A New Play for Exceptional Times
Spooky Action Theater opens 2018-2019 Season with US Premiere about the power of theater
“Não." This is probably one of the most difficult words to pronounce in the Portuguese language. It is also one of the very few Portuguese words that Washington DC audiences will hear in Spooky Action Theater's upcoming production, the US premiere of New Guidelines for Peaceful Times by Brazilian playwright Bosco Brasil. Written in 2001 and made into a movie in 2009, after being performed in several countries around the world, New Guidelines is a high-stakes confrontation between an immigration official with a troubled history and a Polish refugee from a devastated post-WWII Europe, who is seeking a new life in Brazil.
"I wrote New Guidelines inspired by the true experience of a very well-known director who fled to Brazil from Poland after WWII. I was interested in finding out how somebody can leave everything behind and start over,” remembers Bosco Brasil, who is donating his royalties to AVSI-USA, an international NGO that supports refugees and migrants around the world. “But New Guidelines is not just about one man's struggle, it's about the struggle that all refugees and migrants experience nowadays.”
Directed by Roberta Alves (Gimme a Band, Gimme a Banana - A musical about Carmen Miranda), with Assistant Director Vivian Allvin, New Guidelines for Peaceful Times brings to the stage Helen Hayes nominated actors, Michael Kevin Darnall and Carlos Saldaña. Returning to Spooky Action after the recent The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs, Darnall is Clausewitz, a Polish refugee. Clausewitz arrives in Brazil in 1945 after fleeing war-ravaged Europe hoping to start over. At his arrival, he must face Segismundo (Carlos Saldaña), a former secret police officer who is not convinced Clausewitz is really a farmer, as he claims, and hasn’t decided yet if he will let him stay in the country, or not. In a surprising turn of events, Segismundo proposes a deal: if Clausewitz can make him cry with his memories, the refugee will be allowed to stay.
The play caught the attention of one of the most celebrated Brazilian theater critics, the late Barbara Heliodora: “With the confrontation of those who 'always obey' against a 'so-called farmer,' Bosco Brasil writes a must-see play. New Guidelines for Peaceful Times shows how powerful the theater is during war, peace or terrorism.”
The production design team includes artists who have collaborated on many previous SAT productions like David Crandall (sound design) along with new local and international designers like Teca Fichinski (set and costume design) and Kyle Grant (lighting design).
NEW GUIDELINES FOR PEACEFUL TIMES
by Bosco Brasil, translated by Luciana Kez
Directed by Roberta Alves with Assistant Director Vivian Allvin
Featuring Michael Kevin Darnall and Carlos Saldaña
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