The Story So Far / Win Tour 2015

We want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who submitted plays for our upcoming Bacchanalia! 2016 New Play Readings Festival in New Orleans.  We certainly have some difficult decisions to make in the upcoming weeks as we continue reading through the avalanche of material, though that is what we like to call a “good problem.”  Expect the official lineup, as well as news about auditions and show dates, in the next month!

This year has certainly been a curious change of pace for Blunt Objects Theatre.  We have always classified ourselves as a loose collective of theatre artists, though we have been working towards a more concentrated structure in recent years.  In 2015, however, Managing Director Bohrs Hoff made the move from Chicago to New Orleans, while Artistic Director Tom Foran has been roving all over New England collaborating with the likes of Bread and Puppet and countless festivals and other small projects.  The sad truth is, it has been almost a year since our last independently produced project, a simply dubbed Win Tour in the style of Vaudeville.

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In the meantime, we’d like to share some thoughts on the Win Tour for all of you who weren’t able to make it out – as well as thank those who were there and those who helped make it possible.  Recognition and praise is deserved for the Thrill Mill in Pittsburgh for our December 28th show, 6 Boots Collective in Nashville for the 29th, Indywood Cinema in New Orleans for our New Year’s Eve 2014 show, as well as the Popup Polish Kitchen at New Orleans‘ PU K House for New Year’s Day 2015. Special thanks to everyone who made those shows possible, including but not at all limited to Foo Connor, Will Foran, Chloe Cat and Will (so many Wills!), and Beardylocks.

Victor and the Dandles helped us set up a house show in Atlanta on January 2nd, which was fantastic, and a huge thanks to everyone at our final Win Tour show in Norfolk, Virginia including Skye Zentz, as well as Amy and the indomitable six year old Jojo (That kid has a future as either a stand-up comedienne or an all-powerful oligarch! )

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From Santa: A Christmas Deconstruction

The Win Tour itself was a hodgepodge of fantastic theatrical acts including the musical talents of Will Pratt, of Fung Wah Bus, who also made his brave debut as owner of the tour van.  Tom Foran and Alma Sheppard-Matsuo performed in two short puppet pieces, the first of which was our obligatory holiday piece, Santa: A Christmas Deconstruction. In this absurdist tale, a little boy asks a mall Santa about the true meaning of Christmas, but gets more than he bargained for when Krampus eats him.  Illustrating the ancient and complex history of the holiday, A Christmas Deconstruction includes a visit from Black Peter who also questions the racial implications of recent Christmas lore, as well as the Wal-Monster, who puts the entire exercise to an end and reminds everyone to buy stuff.  All of the stuff.  Also, tip your bartender.

Tom and Alma also puppeteered The Meatball’s Leader, based on a darkly humorous Afghan fable.  The short piece is about the nature of politics, where the elected leader of a tray of meatballs placates his followers through their inevitable journey from the oven to the dinner table.

Ali Dineen and Brian Dolphin performed in Orpheus & Eurydice, a longform piece in the style of a cantastoria.  Versions of the cantastoria exist across the world as some of the earliest forms of dramatic storytelling, centering on a bard-type narrator and drifting in and out of small dramatic scenes.  The tragic myth of Orpheus and Euridice has been revisited by some of the greatest artists in every age, and this beautiful ballad was a profound and unique addition to the library.

To those unfamiliar with Vaudeville, perhaps the best explanation is SNL before television was invented, displaying a variety of acts and comedic skits.  Those of you who remember variety shows like Carol Burnett or Dean Martin have an even better idea of what Vaudeville was in the early 20th century.  Basically, in the days before TV or that newfangled internet, people had to exit their homes to find entertainment.  And since changing the channel didn’t exist, the channels had to come to you in the form of Vaudeville troupes who each had their own rotating variety of acts.

We have always been of the mindset that, just as live concerts will never be fully supplanted by recorded music, live theatre still has a place in the modern world.  Vaudeville was an early experiment for us in how to unite artists from various communities and explore the boundaries of live performance, and it’s wonderful to get back in touch with our roots as we tour a variety of venues including punk houses, bars, and even occasional traditional stages.

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Where does this leave us as a company?  Once again, simply a loose collective.  We are excited to jump back into the fray soon, and we would like to thank our myriad supporters for their continued interest and kind inquiries.  The future is unwritten, and we are excited to see what comes as much as you are!   As a loose collective, we have no doors to close.  As we are not a 501(c)3, we have no budget to balance.  The mentality for our productions tends to be: let’s get a bunch of cool people together and make a show happen.  Often that results in some really fucking cool art.  Sometimes it falls on its face.  But we strive to be honest and compelling in the art that we do, and in that way even our failures can be exciting.  Intelligent without pretension, engaging and challenging, that’s what we strive for.  So let’s build on that and make something spectacular happen.  (Even if we suck at social media.  That’s the curse of being a punk theatre troupe, perhaps.  So let’s work on that, too.)

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Which brings us to the glorious year of 2016 C.E.  The Bacchanalia returns with the theme “This is Not the Future I Was Promised” which has resulted in some fantastic and compelling submissions.  It will take us a bit to read through everything and discuss our thoughts on the final lineup, but based on what we have already read we are so excited to share these new plays with you all!  From there, we have a number of other new works in development, several of which involve puppetry and myth and humor and sorrow like we do, and ambitions for Fringe Fest at the end of the year.

Want to join the discussion?  Follow us on Twitter @TheBluntObjects or our Facebook page!  And don’t forget to sort through our entries on the Copyright Free Archive.

More great content is coming soon!

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