Live performance in a dark theater is a ways off but that doesn’t mean you can’t provide your audience and students with world class programming! Theater Grottesco has unveiled a Virtual Touring Program with fee support available from the National Theatre Project. Some of our available shows are listed below. To see the full catalogue of offerings, see the attached PDF.
The Virtual Touring Program is made possible with funding by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The King Without a Kingdom
The King Without a Kingdom (KWAK) is a wild reimagining of a COVID postponed Buffoon play transformed into a cinematic production. Originally entitled THE OTHER, KWAK is a companion piece to 2019’s DIFFERENT. Both are improvisations where an invisible structure of physical and vocal ‘prompts’ along with learned but not memorized stories drive the productions.
Buffoonery is inspired by medieval leper colonies and ships of fools, where those who were different were cast out. Legend has it they found each other one by one in the forests or on waterways, where they formed their own strange societies, reflections of our own. These people have nothing to lose. They are the King’s Fools, the only ones permitted to speak truth to power…unless they go too far.
KWAK celebrates a family of modern Buffoons, isolated by COVID who tell a fairy tale of a strange man who will do anything to be King and the consequences of such ambition. Each buffoon taped themselves in the safety of their own homes.
Running Time: 32 minutes, no intermission.
Video Teaser: https://vimeo.com/466389376
PIE is a comedic exploration of what happens when we don’t know what to do. The play begins as four arm-chair experts arrive at a panel discussion, only to find that the moderator is a no show. As tensions rise, a Rube Goldberg-like chain of accidents slowly tips. The characters have a collective emotional breakdown and accidentally hit the restart button on the universe. A skewed history of reality follows, from moments before the Big Bang to the electronic baroque of today. “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”—Carl Sagan
2017 National Theatre Project Award Winner
Running Time: 85 minutes no intermission.
Video Teaser: https://vimeo.com/262116910
DIFFERENT is a rigorous exploration of ensemble as Greek Chorus. Grottesco carefully crafted a structure of physical and vocal ‘prompts’ that supports the improvised retelling of the Joan of Arc story without choreography, a score or lighting cues. Ensemble members know the story but it has not been memorized and there is no delineation of who tells which section. The experience is much like the recounting of a book or movie, only in the style of Greek Tragedy made modern. It conjures a jazz improvisation with musicians who have worked together for a long time.
Running Time: 60 minutes no intermission.
Video Teaser: https://vimeo.com/394569218
Masquerading as a Lecture-Performance, CONSIDER THIS…is a journey through the history of Western physical theater, from Greek Tragedy to Commedia dell’Arte, Clown, Buffoon, masks and more - theatrical styles re-discovered and developed by Jacques Lecoq in Paris. Grottesco takes over where Lecoq left off, showcasing modern styles in the continuous development of the oldest art form on the planet. CONSIDER THIS…has toured throughout the United States and in Colombia in 2014.
Running Time: 60 minutes no intermission. Audience participation can be included in a real- time after performance talk-back.
Video Teaser: vimeo.com/392508439
Storm is an elaborate structured improvisational collaboration with Out of Context, a conduction orchestra. The project is a journey into the social paradigm that prevents the world (particularly the United States) from taking environmental action. Rather than shouting answers, Storm offers a glimpse of the chaos once experienced locally but now experienced globally. The production, created 10 years ago, includes a dozen musicians, 4 projectors, 15 writers and 2 actors portraying 6 characters.
Running Time: 60 minutes no intermission.
Video Teaser: https://youtu.be/XkHv-HBKVZ0
The Moment of YES!
The Moment of YES! is dance, theater and music woven into a unique theatrical experience. It is about how we communicate, how we create a common culture and the humor of the journey, relishing complicity and tracing the cracks that can grow into their own monsters. It is a tribute to Peter Brook and the empty space. Imagine an actor challenging the order of the play he is in; or seeing another human being for the first time. “Everything in the world began with a yes. One molecule said yes to another molecule and life was born.”—Clarice Lispector, The Hour of the Star
Running Time: 85 minutes no intermission
Video Teaser: https://youtu.be/1gtABrdxY4E
Grottesco’s 12th Night deconstructs Shakespeare’s famous romantic comedy, slicing scenes and subplots, constructing new ones and transforming this beloved piece into a social comedy and then into a comic tragedy – a nation house adrift on a sea of decadence.
A dark clowning is the foundational style. Emotions are heightened with gestural dance, often times telling the truth on a text or character too frightened to face it. Shakespeare has the Duke pining with his head and heart, the love of the lower classes rocks the scenery.
Running Time 90 minutes, 1 intermission.
Video Teaser: https://vimeo.com/18542199