"AWAKE" IN NEW YORK! WORLD PREMIERE - THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
Joseph Culp, an actor and producer of The Reflecting Pool has a new play openning in New York City tomorrow and running for three weeks. According to Joseph, the play exposes shadow government and NWO in a provocative way. The following is more from Joseph and from the AWAKE web site.
Tell your NY friends to come see this provocative tale of "Love, Politics, and Economic Hit Men in a World of Endless War"!
AWAKE IN A WORLD THAT ENCOURAGES SLEEP
Written & Directed by RAY BARRY
As the characters occasionally glance outward as if toward loud noises, we imagine there is a war going on within their hearing distance, as if they hear our nation's dropping bombs in far away countries. L-R: Tacey Adams, Joseph Culp, Raymond J. Barry. Photo by Stephan Burr.
Raymond J. Barry, a veteran actor, playwright and founding member of New York’s legendary Open Theater and The Living Theater, will perform in and direct the world premiere of his three-character play, "Awake in a World that Encourages Sleep," a provocative tale of love, politics and economic hitmen in a world of endless war. Theater for the New City (TNC), 155 First Avenue, will present the work March 31 to April 24 in its Johnson Theater.
Barry has been acting and writing in Los Angeles since 1985. TNC has been his New York theatrical home, presenting his plays "Back When-Back Then" in 1997 and "Foul Shots" in 2004. "Awake in a World that Encourages Sleep" is a statement of the dark political shadows that hang over us. It takes characters who could have stepped out of "Confessions Of An Economic Hitman" by John Perkins and places them in the throes of a love triangle in which two men compete for a woman in the veiled language and secretive reality of the corrupt world of predatory lending to developing countries.
Paul (Joseph Culp) confronts his wife, Erica (Tacey Adams), as she reads Tolstoy. Photo by Lauren Culp.
The play starts out as a conflict between Paul and Erica, whose son has been killed in an unnamed war. Paul had dodged the draft during Vietnam by claiming to be homosexual, but has apparently bragged to their son that he was a war hero. He is the boss of a consulting company, called the "Group," that convinces the leaderships of underdeveloped countries to accept predatory development loans. He is a figure of both power and impotence. His wife, Erica, is aware of his secret and enraged that he would persuade their son to go to war. While they argue over their son's death, Paul leaves the stage.
Enter Edward, who works for Paul but is now quitting his highly sensitive position. The two men have been engaged in stealth operations together and there is enormous tension between them. Erica is strongly drawn to Edward. As the two men contend for her favor, the play conveys the eerie feeling that things are way out of our control. Political issues and fear of the authorities are raised amid attraction, loneliness and neediness in all three characters.
The play evokes the doubt and suspicion that was born in the Iran Contra affair and continues to the present, with its fracturing of trust and its feeling of overwhelming helplessness as our nation projects its power worldwide. A small coterie runs covert operations but the assumption is that they represent all of us. Edward is aware of this; Paul is not and Erica is becoming aware through Edward's influence.
Tacey Adams and Raymond J. Barry. Photo by Lauren Culp.
War is raging within hearing distance while our characters perch on park benches, reading Tolstoy between spurts of intense, often humorous conversation. The play is stylized, orchestrated with overlapping dialogue, making use of Viola Spolin's techniques, which the Open Theater incorporated into its theater. Non-sequitur logic establishes unpredictability in the action. Mr. Barry's writing is distinctly Albee-esque in flavor, which he claims is a curious by-product of his work.
The play will have its world premiere in a full production in TNC's large Johnson Theater. The actors will be Tacey Adams, Raymond J. Barry and Joseph Culp. Set and lighting design is by Markus Maurette.
The play's inspiration, "Confessions Of An Economic Hitman," is a 2004 book written by John Perkins, in which he describes working for a group called "Maine" that coordinates hand in hand with the CIA, lending huge sums of money to undeveloped countries to build infrastructure in return for favors. The book also describes the dark world of assassinations and political manipulation by the CIA. Barry had been reading the book when a friend, John Goodman, suggested that he try to write a play about an issue that he cared about. The issue became "the darkness, the shadow hanging over us since the Iran Contra Affair and continuing into the present Middle Eastern wars."
Raymond J. Barry's career has spanned fifty years, dating back to 1963 with Judith and Julian Beck's Living Theater's production of "The Brig," followed by an eight year stint with Joseph Chaikin's famed Open Theater that toured yearly from New York City to Algeria, Israel, Iran, Paris, Berlin, London and Copenhagen. In the early seventies he founded and directed Quena Company, featuring Jean Reynolds and David DePorte as lead performers, and, at the same time, conducted workshops in Sing-Sing Penitentiary, Attica, and Grasslands County Jail. This work led to a company of ex-offenders known for funding purposes as "Street Theatre."
