Posted by: Tangled Web | March 19, 2010

The Actors’ Gang gets Down and Dirty

Alicia Simmons in Break the Whip Workshop

The Actors’ Gang

gets Down and Dirty in Culver City

Feel like times are tough? Then come to the Actors’ Gang in Downtown Culver City and gain solace from the knowledge that there is always somewhere or sometime when it was much much worse.  Shadenfreude to the rescue!

The Trial of the Catonsville Nine

Whether the topic is 9/11 (The Guys), the Vietnam War (Trial of the Catonsville 9), Orwell’s fascist state (1984-VIDEO PREVIEW), or the birth of our country ( Break the Whip-the Actors’ Gang’s current production), the Gang likes to get down, dirty, and depressing.

Still from 1984

Lets be up front about biases here.  I’m a member of the Gang and I love their work. Whenever a group has a mission to ‘tell stories that raise social awareness’ they are gonna be dealing with some upsetting subject matter.  The Gang always handles their topics of choice with a healthy dose of humor and style, but if Pollyana is your favorite movie and blind kittens make you cry, this might not be the place for you to see a show.

The Actors’ Gang was founded in the ’80s by famous liberal activist and rumored movie star Tim Robbins & his pals @ UCLA.  The group studied Commedia Del’Arte under Georges Bigot in Paris. Back in LA, they made the form their own, renaming their version ‘The Style’.  Plays at The Gang often utilize Commedia, clowning, and heightened realism.

Dot & Ralph drive to Happy Acres in CARNAGE, A COMEDY

The Gang is known to produce hilarious comedies as long as there is a strong dose of satire. “Carnage, A Comedy”, for example, told the story of a corrupt evangelical preacher, Reverend Slocum, who hosts his own TV show, Happy Acres.  One of Slocum’s devoted fundamentalist followers, Dot, makes a pilgrimage to the land of his show to save her alcoholic husband who ends up as a Christian militant fighting terrorism.

Cheerful Clown in KLUB

Hahahhahahhahahahhahahahahhaha.  Hilarious.  Did I mention the preacher’s moniacle underling and his bunny puppet Foo-Foo? For a video preview of CARNAGE, click HERE.

Break the Whip

Break the Whip is having 9 workshop performances over the next three weekends, and I do recommend you check it out.  The play is the first in a cycle of shows that Artistic Dir. Tim Robbins is writing and directing about the history of the US of A.  And after running around onstage for 4 months during part of the creation of the show, first as a native, then indentured servant, then settler, then rock, I can tell you that this is gonna be one hell of a ride.

Cast of Bury The Dead

Click here for tickets: BREAK THE WHIP!! And if you’re reading this in 10 years click here to see what’s playing now!: THE ACTORS GANG WEBSITE!

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