JUNE 2-JULY 1 @ THE BRICK
Superheroes. Space opera. True romance. Hijinks. History. Literature. Autobiography. Lines. Dots. Shapes. Pencil. Sound. Ink. Movement.
This summer The Brick Theater, Inc. will invite one of history’s newest art forms to meet one of its oldest as part of the first ever Comic Book Theater Festival. Through collaborations between visual and dramatic artists this exciting new festival will feature both live stage performance and printed or online comic book components to each show, making the form and content of comics collide with the content and form of theater to create strange new hybrids across both mediums! Also, superheroes and stuff.
The Comic Book Theater Festival will run June 2-July 1 at The Brick (575 Metropolitan Avenue between Union Avenue and Lorimer Street, Brooklyn). Ticketing and performance schedule TBA.
“Williamsburg’s scrappy proliferator of smart-alecky themed festivals is for the nerds, outcasts and mad experimenters of theater.” Time Out NY
All I Want is One More Meanwhile
Written by Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons
Directed by Ivanna Cullinan
Presented by White Girl with a Fat Ass Productions
Twenty years ago she was Perfectra, an artificially engineered Superhero impervious to humanity’s flaws. Today, she is Jane, a real woman who gave up Power and Perfection to become a Mother. But estranged from her daughter and battling against a no-longer-perfect physique is not the ending she planned on! Discovering her daughter has not only been kidnapped by a canine-controlling criminal but worse still, engaged to a local Superhero – can this SuperMom stand by and let her daughter spend her life dangling in distress? Especially as she suspects Daughter might have a secret of her own...
Written & Directed by Josh Mertz and Erik Bowie
One morning in a small office, a downtrodden employee arrives at his desk to find his computer broken. He discovers reading material at his desk, and starts to recite it aloud. At first his coworkers hardly notice. But after a series of strange coincidences… If you follow the New York theater scene, you may think you know where this is going. But, mix in classic Bat-stories and a cast of harried office loons playing dozens of characters, and you’ve got a light-hearted tribute to the Dark Knight as you’ve never seen him! And it’s a lot shorter than six hours!
The Bubble of Solace
Written & Directed by Jeff Lewonczyk
Presented by Piper McKenzie Productions
A.J. has his dream job – running a comic-book shop that doubles as a shrine to all of his favorite obscure classics. It doesn’t even matter that no one else shares his obsessions – when he closes the doors at night, his immersive relationship with his favorite titles makes the rest of the world disappear. But with his shop in jeopardy, he finds that the stories no longer behave as expected, and he's forced to reckon with his feelings about his equally odd mother, the pretty girl who runs the sex-toy shop next door, and a strange fan who possesses a secret about A.J.'s past.
Captain Moonbeam and Lynchpin
Written by James Comtois
Presented by Nosedive Productions
When Alex was just an adolescent, his father killed himself. He was dressed in a superhero costume, and his suicide note claimed he lived a double life as a costumed crime-fighter. Now in his 20s, Alex obsesses over his father's secret diaries and wonders, was his father just crazy, or did he genuinely live his life heroically?
Hosted by R. Sikoryak
Carousel is a series of cartoon slide shows and other projected pictures, presented by a wide array of comic strip makers, graphic novelists, visual artists, and other characters. The presentations are a hybrid, somewhat reminiscent of a radio show (usually with live narration, often with music and sound effects) combined with wildly creative imagery. From stick figures, to lush illustrations, to the occasional photograph, Carousel embraces all forms of visual storytelling. While many presentations share a sense of humor, the stories vary greatly in theme; some are autobiographical, some historical or educational, and others are philosophical or fanciful.
Written & Performed by Darian Dauchan
With music by The Mighty Third Rail
Presented by DDNMB
Death Boogie is a Hip Hop Poetry Musical that follows the fictional story of Victor Spartan, a blue collar worker who lives a comatose lifestyle by day, and at night hears the poetic sounds of revolution. A political romp with a Pee Wee Herman meets Che Guevara–type flare. Through the combination of music and comic book illustrations, Death Boogie is a whimsical examination on the notion of martyrdom, altruism, and courage through the stories of a Greek Titan, a soldier, a child, a cheetah, a suicide bomber, and pop culture movies. Written and performed by Darian Dauchan, with music accompaniment by The Mighty Third Rail.
Created by Adrian Jevicki
Presented by Movementpants Dance
Movementpants Dance continues to offer its unique dance experiences with its dance and video concoction, THE DEEP. THE DEEP is a theatrical exploration of a secret underwater cave in the Amazon as conceived in the lusty pages of a '70s-era French adventure comic. It is also the result of what happens when you flatten relationships into 2-dimensions while simultaneously expanding the 2-D architecture of the comic book page into 3 dimensions. What does that mean? A dance. Movementpants Dance.
