20/20 Reading Series Kicks Off with The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui
By: Iris Wiener
Stages need theatre that provokes conversation, has a voice, and inspires imagination. Woodshed Collective aims to do this and more with the “20/20 Reading Series,” a series of readings taking place in 2017 featuring anti-fascist and political plays speaking to the current political climate. The theatre company, which describes themselves as being driven by the belief in the combined power of stories and architecture to break down the barriers of everyday life, says that the idea for this series “will keep our vision clear about the challenges we face and help find a path to the 2020 election.”
With a total of three planned readings in 2017, the series kicks off with The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, starring two-time Tony Award winner Christian Borle as Arturo Ui, on February 20th at 7:30pm. Directed by Woodshed Collective Artistic Director Teddy Bergman, the play is a satirical allegory of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in Germany prior to World War II. The Brecht classic will be performed at a New York City historic landmark which has been at the forefront of social change and activism, Judson Memorial Church, located at 55 Washington Square South in New York.
In addition to Borle, Bergman has brought a number of his original cast mates from Broadway’s Peter and the Starcatcher on board for the reading. Greg Hildreth, Arnie Burton, David Rossmer and Kevin Del Aguila are also along for the ride. Also joining them for Arturo Ui are Bill Buell (Cyrano de Bergerac), James Saito (Life of Pi), Ethan Dubin (Rancho Viejo), Joe Tippett (Airline Highway), Peter Bartlett (She Loves Me), Elvy Yost (The Catch), Ben Beckley (Dying for It) and Justin Perez (Justin’s Basement Show).
According to Woodshed Collective, all proceeds from the 2017 readings will go to organizations working to ensure a safe, open and just society. Tickets for the 20/20 reading of Arturo Ui are $50, with the first benefit of choice being the Southern Poverty Law Center (www.splcenter.org). Visit www.woodshedcollective.com for more information.
Photography: Barry Gordin