Award-winning square product theatre presents the Regional Premiere of Brenda Withers' new comedy The Ding Dongs (or What is the Penalty in Portugal?). The production will mark only the second ever full production of this lauded play.
When sweet-faced Joe and Natalie show up on a suburban doorstep, the tight-lipped homeowner, Redelmo, finds their request strange: the house, they claim, was Joe's childhood home and they've come in hopes of getting a quick peek around. Bewildered by their oddly sunny dispositions, Redelmo tries to keep the visitors at bay, but their clever wordplay preys upon his sense of civility, and they cheerily muscle their way across the threshold. Once inside, the couple makes themselves comfortable and Redelmo finds himself the victim of a surreal home invasion. As Joe and Natalie launch a battle for indigenous rights from the living room, they reveal the circumstances that drove them from their previous home, and we are asked to consider the cycle of violence that fuels our system of private property.
Brenda Withers is a playwright and theatre artist based in New York. With her friend and writing partner Mindy Kaling, Withers co-wrote the popular Matt & Ben, a surreal take on friendship and fame, and performed in its New York and Los Angeles productions. The play was named one of Time Magazine's Top 5 Plays of 2003, Best Production at the New York International Fringe Festival, and was an official selection at the HBO Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. It continues to be produced widely in regional and international theaters. While in residence as a playwriting fellow at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, she completed her play Double Negative, a fantasy biopic of the 19th Century bohemian Felix "Nadar" Tournachon. The piece, which explores the invention of photography and the birth of celebrity, was workshopped at Chashama North and presented as part of Dixon Place's Performance Works-in-Progress. Her short play A Tragic Theological Error was selected as a finalist for the Actors' Theatre of Louisville's Heideman Award. For Carsey Werner, Steve Martin, and Joan Stein she co-wrote and executive produced the pilot episode of Mindy and Brenda, a sitcom about twenty-something Brooklynites. Her most recent play, The Ding Dongs (or What is the Penalty in Portugal?), premiered in 2011 at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, for whom she also translated and adapted She Always Wears Her Hair The Same Way, an imposition on Eugene Ionesco's absurdist classic, The Bald Soprano. In 2012, Withers helped re-install an artist-run operation at an iconic seaside theater on Cape Cod. The Arts Federation of Cape Cod and the Wellfleet Cultural Council awarded the new ensemble, the Harbor Stage Company, two separate grants for the commission of a new play by Withers. She is currently at work on the first draft of the piece, tentatively titled The Billingsgate Project, which will premiere at the Harbor in 2013. As an actor, she has appeared at the Denver Center, the Ohio, PS122, HERE Arts Center, the Ontological, DR2, the McCarter, BCA, Hudson Stage, Arizona Theatre Company, the Texas Shakespeare Festival, and in pieces for Hoi Polloi, Tina Landau and the Folger Shakespeare Theatre.
square product theatre's Mission: The mission of square product theatre is to create and collaborate on original, honest and innovative works of theatre and performance with local and national artists. We strive to continue to create and produce new works, as well as to present innovative productions of existing dramatic texts. We dedicate ourselves fully to the beauty of simplicity and the importance of theatre and performance as a vehicle for communication, relation and change. For more information on square product theatre, visit squareproducttheatre.org.
The Ding Dongs (or What is the Penalty in Portugal?) by Brenda Withers, directed by Rand Harmon, features Emily K. Harrison, Jason Maxwell, and Jack Wefso.
Boulder run dates and times:
Preview: 8 p.m., Thursday, April 11, 2013
Performances: 8 p.m., April 12, 13, 18, 19, 20; 4 p.m., April 20 at The Carsen Theater at the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, Colorado.
Tickets for the Boulder run can be purchased at the door or in advance @ thedairy.org or 303/444.7328.