Banana Bag & Bodice, 2007 IT Award nominee for Outstanding Production of a Play for The Fall & Rise of The Rising Fallen
go epic in their newest production: Beowulf - A Thousand Years O Baggage,
a Banana Bag & Bodice SongPlay.
After two and a half years in development, this Bay Area Critics Circle
Award nominated production, which premiered at Ashby Stages in Berkeley
Ca, May/June 2008, makes it's New York premiere March 31st at The
Abrons Arts Center.
Flawed heroes, sympathetic monsters and
haughty professors collide as this hefty poem is rescued from the grasp
of 1,000 years of highbrow analysis and transformed into a defiantly
raucous musical. Presented by San Francisco's infamous Shotgun Players
and New York's infectious Banana Bag & Bodice, this new SongPlay is
an irreverent dissertation on art versus criticism in blood soaked
The production features the work of many of the same BBB company members of The Fall & Rise of The Rising Fallen
(FRTRF): Beowulf - A Thousand Years O Baggage
is written by Jason Craig, co-artistic director Jessica Jelliffe
performs, lighting design by Miranda Hardy, set design by Banana Bag
& Bodice, dramaturgy by Mallory Catlett (director, (FRTRF)
), and is directed by Rod Hipskind (performer, (FRTRF)).
From writer Jason Craig: "Beowulf - A Thousand Years Of Baggage'
started in 2007 when Shotgun Players artistic director Patrick Dooley
commissioned Banana Bag & Bodice company members Dave Malloy and
Jason Craig to create an original music-based theatre piece. From a
place of irreverence and whim, they decided to tackle the oldest poem
recorded in the English language. The result of this idea is a
defiantly raucous SongPlay adaptation of the classic medieval epic Beowulf
Our version of the tale examines not only the events of the poem itself
(heroes, monsters, retaliation, underwater battles, horses, swords) but
also academia and the history of criticism that has sustained and
stifled the poem for years. At the heart of the piece is the question
of how art survives criticism, as the character Beowulf attempts to
reclaim the purity of his tale. Banana Bag & Bodice's trademark
approach to text, mixing quotidian slang with a poetic voice and music,
fits perfectly with the poem's oral tradition and the bards in the
meadhalls of long ago. The production includes a cast of seven actors-
monsters, academics, warriors, kings and dancing ladies- and an eight
piece orchestra including viola, bass clarinet, two trombones,
harmonicas, guitar, piano, accordion, upright bass, percussion and saw.
Our dramatic, imaginative set and light design incorporates 40 box
fans, 5 fish tanks and a wrestling ring."
Still don't know what a SongPlay is? Here's how to find out:
Shotgun Players present Beowulf - A Thousand Years O Baggage
a Banana Bag & Bodice SongPlay
March 31 - April 18, 2009
The Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street @ Pitt, New York City
Tickets: $20 - $25 available on Ovationtix