March 24 - April 9 (Wednesdays - Saturdays, plus Monday, April 4). All shows at 8 pm
TICKETS: $18, in advance, or cash only at the door. $15 for the March 24 preview.
After turning JACK into a canine kennel for 2015’s "Comfort Dogs," and dramatizing the plight of a Times Square Elmo in "FURRY!!" (JACK, 2013), theater-maker William Burke returns to our venue with an audacious framework for his mystical texts. In "PIONEERS#goforth," Burke suspends actors Nikki Calonge, Zoë Geltman and Ugo Chukwu in a net above the audience for a play about making choices and the limitations placed on the experimental nature of our young. Composer/musician Catherine Brookman will provide live underscoring, employing her technical wizardry and ethereal voice.
With set designer Carolyn Mraz inverting the space, the audience views the performance from below, basking in beautiful, uninhibited youth and trying to balance the harmonies of the outdoors and the clanging silence of the indoors. This is a youth play. With a middle finger.
Featuring Nikki Calonge, Zoë Geltman and Ugo Chukwu.
Set design by Carolyn Mraz
Lights by Megan Lang
Costumes by Alice Tavener
Live music composed and performed by Catherine Brookman
stage managed and assist directed by Artem Yatsunov
Production: Gene Lee and Ann Marie Dorr
Produced by John Del Gaudio
TimeOutNY Critic Pick
A man walks into a bar—wait! it’s not a joke!—and says to the bartender, “I was at your daughter’s wake.” The room stills, then quickens. There are a thousand painful implications, and William Burke’s delicately funny theater poem the food was terrible wants to show us a hundred of them. Food starts as a villanelle of the overheard; only Will Eno works with such fine, sharp tools. And then Burke’s world shifts to weird. The note-perfect bar suddenly fills with additional artists, scrawling their own chalk-written output. -Helen Shaw
Mr. Burke and the director, Mary Beth Easley, have some graceful and surprising ideas about community, about theatrical space, about ways to integrate poetry and visual art and Billy Joel into an event. Let’s drink to that. -The New York Times
"[a] fascinating and unusual play" -L magazine
Full Review HERE
Interview with Culturebot: http://www.culturebot.org/2014/05/21861/death-in-a-dive-bar/
the food was terrible is a theatrical meditation about death, mourning, and what might be eating away at your stomach. More than a simple two-men-at-bar, this is an evolution into questioning. Can we all clink (glasses) and try to remember who took the dead daughter's (glasses)? Are bipolar people capable of fucking up bacon? Will someone get it together to paint the correct sunrise?
the food was terrible features Noel Allain and Evander Duck.
Why we mourn.
Keener: A person who keens for someone who has died.
Keen: A dirge or lament for the dead.
Keeners is a 3 part meditation/celebration of mourning, loss and our connections to objects both human and inanimate. Keeners is currently being developed.
Keeners has been performed at NACL (North American Cultural Laboratory) in Highland Lake, NY and The University Settlement in NYC
KEENERS was also developed at Spaceworks BK and in residency at BHouse in Beacon NY
The notion of integrating dog and human performers is terrific, and the canine songs — composed by Shane Chapman in shambling roots-rock style and played by the cast — are groovy.-The New York Times
The text feels in tune with the performance of the humans – uncertain, halting, non-ironic, a little mysterious [in] William Burke’s new play, Comfort Dogs: Live from the Pink House, comfortably exists somewhere between a scruffy theater event, a live music concert, and a dog park. While the five human performers hoist guitars and basses, sing into microphones, retrieve and recite the contents of sealed letters that have been distributed to random audience members, and lap bourbon out of a bowl, the three canine participants have an easier go of it; they’re simply existing in the space, howling along with the music when the spirit moves them, dozing next to an audience member on one of the couches, sniffing the other audience members, and occasionally trotting nervously into the playing space, looking around pensively, and then returning to find solace in whichever audience member is kind enough to reach out and pet them (most seem compelled to do so)-Culturebot
A shout out from woofipedia (yes this is real): http://www.woofipedia.com/articles/comfort-dogs-shine-on-stage-in-new-play
Set in the skeleton of a pink hurricane-torn house a band of dogs walk around of the inside and try to make sense of humankind's need for comfort as they read letters from the audience asking for solace An ensemble of musicians and live dogs will howl, scotch and poop their way through an evening as the inadvertently ask the question: Who nurtures the nurturer?
Featuring Julia Sirna-Frest, Paul Ketchum, Andrew Butler, Shane Chapman and Electra Weston.
set design by Carolyn Mraz
costume design by Enver Chakartash
light design by Megan Lang
stage managed by Nic Adams
produced by John Del Gaudio
A Futurist publication performance
by Alexei Kruchenykh
and William Burke
A ZAUMy pistolly, bombidity punkidity concertidyish performadity designed to bring claridity and calamidity to your life force. You’re Welcome. DRAVD BAR PA!
Starring: Brian Lawlor, Nikki Colonge, Merlin Whitehawk, Regina Rocke
Set: Jason Simms, Costumes: Grace Trimble
Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Black Swan Lab for New Work and the Bushwack Series in Brooklyn
Interview with TDF: https://www.tdf.org/stages/article/829/dressed-like-elmo-ready-for-war
The Bushwick Starr presents:
FURRY! / LA FURIA!
By William Burke and translated by Modesto Flako Jimenez and Mariela Regalado
November 17-19, 21, 22, 25, and 26 at 8pm // November 20 at 3pm
"In case there was any doubt, “Furry!” is not set on “Sesame Street” but in what is, for many New Yorkers, its hellscape version: Times Square.At a recent performance the audience giggled uneasily; running out screaming would have been just as valid a response".-New York Times
full review HERE
The Bushwick Starr is thrilled to present the Spanish language premiere of FURRY!/LA FURIA, written and directed by William Burke in special “Spanglish translation” that tells the story of a street Elmo who rises to power by taking over the streets of 42nd to 46th street by using The Art of War.
In a reworking of his 2013 work for one actor and a dirty Sesame Street Army, playwright and director William Burke is joining forces with Modesto “Flako” Jimenez and Brooklyn Gypsies Collective in a new and explosive Spanish/Spanglish/human translation of FURRY!/LA FURIA depicting the struggle of a pan handling Time Square Elmo. In order to care for his ailing son, a man dressed in his street Elmo best, attempts take over the blocks of 42nd -46th street, using The Art of War, an army of Elmos and his deepest and most violent self. Naked Cowboy beware. When Elmo Close…Elmo appear Far. The army gathers.
Performed by Modesto “Flako” Jimenez and Olander “Big O” Wilson
Production design by Jeanette Yew
Costume design by Ásta Bennie Hostetter
Lighting design by Megan Lang
The English version of FURRY! was originally performed at JACK in 2013.