JANUARY 17, 2013Â BYÂ LORRAINE TREANOR
We admit it â€“ when Artistic Director Hanna Bondarewska sent the Ambassador Theaterâ€™s press release for their upcoming performances at Flashpoint Gallery, our email back could be capsulized as â€œhuh?â€
See for yourselves how the clever Bondarewska had us begging to know more:
â€œHaving spared no effort or cost, we present the official start of the year 2013 and a new era in the history of our theater marked with a golden stain on the sheet of History! Our dear ecstatic audience, you shall see in a moment (be patient) the first in a series of new and stunning performances. Ambassador Theater proudly presents the smallest theater troupe in the world,Â The Little Theatre of the Green Goose!â€
Enter Ray Converse, a member of theÂ Green Goose ensemble, to explain:
Ray Converse: â€œThese plays were written in the late 1940s byÂ Konstanty Ildefons GalczynskiÂ ,Â a much beloved Polish poet and humorist who is virtually unknown in the U.S.Â Â Galczynski wrote these plays after spending all of World War II as a POW in a German camp [mainly at Stalag XI-A].
â€œThe plays are vignettes that point the audience to the absurdities of life. Â Written in the early years after the war, the plays were never performed during his lifetime for two reasons:Â first, he deliberately wrote the plays so they could not be staged, and second, with the onset of Stalinism in Poland, these plays were found incompatible with government-approved Socialist Realism.
â€œThe firstÂ Green Goose performance of any kind was in the Grotesque Puppet Theatre in Cracow in 1955.
â€œThe original intent was to doÂ Green Goose as a staged reading. Â After all the author originally did not intend them to be performed.â€
DCTS: and yet, you are performing them â€¦
Ray: â€œIt quickly became clear that a staged-reading would not do justice to Galczynskiâ€™s work. Â There is too much physicality in these plays for the audience to enjoy them with the artists with scripts in hand. Â As a result, the original premise changed to doing a bare-bones production. Â Even then, it soon it became apparent that the material needed to become more, a bare-bones production on steroids.â€
DCTS: What will the evening be like for the audience?
â€œThe separate plays are strung together with the premise that the actors are part of
a scruffy, semi-inept medieval acting troupe journeying across the country. Â Â (It might be compared to a medieval flash mob.)â€
DCTS: Hmmâ€¦ interesting image.
Ray: â€œEach of the players has a distinct character and name which they bring to the role when they are not in their stage roles. Â At curtain, the players arrive in town during a downpour as a Salvation Army Band led by a pamphlet-selling evangelist, perform their individual plays, pass the hat, and flee the town before the local constabulary can arrest them.
â€œThe humor is slapstick on one level, but also operates on a higher level.â€
DCTS: For those who like to know what the plays are about â€¦
Ray: â€œTwo common threads appear in many of these plays. Â They play with the idea of what happens if some unplanned random event messes up the universal plan? Â Without divulging any secrets, the apple in the Garden of Eden could be too tasty to share?
And, the plays explore the consequences of people feeling too strongly â€“ boredom, loneliness, love. Â Devotees of Starbucks coffee will find themselves as the leading character in one of these and will be laughing about it as they exit the theater, looking for a nearby Starbucks.â€…..to read more