And now for something completely different! The next offering on the Kitchen Theatre's 22nd Main Stage season is a world premiere by award winning playwright, actor and HBO Def Poet Brian Dykstra*. A solo performance that combines standup comedy with storytelling, rabble rousing and down-home preaching, Brian Dykstra Selling Out runs November 28th to December 16th at the Kitchen Theatre in downtown Ithaca. Previews are November 28, 29, and 30, Opening Night is December 1st, and performances continue through December 16, 2012.
From the power of money to the pursuit of happiness, Dykstra questions everything. Part lecture, part rant, Brian Dykstra Selling Out is a call to action and a highly charged, wildly comic theatrical event by a master of many mediums. Kitchen Theatre Artistic Director Rachel Lampert describes him this way: "Brian is part dancer, part boxer. I say that because sometimes he tiptoes around an idea for a while, giving us a multifaceted exploration of the concept, and then comes pounding down on the point he is making. His energy on stage is extraordinary."
Kitchen Theatre audiences are familiar with Brian Dykstra's work as a playwright and actor. He appeared last season as Gus in Rob Ackerman's Call Me Waldo and was seen in Kitchen Theatre productions of Private Lives and A Marriage Minuet as well as his plays Clean Alternatives, A Play on Words, Strangerhorse, The Jesus Factor, and HO!. In addition to regional theater work across the country, he has numerous film and television credits, including "Def Poetry" "Third Watch", "Law & Order" "Chappelle's Show", "(718)", Corn, Spectropia, Another Bed, Freedomland and Knight & Day. The Village Voice says, "Brian Dykstra is working hard to turn ranting into a new genre, and if he succeeds, comedy might not be safe. He can make you think as hard as you laugh."
Directing the play is Dykstra's long-time collaborator and Kitchen Theatre favorite, Margarett Perry** (at the Kitchen: Brian Dykstra's Clean Alernatives, A Play on Words, The Two of You, Strangerhorse, The Jesus Factor and HO! as well as Mrs. Mannerly, Call Me Waldo, Private Lives, A Marriage Minuet, and more). Scenic and Lighting designer David Arsenault has designed an extraordinary set inspired by Jasper Johns' "Flag," and Sound Designer Don Tindall provides a soundscape to match the range and intensity of Brian's script. The Costume Designer is Lisa Boquist and the Stage Manager is Jennifer Schilansky*. Performances take place in the Kitchen Theatre, located at 417 W. State / Martin Luther King, Jr. Street in Ithaca's West End neighborhood, just three blocks from The Commons.
In conjunction with the premiere of Brian Dykstra Selling Out, the Kitchen Theatre Company will present a number of additional events: free pre-show discussions with local experts, talk backs with the cast and director, and a special Around the Kitchen Table session devoted to Brian and Margarett. Thursday night pre-show talks begin at 6:30 and feature Vice Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature Nathan Shinagawa on December 6th and Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature Martha Robertson on December 13th. Talk backs are scheduled for November 28-30th, December 7th, and December 14th, and Around the Kitchen Table is on Tuesday, November 20th at 7:30 PM. For more information on these events, visit our website at www.kitchentheatre.org.