Drawn Out Storytelling
Directed by Nisse Greenberg
How do you tell a story? With words? Music? Images? Drawn Out Storytelling does it with all three. Come watch as storytellers recount the tragic, hilarious, and heartwarming events of their lives, accompanied by comic artists and musicians who provide their own interpretation of each story. From drawing live murals to comic strips populated by stickers, each story will come to life through a supplementary visual medium.
Written by Jillian Tully
Directed by Amy Overman
Presented by Handtruck Lobster
What would you do if a stranger made you – a disenchanted former dreamer – promise to do five terrifying things in the coming year? What would you do if you were a scientific genius who also happens to be a calico cat? In the spirit of Calvin and Hobbes and Get Fuzzy, Five Things is a webcomic brought to life, taking on such day-to-day subjects as online dating, Fairy Dragmothers, open mic nights, tap dancing, opposable thumbs and the pursuit of happiness.
Written by Adam McGovern
Directed by Ian W. Hill
Funnybook/Tragicbook is a repertory evening of moody, atmospheric modern comic-literature and farcical pop-art nostalgia. In “Underworld,” a tense one-character monologue, surreal circumstances lead the 20th century’s greatest psychoanalyst to encounter its most despised dictator, a war of century-defining ideologies in which both figures’ illusions are defeated. In “Norrga the Thunderer,” a radio play staged like a campus low-culture seminar, an arctic god’s father issues mirror the generational conflicts of his comic book’s 1960s readership — all similarities to mythic and multiplex Vikings purely coincidental! Scripts by indie comic writer Adam McGovern, projected graphics by Eurocomics stars Giuseppe Palumbo and Stefano Pavan!
Galactic Girl in: Attack of the Starbarians!
Written & Directed by Jon Hoche
In a futuristic world reeling from a Dark Infinite Civil Crisis, Galactic Girl leads the charge in bringing peace and order to the Cosmos. She’s the best at what she does with a booty that just don’t quit. Under the command of General Fu Fu, Galactic Girl journeys to the planet of Starbaria with her compatriot Pixel and new recruit Moxie-5 to capture the leader of the Savage Starbarians. Unexpected obstacles lead Team Galactic Girl on a wild ride. Come see Galactic Girl in: Attack of the Starbarians, a Sci Fi adventure jammed packed with hot girls, great fights, dances breaks, laughter and so much more.
Written by Keith Boynton
Directed by Ben Kamine
What happens between the panels of a comic book? In the industry, they're known as “gutters” – the narrow white spaces between moments of frozen action. But just as the panels tell a story, the gutters hold stories too – stories of loss and desire and characters struggling to escape their fates. But is free will possible in a world where the next panel hangs above you like a death sentence? Can life be lived in the gutters? Can life be lived anywhere else? Gutter Space is the story of a superhuman hero confronting very human questions about mortality, destiny, and what it means to live in the in-between.
Written by Fred Van Lente & Crystal Skillman
Directed by John Hurley
Presented by Impetuous Theater Group
Jack “King of the Comics” Kirby is the most famous artist you’ve never heard of, creator or co-creator of Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, The X-Men, The Avengers, and dozens more. Husband-and-wife playwrighting team of Fred Van Lente (award-winning, New York Times best selling comics writer (Cowboys & Aliens, Action Philosophers) and Crystal Skillman (NYIT Award-winning playwright of The Vigil) combine their respective talents to produce the hysterical and heartbreaking story of this titanic figure – how he poured his quintessentially Twentieth Century life into his comics – and the fateful, tragic mistake he made that led the man to obscurity while his creations became known to every person on Earth.
Written by Jasper Patterson & Sarah Al-Kassab
Directed by Jasper Patterson
A pop-up book/live graphic novel exploration of myth, vaudeville, and the neurology of wonder. Includes audience participation and utilizes/exposes historical stage tricks/illusion, all presented in a noir, dystopian idiom that blurs the line between reality and symbolism.
Created by Jason Robert Bell & Joe Infurnari
Mastermind is an immersive staging of an elaborate futuristic multi-media “game”, waged between two “Hyperestheticnaut” players (artists that have prepared half of a agreed upon epic story of Cosmic battles between forces of Order and Chaos), with “Play” to be administered by a projected Game Master, who acts as a conductor and master of ceremonies. The Players attack and counter-attack each others as if in a chess match but the goal is not the decimation of combaters, but the production of a great work of Art. Inspired by The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse, Mastermind proposes to present an actual contest, a battle of wits, between two artists, merging a shared vision into a cosmic battle that appears as a holographic live human chess board area where once there was a Theater.
