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Theater of the Arcade

August 13 – 27, 2011
45 Bleecker, New York, NY
Part of the New York International Fringe Festival

July 13 – 25, 2010
The Brick Theater, Brooklyn, NY
Part of Game Play: A Celebration of Video Game Performance Art

by Jeff Lewonczyk
Directed by Gyda Arber
Music by Frank Padellaro and Chris Chappell
Costumes Designed by Hope Cartelli and Jeff Lewonczyk
Starring Fred Backus, Hope Cartelli, Stephen Heskett, Josh Mertz, Kent Meister, Robert Pinnock, Shelley Ray, Timothy McCown Reynolds

A violent brute holds an innocent young woman captive and attacks anyone who dares approach. A glutton eats everything in sight while running away from the ghosts that haunt him. A lone survivor forges a peril-ridden path towards a lush refuge he can never reach. Are these the plots of classic video games, or are they searing narratives of modernist drama? A hit of The Brick Theater’s 2010 Game Play festival of video-game theater, this collection of short plays explore what happens when stories born of the arcade are given the high literary respect and dramaturgical rigor they deserve.

2 hours


“What if the characters and stories of classic video games were reimagined and reinterpreted as live theater in front of you? Even as someone who writes about video games for a living, I had not imagined such a thing possible until attending Theater of the Arcade, the most provocative and intriguing of four different shows I recently saw as part of the Game Play festival at the Brick Theater in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.”—New York Times

“Each of the short plays in playwright Jeff Lewonczyk’s ingenious cycle loans the style of a seminal playwright to a beloved coin-op game. . . . These in-jokes are clever but never too pretentious. The six-person ensemble is impeccable.”—Backstage

“This year’s centerpiece is Jeff Lewonczyk’s Theater of the Arcade, which not only creates hilarious backstories for five classic games, but pitch-perfectly matches them—aided by the solid direction of Gyda Arber—with the distinct styles of famous playwrights. Part of the fun—and that’s important to recognize: these shows are a delight—is trying to figure out what game is being parodied… But even on their own, the five one-acts that make up Theater of the Arcade are a blast.” —That Sounds Cool

Theater of the Arcade cycles the entire canon of Great Plays you were fed in highschool through the medium of what you were actually concentrating on at the time… a kind of Capcom vs. Marvel in which the playwright assumes the avatars of five of his famous peers to play the academy against the arcade.” —ComicCritique Blog

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