Breaking String Theater presents the play, "The Schooling of Bento Bonchev" by Maksym Kurochkin (March 9-31)
Fri, March 23, 2012 • 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM • The Off-Center, 2211 Hidalgo Street, Austin, TX 78702
Breaking String Theater in association with Fusebox Festival and the Center for International Theatre Development presents:
The American Premiere of
The Schooling of Bento Bonchev
by Maksym Kurochkin,
translated by John Freedman at the Off-Center
March 9 - 31 (8pm)
at The Off-Center, 2211 Hidalgo Street, Austin, TX 78702
Maksym Kurochkin’s new comedy about connecting in a world that’s forgotten how to love will leave audiences laughing and reconsidering what sex and romance are all about.
Somewhere in the not-too-distant future, a grad student named Bento runs out of patience at his typical American university. He no longer wants to study that ancient relic of human behavior called love. He no longer believes it even ever existed. It was just a myth someone dreamed up to market useless products. As Bento breaks with his mentor-professor, shuns the attentions of a young student named Sandy and feels his life falling apart, he sees the world engulfed in a furious sexual revolution and falls into happily married life - all as he strives to just connect.
● March 9, 10, 11
○ Opening Weekend coincides with the New Russian Drama Festival, with special guests Maksym Kurochkin (playwright) and John Freedman (translator)
● March 15, 16, 17, 18, 19*
● March 22, 23, 24, 25
● March 29, 30, 31
All Performances Start at 8 PM
● General Admission: $15 - 25, Sliding scale
● *Monday, March 19th: Pay-What-You-Will Industry Night
● Student rush tickets released 10 minutes before curtain for all performances: $10
● Available at breakingstring.com/tickets and 512-784-1465
For the final production in its sophomore season, Breaking String returns to New Russian Drama with the American premiere of Maksym Kurochkin’s 2010 play, The Schooling of Bento Bonchev; a true story based on the life of the famous Bulgarian student. In a crackling translation by translator, playwright and scholar John Freedman, Kurochkin’s work follows the life of Bento Bonchev - a graduate student who’s grown frustrated at his typical American university. He no longer wants to study that ancient relic of human behavior called love. He no longer believes it even ever existed. It was just a myth someone dreamed up to market useless products. As Bento breaks with his mentor-professor, shuns the attentions of a young student named Sandy and feels his life falling apart, he sees the world engulfed in a furious sexual revolution and falls into happily married life - all as he strives to just connect.
Kurochkin’s treatment of love is as much an interrogation as it is a celebration. What is this need we have for one another? The television stars Frank and Emma have performed the rituals of love their whole lives and after all these kisses and coos they can’t stand one another. But in a solemn climax they find a connection deeper than any romantic love they’ve known. Bento sprints through life questioning everything about love and sex, and finds himself dependent on Sandy, in spite of himself. Is this connection, affection and dependency the same as love? If not love, then what is it? Kurochkin refuses to answer this question, but leaves the audience laughing and wondering by play’s end.
Breaking String’s The Schooling of Bento Bonchev features direction by Graham Schmidt,and an ensemble cast including Jesse Bertron, Devyn Ray, Joe Penrod, Garry Peters, Chris Humphrey, Victoria Melcher, Sergio Alvarado, Dawn Youngs, Bradley Wright and Ronis Alvarenga. The production also features scenic design by Ia Enstera, costumes by Pam Fletcher Friday, lighting design by Steven Shirey, prop and scenic assistance by Maggie Bell, sound design by Blake Addyson, and production stage management by Angelica Manez.
This is the second time in as many years that Breaking String has staged the American premiere of a new Russian play. New Russian Drama is the name taken by a group of playwrights who achieved international prominence as the first generation of theater artists to come of age in post-Soviet Russia. Thanks to a years-long translation-development and promotional project by the Center for International Theatre Development (the New Visions / New Voices Initiative), several dozen of these plays generated unbelievable buzz in the American experimental theater community. Breaking String was proud to be among the first theaters to bring these texts to life. Artistic director Graham Schmidt observes, “our relationship with the Center for International Theatre Development’s director, Philip Arnoult, has been particularly rewarding. Through C.I.T.D. we are able not only to premiere these incredible and revealing new plays, but we also offer Austin audiences unique access and context around contemporary Russian theater. We are excited to host Max Kurochkin and John Freedman for what should be an exciting opening weekend, and even more excited to dig into Max’s unique and fresh, comic and lively treatment of such a universal theme as love.”
BREAKING STRING THEATER produces drama important to Russian culture and exposes Austin audiences to developing Russian theater. We seek to connect people across time and culture. Our mission is to create excellent productions of Russian traditional and avant-garde plays, provide artists with a creative, respectful and professional work environment, and pursue collaboration with Russian theater artists through our partnerships with Austin’s Fusebox Festival, the Center for International Theatre Development’s Philip Arnoult, and Moscow-based critic/translator John Freedman.
For more information, contact:
Graham Schmidt, Artistic Director, Breaking String Theater
Cell: 512.784.1465, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web: breakingstring.com, twitter.com/br8kingstring, facebook.com/breakingstring
Or contact the Slavic and Eurasian Department