Play it 33 times fast:Fast-paced plays help send Cry of the Mountain to Edinburgh
BY ANDREW CEDERMARK
It was a big night. Bobo the Mime walked his invisible dog Pinky for the last time. Two dudes shared an emotional breakthrough while watching a football game on TV. A young widow paid an unpleasant visit to her former mother-in-law’s. A date between two puppies went south after it emerged one was not pure Beagle, as was earlier suggested.
Ray Nedzel directed a show called CrazyBusy—consisting of 33 plays in 55 minutes—last week, a fundraiser to bring Cry of the Mountain, Adelind Horan’s (pictured) one-woman show about mountaintop removal, to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe next month.
These were some of the shorts performed at CrazyBusy, a manic theater event hosted last weekend by Whole Theatre at Live Arts. In it, a team of 12 actors performed 33 original two-minute pieces over the course of less than an hour. The performances were a fundraiser for a batch of locals hoping to cover the considerable cost of staging Cry of the Mountain, Adelind Horan’s one-woman documentary play about mountaintop removal, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, next month in Scotland.
As director (and Cry of the Mountain producer) Ray Nedzel explained while introducing CrazyBusy, playwrights generally spend a lot of time writing, and then even more time fielding rejection letters. But in the spirit of the unjuried Edinburgh Fringe—which claims to be the largest arts fest in the world—Nedzel’s call for scripts was, “I don’t care what you write. We’ll do it.”
As must be the case in Edinburgh, you wouldn’t expect to see a string of 33 plays and have them all to be great. But because of its relentless pace, with one scene blending into the next, CrazyBusy remained exciting. For “Show Tunes Urinal,” written by the ensemble, local stage regular Nick Heiderstadt simply walked up to a urinal, unzipped and started singing “Jesus Christ Superstar.” It became an awkward moment as Napoleon Tavale ripped into an intense dramatic short called “Pelican,” by the local playwright Robert Wray.
Cry of the Mountain — with special guest performances: CrazyBusy* and Pregnant Again!**
Live Arts, Upstage
Dates and Times:
June 23, 24, 25 at 8pm; June 26 at 2:15pm
See it early; see it often: Tickets from $5 to $50 dollars.
A Fundraising Event to send Cry of the Mountain to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Thursday, 23rd, 8PM, Cry of the Mountain and CrazyBusy: $5
Friday, 24th, 8PM, Cry of the Mountain and CrazyBusy (opening night party): $10
Saturday, 25th, 8PM, Cry of the Mountain and CrazyBusy $15 (and **Pregnant Again! The R. Kelly Monologues. And Party)
Sunday, 26th, 2:15PM, CRY OF THE MOUNTAIN, solo, at its Edinburgh Fringe Festival time slot. A special fundraising show, MTR presentation, discussions with the Artist, and experts on Mountaintop Removal. Tickets: $25 and $50
* CRAZY/BUSY: 33 plays in 55 minutes. Written by local writers and performed by local actors.
** Pregnant Again!: The R. Kelly Monologues are R. Kelly lyrics delivered verbatim as performance art monologues — directed by Mendy St. Ours. Explicit Lyrics Warning. Explicit Laughter Warning.
Cry of the Mountain is present with generous support from Live Arts.
Live Arts, Forging Theatre and Community.