Nov 12

Vintage Neuroses in a Noir Package: “Unusual Things Have Happened: Tales of Everyday Horror”

Photo via Facebook; the cast at Charlestown Working Theatre.

Presented by imaginary beasts
Produced by special arrangement with the children of Shirley Jackson, and Catalyst Management, LLC. 
By Shirley Jackson
Directed by Mathew Woods
Ensemble: Laura Detwiler, Denise Drago, Lauren Foster, Molly Kimmerling, Amy Meyer, Bob Mussett, Jennifer Taschereau

November 2nd – November 16th, 2019
Charlestown Working Theater
442 Bunker Hill Street, Charlestown, MA  02129
The Beasts on Facebook

Trigger warning: psychological horror, emotional trauma, spooky ghosts

Critique by Kitty Drexel

“Journeys end in lovers meeting; I have spent an all but sleepless night, I have told lies and made a fool of myself, and the very air tastes like wine. I have been frightened half out of my foolish wits, but I have somehow earned this joy; I have been waiting for it for so long.”― Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

(Charlestown, MA) imaginary beasts’ latest production, Unusual Things Have Happened: Tales of Everyday Horror brings the psychological pain of everyday anxiety into sharp focus. The beasts tell six stories adapted from the works of Shirley Jackson in a style that they have named “narrative theatre.” Cast members dictate the action onstage just as a third-person voice narrates the passages of a book.  It looks and sounds like a one or two-person Greek chorus.

The vignettes that make up the production examine the commonplace terrors that women experience on the daily: isolation, powerlessness, and disorder. There is puppetry, mime, and yes, scene narration. The narrators are like impartial babysitters watching their human companions toddle towards danger. They might stop them, but where’s the fun in that?  Continue reading

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Jan 28

Here’s Your Coffee Ma’am: “Paul Bunyan and the Winter of the Blue Snow”

True love with dog. Photo by Alex Sandberg.

Presented by imaginary beasts & Charlestown Working Theater
Written by The Ensemble
Story conceived by Matthew Woods
Directed by Matthew Woods

Jan. 19 – Feb. 10, 2019
Charlestown Working Theater
442 Bunker Hill St
Charlestown, MA
imaginary beasts on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

(Charlestown, MA) Paul Bunyan and the Winter of the Blue Snow is about best friends and the lengths we go to love them. imaginary beasts treats us with another homegrown panto in the English tradition but with an American fringe flourish. Special effects are minimal but the appeal is high. The plot may wander but the panto’s generosity of spirit more than makes up for the meandering. Continue reading

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May 26

Theatre On Fire Presents: THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES

THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES is a genre-defying festival of theatre, movement, music, puppetry and more, united under one theme: take a risk.

Experience one last weekend of chaotic and dangerous, new and re-imagined work where we’ve challenged artists to present work that “scares” them. Featuring one-act and full-length pieces from Imaginary Beasts, Anthem Theatre, Sleeping Weazel, The American Family Happily Institute, Heart & Dagger Productions, Alley Cat Theater, Exiled Theatre, Mass. Theater Experiment, Ingrid Oslund, Fool’s Journey, Travis Amiel & Riley Fox Hillyer, Laura Detwiler, Daniel Morris, and Libby Schap & Caitlin Brzezinski.

Purchase tickets HERE.
Staged readings in the Cabinet Workshop Series are free and open to the public.
When ordering tickets for the readings, use the code FREE.
442 Bunker Hill Street
Charlestown, MA 02129
TOF on Facebook
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Friday, May 26
A trio of performances starting at 8:00pm​
Sleeping Weazel: Nocturne and Nina
Libby Schap and Caitlin Brzezinksi: Flying Lessons
Fool’s Journey: Singing Bones

Pianist and composer Kirsten Volness will play Nocturne, her electroacoustic piece inspired by Madison Cawein’s poem of the same title, and Nina, a three-song cycle tribute to jazz great Nina Simone composed by Judah Adashi.
Flying Lessons is told through shadow puppetry using moving screens and found object puppetry to examine three stories exploring identity and female relationships, inspired by the artwork of Audrey Niffenegger.
Singing Bones is an experimental, devised performance which focuses on direct physical engagement with traditional songs that have personal and/or ancestral significance to the performers.

Saturday, May 27
Mass. Theater Experiment: The Country Wife – 2:00pm
A workshop performance of a modern, sexy adaptation of William Wycherley’s The Country Wife. The smash hit of 1675 London was created in a period of artistic tolerance , but was later considered too immoral to perform. This imaginative, energetic, and spirited ensemble gives the Wife a trim and shapely makeover and adds a few curves of their own; part of the Cabinet Workshop Series.

Daniel Morris: I Am My Own Wife – 5:00pm
The fascinating tale of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a real-life German transvestite who managed to survive both the Nazi onslaught and the repressive East German Communist regime. Actor Gabe Graetz takes on more than 30 characters, staged up close and personal in CWT’s upstairs second stage.

A trio of performances starting at 8:00pm​
Sleeping Weazel: Nocturne and Nina
Libby Schap and Caitlin Brzezinksi: Flying Lessons
Fool’s Journey: Singing Bones

Pianist and composer Kirsten Volness will play Nocturne, her electroacoustic piece inspired by Madison Cawein’s poem of the same title, and Nina, a three-song cycle tribute to jazz great Nina Simone composed by Judah Adashi.
Flying Lessons is told through shadow puppetry using moving screens and found object puppetry to examine three stories exploring identity and female relationships, inspired by the artwork of Audrey Niffenegger.
Singing Bones is an experimental, devised performance which focuses on direct physical engagement with traditional songs that have personal and/or ancestral significance to the performers.

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