Raymond J. Barry (Edward) has performed in some sixty productions in New York City, including the original production of Sam Shepard's "Curse of the Starving Class" at Joseph Papp's Public Theater. He has also appeared in seventy films over a five decade period, including the role of Tom Cruise's father in "Born On the Fourth Of July" and the role of the bereaved father in Tim Robbin's "Dead Man Walking." He has played leading roles in "Interview With the Assassin" and "Charlie Valentine,""Walk Hard," "Falling Down," "The Ref," "Year Of The Dragon," "K2," "Flubber" and dozens more. For the past two years he has played Tim Olaphant's father, Arlo, in FX's TV series, "Justified." In 2010 Mr. Barry was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Gasparrila Film Festival; the Stanley Kramer Legend Award For Excellence in Film by the Pasadena "Action On Film" Festival; Best lead Performance at Philadelphia's First Glance Film Festival; and New York Film Festival's Best Lead Performance for his work in "Interview With The Assassin," in which he played the alleged second gunman who shot President Kennedy. He was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his work in the film, "Steel City," and has been awarded a Los Angeles Drama Critics Award, three Dramalogue Awards and a Maddie Award for his play, "Once In Doubt" (1990) that originated at La MaMa in 1988. His anthology of eight plays, "Mother's Son and Other Plays," can be ordered from Amazon.com. Prior to his self-imposed "exile" to L.A., Barry's TNC resume included directing and co-writing "Blue Heaven" and "Technocracy." He appeared in "Nine to Five," a collaborative piece, and "Molly's Dream" by Maria Irene Fornes. Since 1998, he has returned periodically to TNC. He acted in his play, "Back When Back Then," a play on domestic violence, in 1988 and in 2004, appeared with Joseph Culp in his play, "Foul Shots," in which a British-educated son teaches his illiterate American father how to read. Barry writes, "I am grateful to the Theatre For The New City for their constant openness to innovative work, constant availability to artists in the community and their profound understanding of what is necessary for a creative community to survive."
Joseph Culp (Paul) has been working in theatre, film and television since 1981. His numerous acting credits include leading roles in Alan J. Pakula’s Dream Lover, The Arrival, The Fantastic Four (as Doctor Doom), Monte Hellman’s Iguana, Maria Novaro’s El Jardin del Eden, Hallmark’s Wild Hearts and the comedy sci-fi Cyxork VII. He was featured in HBO’s Full Eclipse and Mario Van Peebles’ Panther and Badasssss. Television credits include ER, Deep Space Nine, House and as “Archie Whitman” in the current hit series Mad Men. Joseph won international critical acclaim for his performance as the starving writer in the film Hunger, an adaptation of Nobel winner Knut Hamsun’s classic novel, which he also produced and which featured his late father, actor Robert Culp. Joseph produced and co-starred in the award-winning indie feature The Reflecting Pool, the first investigative drama about the 9/11 attacks. Theatre credits include Children of Darkness at The Actor’s Studio; A Step Out of Line at HB Playwrights, and the NY premiere of Raymond J. Barry’s Foul Shots at Theater for the New City (opposite Mr. Barry); He produced, directed and performed A Wilder Evening - Six Short Works by Thornton Wilder; Los Angeles Dramalogue award for lead performance in Jason Miller's Nobody Hears a Broken Drum. Joseph is the founder of the L.A.-based Walking Theatre Group (since 1992), integrating theatre, film and transpersonal work for actors, writers, and directors. With the Group he has directed and performed his own adaptations of Franz Kafka’s,The Judgment and In the Penal Colony, and recent productions Reclamation ( I, II & III) and Winter Walks. Joseph runs the Walking Theatre Workshop at the Electric Lodge in Venice, CA where performers develop original work for theater and film.
Tacey Adams (Erica) has performed regionally at the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Capital Repertory in NY, the Whole Theatre Company in NJ, and the Laguna Playhouse in CA among others. She appears regularly in productions of "Shear Madness" around the country. On television she has been seen most recently on "House," "Criminal Minds," "Eastwick," "Mental," "Side Order of Life," "Scrubs" and "Las Vegas." Films include "Starkweather," "Maid of Honor" (Sundance Film Festival), "Better Housekeeping" (Cannes Film Festival) and most recently the voice of Aunt Em in the upcoming animated feature "Dorothy of Oz" starring Lea Michele.
Thursday - Sunday, March 31 - April 24
Thursday - Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 3pm
All Seats $10/TDF Vouchers Accepted