Days before a major election, a low-level campaign worker opens a mysterious envelope. What he discovers transforms his perspective on power and politics in America. In this volatile moment, Lyra Theater's relocated production of THE RESISTIBLE RISE OF ARTURO UI asks what happens when democracy becomes a circus and a nation's imagination runs wild.
Written in 1941, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui was Bertolt Brecht's attempt to explain to Americans how tyranny could come to a democratic state. In Jennifer Wise's modernized translation, eight actors play over forty roles, transform a stage into sixteen locations, and take audiences on a theatrical roller coaster that rivals the best that CNN can offer.
Lyra's production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui played twelve performances at the Olmsted Salon at St. George's Church from October 20th through November 5th, 2017.
presented in association
with The Olmsted Salon
St. George's Church, 209 E. 16th St.
by Bertolt Brecht
in a new translation by Jennifer Wise
directed by Noam Shapiro
“New York Theater Artists’ Latest Muse: Donald Trump... The companies see the Arturo Ui character — a mobster and populist demagogue — as strikingly similar to Mr. Trump and call their productions warnings against the prospect of a Trump presidency... The Trump campaign declined to discuss its role as creative inspiration.”
“THEATER IS EASY BEST BET: Lyra Theater has created a wildly entertaining production that does the Brecht classic proud. It is superbly original and immediate, and exactly the right way to tackle the societal issues we all face today. The company has inherited the play’s legacy, showing its relevance and making the piece an important theatrical examination of morality. It is a true testament to what theatre-makers can, and should, do. ”
“I love it when new theatre companies invite sprawling, rarely produced texts into their season. I like it even more when they do it brilliantly... This production is off off-Broadway at its best... Shapiro and Lyra Theater worked within a small budget yet remained true to Brecht’s vision. They allowed the imaginative and the talented cast room to create. They are a group to watch and support.”
“The presidential election has a way of bringing drama to everyday life... Small wonder, then, that Election Day can imbue certain plays with greater urgency. This year, that certainly rings true for Bertolt Brecht’s 1941 parable, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui."
“The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui, [has] resonated with Trump-allergic audiences in recent weeks. With such a framework, Lyra Theater’s Noam Shapiro... did not need to change the 75-year-old play before producing it... at the forefront of satirizing Trump."