Friday, February 04, 2011

The Wii Plays at Ars Nova

Matthew Lopez's The Whipping Man just got its third extension at Manhattan Theatre Club's Stage I, but you can also catch his short play Alien Monster Bowling League as part of The Wii Plays at Ars Nova.

As you may have deduced, each of the 12 plays takes its title from a Wii game. The plays were written by the 2010 members of Ars Nova's writer's collective, Play Group. Playwrights are chosen through an open submission process and membership lasts two years. The 2010 collective reads like a who's who of hot up-and-coming playwrights: Chad Beckim, Jenny Connell, Kara Lee Corthron, Kristoffer Diaz, Tasha Gordon-Solmon, Amy Herzog, Samuel D. Hunter, Matthew Lopez, Molly Smith Metzler, Gregory Moss, Janine Nabers, and Joe Tracz. Every year, members select a theme for their final project. The previous themes were The Wikipedia Plays, Playlist, and Missed Connections NYC.

A wide range of games are represented here, from Wii Tennis to Bob The Builder: Festival of Fun, and the way the plays relate to their titles is sometimes more obvious than others. The band Super Mirage provides pre-show entertainment and a soundtrack to the plays. Six actors (Jenni Barber, Andrew Garman, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Christopher Jackson, Zach Shaffer, and Robbie Collier Sublett) make up the casts. The plays run through February 12 and all tickets are $15.

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