If you believe in a story, does that make it true? British playwright Fin Kennedy’s exhilarating play, BROKEN STONES, presented by InterAct Theatre Company, is based on a true story, but “based on” is relative. BROKEN STONES starts with the world’s first recorded story, The Epic of Gilgamesh, and folds in the investigation of the looting of the Baghdad Museum of Antiquities by the U.S. military in 2003, to examine the hypocrisy of “entertainment news,” how myth becomes fact, and why sometimes stories are all we have.
Kennedy’s stunning play runs October 27 – November 19, 2017 at InterAct and features a dynamic cast including Barrymore Award winners Charlotte Northeast and Joe Guzman, as well as Rand Gurrero, Peter Bisgaier, Daniel Barland, Najla Said, Nazli Sarpkaya and Steven Wright. Opening Night is Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. Performances take place in the Proscenium Theatre at The Drake, located at 302 S. Hicks Street in Center City Philadelphia. Tickets cost between $25-$40 and are available online at interacttheatre.org, at the box office at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 215-568-8079.
“We’ve been hoping to premiere BROKEN STONES for several years, but the scale and scope of the play made it prohibitive to produce until we were able to secure project support from the Independence Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts” says Director and InterAct’s Producing Artistic Director, Seth Rozin. “As it happens, the play’s themes have only become increasingly relevant, particularly in the world of “fake news,” ancient artifacts being stolen by American corporations, and the general oversaturation of story over substance. BROKEN STONES asks us to question the veracity of everything we hear.”
Fact: priceless artifacts were looted from The Baghdad Museum in 2003 during the Iraq War. Fact: A U.S. Marine went in to investigate who was responsible. Everything else is open for interpretation. Marine Reservist Alejandro Ramirez (Rand Guerrero) is on a quest to tell the world what he witnessed while investigating the violent looting of the Baghdad Museum during the Iraq War. But when he meets his new Ghostwriter (Charlotte Northeast), mythologies mix, reality turns to quicksand, and his tale becomes an epic adventure across Iraq, London, New York City, and Hollywood. Kennedy’s world premiere is an intense, cinematic thriller that examines the appropriation of narrative and just what it means to print the legend.
Limited “INTER-HALF” half-price tickets are available after previews, purchased same day and in-person at the box office (credit card fees apply).
InterAct is committed to connecting stories on stage with issues facing our world today, and will celebrate that commitment this season through InterConnections, an audience engagement program presented by PNC Arts Alive. Consistent with the themes of BROKEN STONES, InterAct is partnering with The Penn Museum of Antiquities, in connection with their exhibit Cultures in the Crossfire which speaks to threats leveled toward antiquities in the Middle East. In addition, InterAct is proud to work with Warrior Writers, a national non-profit created to promote a culture that articulates veterans’ experiences, build a collaborative community for artistic expression, and bear witness to war and the full range of military experiences.
Reproductions of ancient artifacts provided by The Penn Museum, as well as artwork created by veterans connected to Warrior Writers, will adorn the Arcadia Foundation Lobby of The Proscenium Theatre through the run of BROKEN STONES.
InterAct will host community-based Social Action Happy Hours on Fridays during the run to support local social causes. Collaborators in the past have include HIAS PA and New Sanctuary Movement. InterAct proudly welcomes Warrior Writers for this on Friday, November 17. Attendees to these events will receive half-price tickets to that evening’s performance (as available) as well as discounts on wine and beer.
During the run, InterAct will also present post-show audience conversations. Coffee Conversations occur on Tuesday and Wednesdaynights, featuring informal discussions with the artists and complimentary coffee from Rival Bros. Coffee and treats from Insomnia Cookies. Speaker Sundays, which follow Sunday matinee performances, are curated conversations led by invited scholars, community leaders, and experts in the themes of the play. Sunday, November 5, InterAct is proud to welcome Professor C. Brian Rose, who works with military officers on protocol surrounding antiquities found in the field, and prominent psychoanalyst Salman Akhtar on November 12.
Other evenings feature Audience Discussions after every other performance during the run (beginning November 3). These will be facilitated by local community members to foster conversation after the show, connecting the themes and events of the play to our larger community.
To engage the community further, InterAct will be offering an open captioned performance on Sunday, November 12 and a Spanish captioned performance on Friday, November 17.