The Bald Soprano was the first play written in 1950 by Romanian-French playwright Eugene Ionesco and along with Rhinocerus it became a signature contribution to the movement “Theatre of The Absurd”.
This piece was first performed at the Theatre des Noctambules, on May 11, 1950 in Paris, France. Since then it had become one of the most frequently performed and re-imagined plays in the country.
About The Playwright
Ionesco was born in Slatina, Romania but spent the majority of his childhood in France. He returned to Romania in 1925 to study French Literature at the University of Bucharest. In 1936 he would marry and have his only daughter before returning to France in 1938. In 1970 he became a member of the Academie Francaise. Throughout his life he received multiple awards of recognition and excellence for his work in literature and theatre including merits from France, Italy, Monaco, Austria, Germany, Israel, The United States, and the UK. He would pass away in 1994 at the age of 84.
As a writer, Ionesco began his career writing primarily criticism and poetry and even unorthodox children’s literature for his daughter. And like Samuel Beckett he would begin his theatrical career late as he would not write The Bald Soprano until he was 39. It is said Ionesco was inspired to write the play while learning English using the Assimil method. To Ionesco the sentences he would learn and have to memorize and their content left him stupefied as he was left to ponder that such things as there being 7 days of the week, that the ceiling was up, and the floor was down were in essence indisputably true.
About The Piece
The Bald Soprano welcomes us into the home of the Smiths, a well-to-do couple spending a seemingly delightful English evening like any other. Mrs. Smith is inclined to begin speaking about a myriad of topics as she tries to engage her husband in conversation while all he can do is be engrossed in the newspaper. They are interrupted by their eccentric maid named Mary. Mary alerts the Smiths that they have had guests waiting at the door for them for 4 hours!
On the other side there is the Martins, a loving and agreeable couple who at times cannot remember who they themselves are. Once the two couples sit together at last they come to the the jolting realization that they have nothing to say to each other, but silence is torturous so they try desperately to engage. Momentarily they are rescued by the curious Fire Chief who though on active duty, entertains and confuses with his experimental fables.
Once all the stories and conundrums and topics have run out and all others have left, the Martins and Smiths find themselves once again desperate for communication an understanding and an ever-growing difficulty in maintaining civility.
Being a signature of the Absurdist movement The Bald Soprano critiques concepts of social hierarchy, the fear of the unknown, the triviality of “small-talk”, human relationships, the significance of human existence, and the routine of everyday life.
About The Production
This production aim to explore thoughts such as “When we converse do we say anything meaningful?, “To what degree is the mundane so integrated into our lives and how horrid is that?”, and “What can possibly happen when language fails and meaning goes out along with it?, Can we hold on to our humanity?”
This production features 6 talented and imaginative performers, image and video projections, audience interaction, non-sequiturs, experiments in movement and composition, and mask work.
About Your Contribution
Your generous donation to our Kickstater will help fund the company and specifically this production. As you can imagine, production is never free so we are looking and grateful for your help in realizing something new and exciting. Funds collected from our Kickstarter will help cover the costs of Theatre Rental fees, Rehearsal space rental fees, and Design and Production capabilities to bring you a better show! Finally, funds will also go towards aiding in future productions for Overcast in 2013, because we want to continue putting on Theatre/Performance/and Art for YOU! Know that any at all donation helps and is much appreciated.
Finally About Us!
The Overcast Theatre is a new theatre/art/production company founded this year by Alejandro Torres. It’s goal is not only to bring awesome theatre and art to the city of San Francisco but also to be a venue for new or upcoming artists to gain practical experiences whether they are actors, dancer, directors, choreographers, designers, stage managers, filmmakers, performance artists, playwrights, you name it. The company plans to mount three main productions next year and include open proposals for staged readings, dance jams, workshops, and nearly anything relating to smaller projects and developing work that need an outlet and an audience. Unlike the typical theatre company there is no one type of show or theatre or medium this company plans to specialize in or cater to. Overcast aims to cover as much as the spectrum as possible to demonstrate the capability and scope of theatre and art.
"The Bald Soprano" by Eugene Ionesco runs at The Dark Room Theatre in San Francisco, CA
Thu, Dec 13 at 8PM
Fri & Sat, Dec 14-15 at 10PM
and Thu-Sat Dec 20, 21, & 22 at 8PM
Risks and challenges
As Stated before, putting on theatre is never free or easy. It takes passion, dedication, and diligence on all parties involved. Imagine us, a theatre company in its infancy, embarking on its first journey, the risks and challenges are plentiful.
Will we be able to gather all our resources we need? Will we realize our vision? Will we objectively speaking put on a solid first show? Will our art be presented to enough people and connected to that, will we get an audience?
With so many theatre companies competing for an audience in a major city, it never is easy. And with so many tasks and steps that come with mounting a full production, the work is never done.
If funded some of the challenges and even the risks will be relieved to a certain degree. We can have more to play with in realizing our vision, we can have more time to rehearse in comfortable spaces that allow our performers to play and explore, we can get out name out and let people know about us with a little more funding given to publicity.
We may be younger artists but we have the drive and the skills and the desire to put on something wonderful for our always loved audience. Our actors are bold and fun, our designers are ambitious and creative, and our directors are passionate and have plenty of ideas. Plus we are putting on a ridiculously fun show, who doesn't want to see that?Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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