Lauren Swan-Potras, Jon Riddleberger, and John Kurzynowski of “Rhinbecca, NY”

Theater Reconstruction Ensemble presents Rhinbecca, NY at The BrickDark yet humorous, absurd but vaguely political, Theatre Reconstruction Ensemble‘s Rhinbecca, NY occupies a strange place between the source material of the films of Alfred Hitchcock and the plays of Eugene Ionesco, letting the audience draw their own conclusions from the action onstage.

GSAS! correspondent Tara Gadomski took a trip out to The Brick in Brooklyn to check out a performance; listen in as she and director John Kurzynowski, who also conceived the piece, and two members of the ensemble who performed and created the show, Lauren Swan-Potras and Jon Riddleberger, discuss TRE’s mode for devising, theatrical moments as questions, the balance between source material and the entirely new, and “the strange middle ground between suspense and the absurd.”

“…what we mean by reconstruction is that we take classic and canonical works and theatricalities, and we play with it, and we say, what does that mean to us now, and how do we interact with that? So when we investigate Hitchcock…it’s our idea of what Hitchcock means. It’s staying true to that, and not trying to recreate something perfectly, but say, ‘this thing exists here, we exist over here, what’s that middle ground?’ And that’s the playing space that we inhabit when we’re creating work…”

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Neilson R. Jones, Lucy Breyer, and Vivian Hwang of Confetti Stage’s “The Lesson”

…and now for something a little different.

Summer’s coming on, and that generally means two things for off-off-Broadways theatre: breaks for some, and festivals for everyone else.

Your humble producer is taking a third path, and will be out on a regional theatre gig for five weeks. But never fear: Go See a Show! continues during my hiatus from the city, with a few episodes deviating from the podcast’s usual “here’s an off-off-Broadway show that’s happening, and an interview with the people behind said show” format. Here’s the first!

Confetti Stage presents Eugene Ionesco's "The Lesson"While we here in NYC might think of ourselves as the center of the theatre universe, there’s lots of great stuff happening outside of the five boroughs. When it’s not being done in a small house within the city limits, the kind of theatre that gets labelled “off-off-Broadway” here is often called “community theatre,” which all-too-often has negative connotations. An excellent example of why “community theatre” does not have to be deadly (in the Peter Brook sense) can be found just a short train ride from our fair city, in the state capital of Albany, with Confetti Stage.

Last year, Confetti produced one of Eugene Ionesco’s short plays, The Lesson, and on the merits of said production, Confetti has brought The Lesson to several festivals already, and are about to take the show to compete in the American Association of Community Theatre national conference. I spoke to the cast of Neilson R. Jones (also the director, and founder of Confetti), Lucy Breyer, and Vivian Hwang via Skype as they’re in the final days of their fundraising campaign to bring the show out to Indiana (help ’em out via IndieGoGo!).

Listen in as Neil, Lucy & Vivian discuss why they’re doing Ionesco’s 63-year-old play now, why Confetti’s tagline is “theatre without limits,” and what it’s like to live with a play for a year and bring it to festival competitions.

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