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Firm rate

By Sherry Mazzocchi

Photos: Mikiodo

A barn piece will be presented on stage.

Pig asks Owl if he knows what it’s like to be used. Owl, a wild animal, has no idea. But once he understands it, his understanding is forever transformed.

The pig, owl, cat, chicken, sheep, cow and dog are all characters from A barn game, the latest offering from Up Theater Company. It’s a dark, offbeat comedy about life, death, how we treat animals, and by extension, how we treat each other.

A play within a play, it takes place in a barn. Owl, the only wild animal, has a grand vision for a theatrical experience. As director, he commands the other animals. But as a crisis unfolds in their lives, the play takes an abrupt turn. Without revealing any surprises, the 70-minute comedy is powerful and asks the question: “In times of crisis, who will rise up and be the Pig, and who will be the Owl?”

Playwright Lizzie Donahue said the play evolved from the idea of ​​animal pageantry on stage. Shortly after, the place and the identity of the animals took shape. “I never gave them human names, I gave them human classifications,” she said.

Rik Walter as Owl.

“I started to think that their personalities corresponded to the basic way we think about specific animals,” she said. “For example, the most sardonic and opinionated character on stage is Pig. I base it on what I know about pigs and how smart they are.

Donahue added that they, along with chickens, are probably the most abused animal. “But they have a very high capacity for what we recognize as emotional and cognitive abilities.”

A barn game was supposed to premiere in the spring of 2020, but unforeseen events quickly brought it to a halt.

Ariel Blake takes on the role of Pig.

The piece has changed only slightly in the years since, with most changes occurring during the rehearsal process. Donahue trusted the suggestions of director, Leslie Kincaid Burby. “I think there’s maybe a time or two where I’ve pushed back,” she said. “But I always give in because she’s right. She works with materials and actors. They work and they know what’s not working or what needs to be added. And it was amazing.

“Not all playwrights are like that,” Burby said. “She’s not too precious about words. If we have a little suggestion, she says, ‘Let’s try it.’ »

The actors, Burby said, are comfortable with their animal alter egos. “The actors are creative and brave and really not afraid to look stupid, not afraid to play animals.” Their movements and costumes are more a suggestion of their assigned animals than a literal representation.

Adam Burby plays the dog.

“Lizzie and I talked about it a lot,” Burby said. They didn’t want the actors crawling on their hands and knees. “They are very ‘animal’ when they arrive, and then they gradually rise and transform into a human being with animal qualities,” she said.

The production is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, as well as funding from UMEZ Arts Engagement. Additional support for UP Theater comes from the Miranda Family Fund and the Medical Center Neighborhood Fund.

The piece evolved from the idea of ​​animal pageantry on stage.

A barn game is recommended for adults and children 10 years and older. “We don’t recommend this for young children because it deals with slaughter issues and the reality of animals raised for meat,” Burby said. “While he does it in a very beautiful way, it’s also quite devastating.”

A barn game opens May 4and at the Collegiate Church of Fort Washington.

For more information, please visit

Obra de granja

By: Sherry Mazzocchi

Photos: Mikiodo

A Barn Play will be featured in the script.

Cerdo le pregunta a Búho si sabe lo que es ser utilizado. Búho, an animal salvaje, no tiene ni idea. Pero una vez que lo consigue, su comprensión is transformed para siempre.

Cerdo, Búho, Gato, Pollo, Oveja, Vaca and Perro are the personages of A barn game, the last propuesta of the Compañía de Teatro Up. Se trata de una comedia obscura y poco convencional que analiza la vida, la muerte, el trato que damos a los animaux y, por extensión, cómo nos tratamos entre nosotros.

Una obra de teatro dentro de una obra de teatro, está ambientada en un granero. Búho, el único animal salvaje, tiene una gran visión de la experiencia theater. As director, da órdenes a los animal demás. Pero a medida que se déarrolla una crises en sus vidas, la obra da un giro abrupte. Sin desvelar las sorpresas, esta comedia de 70 minutos de duración tiene un fuerte impacto y planta la siguiente pregunta: In a moment of crisis, ¿quién se vantará y será el Cerdo, y quién será el Búho?”.

The film’s author, Lizzie Donahue, as soon as the film arose from the idea of ​​a parade of animals in the script. Soon, the location and the identification of the animals tomaron formed. “Nunca the use of human numbers, sino que les di clasificaciones humanas”, dijo.

Rik Walter as Buho.

« Empecé a pensar en su personalidad de acuerdo con la forma básica en que pensamos en determinados animaux », dijo. “For example, el personaje más socarrón y obstinado del escenario es Cerda. Me baso en lo que sé sobre los cerdos y lo inteligentes que son”.

Donahue añadió que, junto con las gallinas, his probably los Animaux más maltratados. “Pero tienen una capacidad realmente grande para lo que reconocemos como sentimientos y capacidades cognitivas”.

A barn game estaba prevista para estrenarse en la primavera de 2020, pero los imprevistos la cerraron rápidamente.

Ariel Blake aboard Cerdo Papel.

The obra sólo cambió ligeramente en los años intermedios, y la mayoría de los cambios surgierone el proceso de ensayo. Donahue confided in the suggestions of the director, Leslie Kincaid Burby. “Creo que hubo una o dos veces en las que me opuse”, dijo. “Pero siempre cedo porque ella tiene razón. Está trabajando con los materials y los actorses. Están trabajando y saben lo que no funciona o lo que hay que añadir. Yeso ha sido incredible”.

“No todos los dramaturgos son así”, dijo Burby. “She is not overly pretentious with palabras. If tenemos una pequeña sugerencia, ella dice: vamos a probarlo”.

Los actors, dijo Burby, sit comfortably with animal alter egos. “Los actores son creativos y valientes y realmente no tienen miedo de parecer tontos, no tienen miedo de hacer de animaux”. Sus movimientos y trajes son más a suggestion of los animals that the han sido asignados that a literal representation.

“Nunca the di numbers humanos, the di clasificaciones humanas”, explained the playwright Lizzie Donahue.
Photo: Jessie Weiner

“Lizzie y yo hablamos mucho de esto,” Burby says. No querían que los actors se arrastraran sobre las manos y las rodillas. “Están muy ‘animados’ cuando entran, y luego levantan gradually y transforman en algo más humano con cualidades animal”, dijo.

The production is financed, in part, with public funds from the Departamento de Asuntos Culturales of the city of Nueva York in collaboration with the Ayuntamiento, as well as with funds from UMEZ Arts Engagement. Other aid for UP Theater procedure from the Fondo de la Familia Miranda and the Fondo del Centro Médico de Vecindario.

A barn game is recommended for both adults and children from 10 years old. “No recommendation for pequeños children deals with the themes related with the sacrifice and the reality of the animals that his criados para to obtain meat”, dijo Burby. “Aunque lo hace de una manera muy bella, también es bastante devastadora”.

A barn game is on May 4 in the Iglesia Colegial Fort Washington.

For more information, visit


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