Rattlestick Theater Focuses on Social Change in New Season

Rattlestick Theater Focuses on Social Change in New Season

Rattlestick Theater Focuses on Social Change in New Season

Rattlestick Theater Focuses on Social Change in New Season

The one-man play, which features the music of Gloria Estefan, Cher and Maria Bethânia, explores the intersection of queerness and Latino identity in the tumultuous relationship between a larger-than-life Brazilian mother and her son. “It’s deeply personal, alive and funny,” Topol said of the show that lays bare the secrets, memories, fears and celebrations of being an immigrant and first-generation American. Rattlestick’s directing fellow, Danilo Gambini, will oversee the world premiere, which will be his first professional production in the United States after having previously worked as an opera and musical theater director in his home country, Brazil.

“It will make anyone and everyone think about their relationship with their mother,” Topol said.

The show will be followed in November by the Atlanta-based playwright Mansa Ra’s “In the Southern Breeze,” an absurdist drama that centers the Black male experience across centuries of American history as it follows five Black men who meet in the afterlife following their murders. Christopher Betts will direct.

Topol, who first got a glimpse of the play when Rattlestick produced a reading of it in 2018, said, “I couldn’t get it out of my head, particularly when everything was happening with George Floyd and the protests. It really speaks to this moment.”

In the season’s final show, and the only one to be presented exclusively online, audience members will be invited to chart their own theatrical experience in the interactive virtual game “Addressless,” which asks viewers to work together in small groups on Zoom to make choices that illustrate the challenges of homelessness. The work, written by the Hungarian artist Martin Boross and adapted by Jonathan Payne, whose day job is working in social services, will be presented virtually in January and February.

“The irony is that every choice you make as the character either costs money or years of your life,” Topol said, noting that they include whether a character will sleep on the street or in a hostel, if they will ask people for money or try to find work. “Hopefully people can move toward greater empathy and change after seeing this piece.”


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