It’s in Queens
#InTheLoop | This Dystopian Play Is Hilarious
Things are not going well in the United States. Violence is spreading so fast and so far that even high society ladies in wealthy pockets of suburbia are buying guns.
It’s really funny.
The Astoria Performing Arts Center offers American Arcana three times between Thursday, Oct. 22, and Monday, Oct. 26, at 8 pm all nights.
It’s survival of the fittest with crumbling infrastructure, poison water, lost planes, gunfire, and the worst of the worst: political ads. The characters are an eclectic group that includes a tattoo artist, a pregnant Gospel singer, a floral designer, and a conspiracy theorist. They deal with an unraveling society while the president — represented by a life-sized puppet in military duds – spews empty political double-talk.
The show goes on with a hybrid format. The actors – Joanna Carpenter, Arlene Chico-Lugo, Christine Donnelly, Caitlin Duffy, Ian Campbell Dunn, Tom Green, Natasha Hakata, John C. Hume, Brandon Jones, Brynne McNamimie, Peter Romano, Mahima Saigal — present their segments live and via taped recordings from around the country. (The Oct. 26 show is an encore that will be all recordings.)
Tickets cost $15 through Oct. 20, but the price jumps to $25 from Oct. 21 through Oct. 26.
Texas-based Cyndi Williams, an Acting Company Member at Austin Playhouse, wrote American Arcana. Her other works include Roaring (Austin Playhouse 2013-2014 Mainstage Season), Dug Up (David M. Cohen Award for Best Original Script, Austin Critics’ Table), and Where Are They Now? (Best Drama, Austin Critic’s Table).
APAC Artistic Director Dev Bondarin worked with Theatre East Artistic Director Judson Jones on this play with help from production team members Steven Brenman, Margaret Baughman, Derrick Byars, Matthew Dunivan, Caroline Eng, Rodrigo Muñoz, and Zack Murphy.
Images: APAC (top); Nicolas Harbison (bottom)