PSITTACUS PRODUCTIONS is a Los Angeles based theater and multimedia company whose founders have a combined 40 years of experience making visually stunning, emotionally arresting performative art. Having brought innovative, post-modern productions of classic works to 49 US States and Europe, Company Members now bring A TALE TOLD BY AN IDIOT both to the Lounge Theater and to your web browser.
This production takes the ancient art of theater and brings it into the 21st century. Simultaneously performed on stage at the Hollywood Fringe Festival and streamed live on the Internet, A TALE TOLD BY AN IDIOT is a global conversation about the power of performance. In combining the ideas of social networking, vlogging, viral video, and internet memes with live theater, PSITTACUS PRODUCTIONS pushes the envelope of artistic expression and reinvigorates the theatrical art form.
The play begins in tableau - a masked figure is seated at a table. A clock is ticking, a cello begins to play. The man becomes agitated, the ticking speeds up, the cello begins to warp. It is a ticking bomb - and we are waiting. Suddenly, an explosion! Techno music kicks in, lights flicker, and the man, impossibly, disintegrates before our eyes.
MACBETH is the story of a man who murders his king and usurps the throne. For Elizabethan audiences, this would have been tragic, but not unfamiliar. Today, we would consider this an act of “terrorism.” A TALE TOLD BY AN IDIOT uses Shakespeare’s MACBETH to explore the notion of Terrorism as Performance, and to imagine the “stage fright” that might visit the terrorist as they plan their action.
As the story unfolds, we watch helplessly as Macbeth is terrorized by floating daggers, women walking up walls, the graphic strangling of a child, and a demonic possession.
Stylistically, the project is a comic book brought to life. Highly skilled physical actors, clad in black, execute deceptively simple stage tricks. The effect is both engrossing and engaging and left one critic saying:
“The fast lighting work made each scene almost cinematic, in that
there were multiple panels of action vying for attention, instead of
one landscape bound by three realistic dimensions…. The effects were
dark, poignant, thought provoking and visually stunning.”
-Jeffrey Day, The State, Columbia, SC
Using fragments of the original text of MACBETH, A TALE TOLD BY AN IDIOT is both a meditation on terrorism and an experiment in the power of theater artists to electrify an empty space. The project uses bodies, music, and light to transport the audience to a world where dream-logic reigns, and one can no longer fully trust one’s own senses.
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Our website: http://www.psittacusproductions.org
Our blog: http://www.psittacusproductions.blogspot.com