The Des Moines Social Club and Locust Productions announce the 2012-2013 theater season featuring three productions, including 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, The Last Five Years, The Bald Soprano/The Dumb Waiter, and the world premiere of Robert John Ford’s My Dinner With Andrew. One additional production will be announced soon. Tickets will be available for purchase at Midwestix.com. More information surrounding the productions will be available at desmoinessocialclub.org in the coming months.
“We’re excited to bring such a diverse, adventurous lineup to Des Moines,” says Des Moines Social Club artistic director Matthew McIver. “44 Plays, first produced by the Neo-Futurists in Chicago, is being done across the country in this election year, and is a fast-paced riot. We will contribute a video of one of the 44 to a composite that will showcase the productions across the country.
“Two of the greatest pieces of absurdist theater are The Dumb Waiter and The Bald Soprano, which have been provoking audiences since their debuts and still retain a power to shock and surprise. And we could not be happier to collaborate with the incredibly talented Mr. Robert John Ford on his new play, My Dinner With Andrew, a chilling story of how he personally knew the serial killer Andrew Cunanan. It’s an incredible tale, and the writer of Caucus! and UtopIA is reimagining it for our current theater.“
44 Plays for 44 Presidents
by Andy Bayiates, Sean Benjamin, Genevra Gallo-Bayiates, Chloe Johnston, and Karen Weinberg
October 25 – November 4, 2012
A chronological, biographical survey of the lives and presidencies of each of the 44 men who have held the office so far. Their mistakes and successes are celebrated by a company of actors who take turns donning a star-spangled coat that symbolizes the presidency. Beginning with George Washington’s almost Eden-like perfection, the scenes shift frequently between the comic and the tragic, from Ben Franklin giving Thomas Jefferson a Borscht Belt-style roast, to the frank portrayal of William Henry Harrison’s life as an “Indian slayer,” and later the grim onset of the Civil War. Act II starts off the twentieth century with the assassination of William McKinley, moves through a Nixon-praising dance number, a George Bush Sr. mini-musical about dirty campaigning and arrives at a polarized America in both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama plays. Audience members consider their role in shaping the history they’ve just witnessed, as they are left to ponder where the presidency has gone since its fall from paradise…and where it will go next.
The Bald Soprano/The Dumb Waiter
by Eugene Ionesco and Harold Pinter, Two One-Act Plays Presented in Tandem
March 21-31, 2013
In The Bald Soprano, Eugene Ionesco throws together a cast of characters including the quintessential British middle-class family the Smiths, their guests the Martins, their maid Mary, and a fire chief determined to extinguish all fires — including their hearths. It’s an archetypical absurdist tale and Ionesco displays his profound take on the problems inherent in modern communication.
In Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter, one of Off-Broadway’s most successful entries, this mysterious and moody study in suspense concerns two professional killers who wait apprehensively in a grubby, windowless basement room for word of their next macabre assignment.
My Dinner With Andrew
by Robert John Ford
June 6-16, 2013
In 1997, Andrew Cunanan became the subject of one of the largest manhunts in U.S. history when he went on a cross-country killing spree that began in Minneapolis and ended with the broad-daylight slaying of iconic fashion designer Gianni Versace. For a period of ten months prior to the first murders, Iowa playwright Robert John Ford had nearly daily encounters with Cunanan, dubbed the “gay serial killer” by the press, at a San Diego dog park. Ford has long been reluctant to share his very personal story, but finally after 14 years, he has chronicled his private conversations with Cunanan in MY DINNER WITH ANDREW, a play that attempts to exorcise the memories that have weighed heavily on him for more than a decade. An earlier version was a hit at the Minnesota Fringe; Ford is completely re-imagining the story for this production.