Our Greatest Year
Written & Directed by Robert Attenweiler
Presented by Disgraced Productions
Our Greatest Year is a blend of live theater and motion comic that examines a year in the life of a Cleveland, Ohio sports blogger in conjunction with the city’s 2007 sports year where each of its 3 major teams flirt with greatness only to end (predictably, if you ask anyone from Cleveland) in failure. This American Splendor-style dark comedy is about trying to create a life that can sustain us, even while reality consistently disappoints our expectations. Absolutely nothing can go as well as planned, but this still might be our greatest year.
Written by Laura Rohrman
Reporter Girl is the story of Dale Messick, America’s first female syndicated cartoonist, famous for creating Brenda Starr Reporter in 1940. The play weaves together a narrative that spans four decades and includes family history, actual cartoon strip plotlines and characters, and most important of all —fantasy—to create a portrait of an artist as a creator, mother and grandmother. Playwright Laura Rohrman is the maternal granddaughter of the cartoonist.
Return of the 1990s: “PRINCESS BAY vs. THE MOON!”
Written by Danny Bowes & Alexis Sottile
Directed by Adam Swiderski
As the sleepy Eastern seaboard town of Princess Bay prepares for the 25th anniversary celebration of the (faked) Moon landing, a shadowy figure known only as the Sheik is killing disaffected teenagers....OR IS HE? And just because the Moon landing was fake....does that mean we never went there? Find these answers and more in this tale of tough cops, cynical youth, and LOTS of music in which the very fate of the world hangs in the balance.
Savage Radio Plays
Co-created & Directed by Daniel P. Fay and Andrew Livingston
Presented by Daniel Fay Studios
Savage Radio Plays is a radio serial, based on a fictional 1920’s pulp novel. It is a fantastical trip that celebrates two classical American genres; adapted for the stage by employing an array of puppets, voice actors, and Foley art. Join the thrilling adventures of Commander Zip Pulsar, and his intrepid crew of the space ship Comet 3, as they blast off into uncharted reaches of space. Robots, giant space octopi, and beautiful aliens await you, so gather around your wireless, fasten your space helmet, and strap in!
Written by Brian Silliman
Savor Gattagis is a geeky slacker who has completely lost interest in his job. When the mysterious conglomerate assigns him a new caseworker to motivate him, he begins to take a new interest in the meaningless files he works with. Blending the notions of superheroes, science fiction, and chamber dramedy, Savior seeks to discover just how far some people are willing to go in order to get the job done.
Created by Dan and Jon Cottle
Presented by Bardic Tortoise
A rock show that tells a story of a library spaceship, left to drift out on the edge of the known universe, stuffed with the sum of human knowledge: a reasonable “redundant server” for the accumulated mental wealth of humankind in case of some earthly disaster and as a last, half-hearted attempt at first contact with alien life. The piece will explore the role of personhood, gender and sexuality in artificial intelligence technology and its place in a politically conservative future society where humans are seemingly alone in the universe, relatively stable on earth and a great number of people take this as evidence for man's rightful dominion over the universe.
SUPER! A 10-Minute Episodic Rock Musical in a Van
Episode One: “Mrs. Perfect and the Unexpected Visit of Evil!”
Written by Crystal Skillman
Directed by James David Jackson
Presented by Theater in a VAN!
In SUPER! Mrs. Perfect, an ex–super heroine disgraced from her “indie” superhero community, finds herself drawn back into the “Super Game” by her old arch lady villains to fight a new common enemy: her ex and only love, Mr. Perfect. But in this age of superhero inequality, can these lady super heroes and villains get it together to unite and throw down with the “big boys” or are they doomed to remain sidekicks forever? All staged in a van, which at once transforms into everything from an invisible jet to Super Island, SUPER! digs deep into a timely but timeless issue with crazy humor, puppets, and oh yeah, rock songs. NOTE: All performances of SUPER! will take place in a van parked at or near The Brick.
THE BRICK was founded in 2002 by Robert Honeywell and Michael Gardner. Formerly an auto-body shop, a yoga center, and various storage spaces, this brick-walled garage in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was completely refurbished as a state-of-the-art performance space. Since then, The Brick has launched, produced and presented hundreds of world-premiere stage works from New York emerging artists and theater-makers from around the globe. The theater company is a proud member of New York’s burgeoning Indie Theater community and informal home to an ever-expanding family of artists and avid theatergoers. The Brick received a 2009 New York Innovative Theatre Foundation Caffé Cino Fellowship Award for being “an Off-Off Broadway theatre company that consistently produces outstanding work.”