|Written by||Sam Shepard|
Tongues is a 1978 play by Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin.Tongues is a series of monologues set to percussion and meant for one actor. Shepard and Chaikin had previously agreed to do a piece surrounding the concept of the voice, and nearing completion of the piece, decided it required some kind of musical accompaniment. It was first performed at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, by the playwrights themselves: Chaikin provided the voice of the speaker, and Shepard as the director and instrumentalist. The play is written so that actors who wish to perform the piece can experiment with the stage directions, which are minimal aside from the percussion directions.
The play is set on a bare stage, with a single chair draped in a Mexican blanket for the speaker. The stage is essentially black, except for the blanket. The sole character is the speaker, who begins telling the story of a nameless man. The speaker then goes on to impersonate different people such as a mother, a worker, and a "voice to a Blind One". A highlight of the play is described as the "Hunger Dialogue" in the script, which involves a contradictory exchange between two characters (both played by the speaker). The voice for each character are made distinct from each other only by the tone the speaker uses for each.
Samuel Shepard Rogers III was an American actor, playwright, author, screenwriter, and director whose career spanned half a century. He won ten Obie Awards for writing and directing, the most won by any writer or director. He wrote 58 plays as well as several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs. Shepard received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in the 1983 film The Right Stuff. He received the PEN/Laura Pels Theater Award as a master American dramatist in 2009. New York magazine described Shepard as "the greatest American playwright of his generation."
Stephen Rea is a Northern Irish film and stage actor. Rea has appeared in films such as V for Vendetta, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire and Breakfast on Pluto. Rea was nominated for an Academy Award for his lead performance as Fergus in the 1992 film The Crying Game. He has during later years had important roles in the Hugo Blick TV series The Shadow Line and The Honourable Woman, for which he won a BAFTA Award. In 2020, he was listed at number 14 on The Irish Times list of Ireland's greatest film actors.
I Am My Own Wife is a play by Doug Wright based on his conversations with the German antiquarian Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. The one-man play premiered Off-Broadway in 2003 at Playwrights Horizons. It opened on Broadway later that year. The play was developed with Moisés Kaufman and his Tectonic Theater Project, and Kaufman also acted as director. Jefferson Mays starred in the Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, playing some forty roles. Wright received the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the work.
The Open Theater was an experimental theatre group active from 1963 to 1973.
Joseph Chaikin was an American theatre director, actor, playwright, and pedagogue.
Gas Light is a 1938 play by the British dramatist Patrick Hamilton. The play gave rise to the term "gaslighting", meaning a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented to victims with the intent of making them doubt their own memories and perceptions.
William Mills Irwin is an American actor, clown, and comedian. He began as a vaudeville-style stage performer and has been noted for his contribution to the renaissance of American circus during the 1970s. He has also made a number of appearances on film and television, and he won a Tony Award for his role in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf on Broadway. He is also known as Mr. Noodle on the Sesame Street segment Elmo's World, has appeared in the Sesame Street film short Does Air Move Things?, and regularly appeared as a therapist on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
American Buffalo is a 1975 play by American playwright David Mamet which had its premiere in a showcase production at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago. After two more showcase productions it opened on Broadway in 1977.
Robert Woodruff is an American theater director.
Tectonic Theater Project is an award-winning stage and theatre group whose plays have been performed around the world. The company is dedicated to developing works that explore theatrical language and form, fostering dialogue with audiences on the social, political, and human issues that affect society. In service to this goal, Tectonic supports readings, workshops, and full theatrical productions, as well as training for students around the United States in their play-making techniques.
Kid Beyond is an American singer, beatboxer, songwriter, live looper and voice actor, based in the San Francisco area.
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The American Place Theatre was founded in 1963 by Wynn Handman, Sidney Lanier, and Michael Tolan at St. Clement's Church, 423 West 46th Street in Hell's Kitchen, New York City, and was incorporated as a not-for-profit theatre in that year. Tennessee Williams and Myrna Loy were two of the original board members.
Anna Kepe, also known by her married name of Anna Kepe Haas, is a director, actress, producer, pedagogue and entrepreneur. Kepe received her MFA from The Shakespeare Theatre, Academy for Classical Acting in Washington, D.C. under the direction of Michael Kahn.
The Magic Theatre is a theatre company founded in 1967, presently based at the historic Fort Mason Center on San Francisco's northern waterfront. For half a century, The Magic Theatre has been one of the most prominent theatre companies in the United States solely dedicated to development and production of new plays.
An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. This can also be considered an "actor's role," which was called this due to scrolls being used in the theaters. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.
Family Opera Initiative (FOI) is an American opera company based in New York City that commissions, develops, and premieres original works for cross-generational audiences. It was founded in 1995 by Grethe Barrett Holby, originally as part of American Opera Projects. Its mission was and remains to create new repertory for family audiences, to bring the experience of opera to a diverse audience, and to engage the community in the process and performance of their works.
The Civilians is an investigative theatre company in New York City founded in 2001 by Artistic Director Steve Cosson. The Civilians artists pursue their inquiries using interviews, community residencies, research, and other methods. Working with a combination of journalism and art, The Civilians creates theatrical events that seek to promote an inquisitions of current issues. According to Variety Magazine, The Civilians "travels far and wide researching a piece around a given subject, conducting interviews and comparing notes along the way, sometimes for years."
Theatre Genesis was an off-off-Broadway theater founded in 1964 by Ralph Cook. Located in the historic St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery in the East Village of Manhattan, it produced the work of new American playwrights, including Lanford Wilson, Murray Mednick, Leonard Melfi, Walter Hadler, and Sam Shepard. Theatre Genesis is often credited as one of the original off-off-Broadway theaters, along with Joe Cino's Caffe Cino, Ellen Stewart's La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, and Judson Poets Theatre.
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