theater-maker, Maxwell is known in large part for his style, with actors blurting out their bursts of words in a manner that's part flat-affect/part reading-off-a-cuecard, and perfect for their resurrected-cliche personas. In The Evening, we get an up-and-coming fighter, his lovably shifty manager, and The Girl, who has both a secret and a gun, all of which are crammed in a lyrical miniature replica of every shitty bar you've ever set foot in. When the gun goes off, blood flies, but the injured parties refuse to break their deadpan composure or even die. By the end, the bar is left behind, and we're left wandering in a wilderness so impressively rendered that numerous audience members took photos with their...

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Is she leading us to extinction or did she find a way out? Feb 22, 2015

by Sean Ryan

The Evening by Richard Maxwell | New York City Players brings to life a world of archetypes, mere shapes, like the signs that depict men and women’s bathrooms. A world lackluster of adornment, stripped of the acting shtick. A world full of presence, musicality, awareness and commitment in the telling of the simplest story. To attain what you desire. A story that began from walking on a street in Toulouse, France seeing a man with an arm in a sling. He is a Fighter. This Fighter must have a Lover. This Lover is a woman, rather a bartender and stripper. In their world there must be a down-and-out Manager. They are outcasts, undesirables yet have each other. Where do they meet? At the bar … enter the Band. Utterances abound, “what am I?” “This isn’t a prison” “I think we got left behind, caught between two worlds ever changing.” This is the world of Richard Maxwell. A world moved by his passion of the absurd, the absurd that resides in the telling of a story in the...

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Spectacle, Specifically Anti-Spectacle Feb 20, 2015

by David Bucci

About ten years ago, I saw one of Richard Maxwell’s plays at PS122 in New York. On the sidewalk after the show, I remember my inscrutable playwriting professor proclaiming that Maxwell was the “East Village David Mamet.” As a fan of Maxwell’s work, I was defensive and dismissed the observation as downtown, back-handed snark. However after seeing The Evening, I’m finally seeing the connection. The Evening plays like Brecht on Quaaludes directing a Mamet short.

Mamet drives his plays with language and character, but Maxwell drives his work with spectacle, specifically anti-spectacle. The flat, declamatory style, contained in a rough diorama, seems to direct all the dialogue to the audience more than the other characters onstage.

One of my favorite Maxwell gimmicks was his use of awkward pauses to create a herky jerky rhythm in his intentionally banal text. In The Evening this...

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Interesting Directions For Performance Feb 20, 2015

by Soren Gillaspy

As I ran up 1st Avenue toward On The Boards, I had high expectations. I had read many interviews with Richard Maxwell and in my brain had compared him to the Dadaists or Futurists in terms of how he was going to shape theater in the world. Needless to say, I was very excited for The Evening. Unfortunately, I ended up a little disappointed.

Something mentioned frequently about Richard's work is a flat delivery - emotionless. Interestingly, this was one of the things I appreciated about the performance. By simply saying the lines I inserted a lot of emotion that was being covered up into them. It also made the words that were shouted have much more of a punch to them than I would otherwise expect, although I would have been so interested to see the script to know why single words were given that treatment while the whole sentence was not. Richard has had actors follow scripts punctuated with typos due to being drunk while writing....

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The eternal burden Feb 20, 2015

by LoraBeth Barr

The weight of the room is palpable when Beatrice begins telling a story that is clearly not her own. A story full of vivid images, from a Native American man walking into the kitchen unannounced to a struggle with a dying man and his catheter.  And when I say the room I mean, not the fictional place depicted on stage made of cardboard walls and utilitarian furniture, I mean the witnesses of the evening, the audience who bare the eternal burden of watching these actors pretending not to pretend.

I call it a burden because the nature or existential theater is isolating and depressing, with an emphasis on individual will over the whole. The Evening depicts a struggle between three archetypes; Asi, a fighter  Beatice, a wanderer and Cosmo, a person who has given up, stuck in a lonely bar where even the live rock band is dampened by the oppressive lingering weight of aloneness.

I wonder if it is the acting style or the material that creates this weight and I’m...

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