Teh Internet is Serious Business
In 2017, “hacktivism” is a useful portmanteau, an efficient delivery system to explain a brand of ever-growing online vigilantism. In 2004, the phrase wasn’t well-known outside of hacker circles like the online forums of 4chan. Out of that meme-filled chaos grew the group Anonymous, which first gained notoriety for its 2008 digital attack on the Church of Scientology. Two young men wrapped up in hacker groups Anonymous and LulzSec are at the heart of Tim Price’s play, presented by Washington Ensemble Theatre, which ponders the revolution of online global power. If the internet is serious business, who has power and how could—or should—they use it?
Sept. 15–Oct. 2 / 12th Avenue Arts
While touring through Spain during the Spanish Civil War, a vaudeville duo (and married couple) accidentally ends up caught behind enemy lines. It’s the winter of 1938, one year before the left-leaning Spanish Republicans were defeated and General Franco secured the dictatorship that would last until his death in 1975—and suddenly Carmela and Paulino are in Franco territory, and forced to improvise a pro-fascist performance on the fly. Latino Theatre Project presents this play by Spanish playwright José Sanchez Sinisterra, adapted by Nilo Cruz and Catalina Botello, that meanders from backstage to war zone to the afterlife, using the trappings of vaudeville to deliver dark absurdist comedy.
Sept. 21–Oct. 8 / Theatre Off Jackson
As more and more artists create overtly political work, a chance to see some of the OGs of modern political theatre shouldn’t be missed. Belarus Free Theatre was founded in 2005 by human rights activists and theatre makers as a form of resistance to the country’s authoritarian regime, and the company approaches theatre with the fervor of investigative journalism. Burning Doors, created in collaboration with Maria Alyokhina of Pussy Riot, “shines a light on artists declared enemies of the state and expression as treason.” Alyokhina shares her own story of protest and arrest, alongside the stories of other political rebels, in a work of physicality and poetry, fact and fiction.
Sept. 28–Oct. 1 / On the Boards
The recipe for Stephen Karam’s Tony-winning play The Humans goes something like this: Blend the quotidian with the existential, add generous fistfuls of laugh-out-loud comedy and sigh-out-loud melancholy, and frost the whole thing with the supernatural. It’s Thanksgiving, and instead of celebrating at home in Pennsylvania, the titular family has schlepped into New York to have dinner at the run-down Chinatown apartment daughter Brigid has just moved into with her boyfriend. As drinks are had and lives are caught up on, the generational tectonic plates scrape against one another in a perfect, modern way. This Broadway national tour is directed by theatre uber-mensch Joe Mantello.
Nov. 17–Dec. 17 / Seattle Repertory Theatre