The Actors’ Gang Hellzapoppin Season

Dario Fo, Jean Giraudoux, Samuel Beckett, Jean-Paul Sartre. Two plays written under Nazi occupation, another written to expose fascists still hanging around Italy in the 70s and originals from our crack team of talented actors. Plays created in defiance of the greed of oil men and the corruption of police. Stories that expose the suppression and manipulation of truth, of resistance and rebellion and grace written with the courage of warriors. Heroes that risk their lives and their futures to fight for the humane, the enlightened spirit and the indelible grace of love. A Season of Hellzapoppin from The Actors’ Gang, in our 38th year, still fueled by our commitment to you, our wild-hearted, adventurous audience.

Tim RobbinsArtistic Director

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JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN: In 1918, twenty-year-old Joe Bonham got his gun and went to war. An exploding shell in World War I reduced him to a silent life. Far from home, in a hospital bed in Europe, Joe Bonham is without a voice but ready for battle, ready to explode with rage at what the war left behind. Marking 100 years since the end of World War I, “Johnny Got His Gun” reminds us that behind every casualty of war there is the story of a young person with hopes, aspirations, and dreams of life.

APHRODITE’S HOLIDAY SHOW: Aphrodite, Dionysus and their 45-year old human daughter, Pointsetta, return to The Actors’ Gang stage as they continue to work through their god/mortal issues. Aerialists, dancers, magicians, jugglers and special guests join the fun in this winter solstice variety show. All are welcome, whatever holiday you choose to celebrate.

ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST: A madman invades a police station interrogation room where an anarchist accused of bombing a railway station has recently ‘accidentally’ fallen out of a window. Donning various disguises and voices, the madman manipulates the nervous policemen into a truth inducing hysteria. This world-renowned farce is produced in honor of one of our true inspirations and mentors, the late Nobel Prize winning Italian playwright, Dario Fo.

NO EXIT: Three sinners expecting hell fire and damnation find themselves in a room together. Forever. Weighing the actions and deeds of their lives and hearing the voices of those of the living that mention their name, the play is a meditation on the consequences of immorality. Originally performed in Nazi occupied Paris, 1943, Jean Paul Sartre wrote this play as a one act to ensure that theater patrons made it home before curfew.

KRAPP’S LAST TAPE: Krapp is sitting alone in his room late at night. It’s his sixtieth birthday. He is preparing to record his memories of the past year, as he has done for each of his birthdays since his youth. He listens to a recording he made thirty years earlier and hears the voice of a confident, optimistic man in the prime of his life. Krapp hardly recognizes himself and laughs, ironically, at his past ambitions and dreams and remembers a woman, who could have been the last great love of his life.

TRADITION: What does it mean to be a man? Tradition is the journey of James Edward Bane III as he seeks to answer this question. From enlisting in the Marines, to his time during the war in Iraq and his re-entry to civilian life, we follow James as he encounters his doubts, fears and family secrets. Will he follow in the footsteps of his father, his grandfather, or his friends? Can he become his own man, more than just the tradition that has propelled him?

A PERFECT WORLD: A couple retreats to an imaginary world, occupied by games of their own imagination. We see them at various ages and stages of their journey, and as the fantasy world becomes a routine, the two struggle to break free and accept the perfect world of their life.

THE MISADVENTURES OF SPIKE SPANGLE, FARMER: Originally written and performed in 1986, this no-holds barred satire of militarism and media manipulation tells the story of Spike Spangle, a down on his luck farmer who gets sucked into a whirlwind of celebrity and patriotism. He joins Superman on billionaire Max Enormous’ Celebrity Space Shuttle and a nefarious plot leads to the deification of Spike Spangle as an American hero.