(Paul Savas)
photo credit: Michael Draper

written by: Joe Brady
directed by: Raine Bode
set: Arturo
costume: Denise Greber
lighting: Federico Restrepo
stage manager: Stephanie Rafferty
music: Yukio Tsuji
featuring: Charlie M. Berfield, Antonio Cerezo, Mark Dean Gallop, Melissa Glassman, Brian P. Glover*, Tate Henderson, Cornelia Hepner, Uma Incrocci, Tommy Lonardo, Anne Moore*, Nicky Paraiso*, Ramona Pula, Andrew Rothkin & Paul Savas
guitar: Sully Boy
logo: John Malloy
graphic design: Denise Greber
photographer: Michael Draper

*Appear Courtesy of Actors Equity Asccociation

performance schedule:
April 4th - 21st
Thursday - Saturday 10:00pm
Sundays 5:30pm
The Club

You could not have lived through the attacks of September 11 without being changed by them, and without thinking "Who are we?", "Who feels that they have had to bow down to us?" and "Who or what do we bow down to?". This, in a nutshell, is the notion of "Bow Down," a new play by Joe Brady and directed by Raine Bode. The piece is set "on a stage at La MaMa," where a cast of newly-independent young adults are performing a comedy based on the events of the past year.

It's a play-within-a-play, sort of a post 9/11 "Six Characters in Search of an Author," which gives the feeling of being in a tornado as one's life-elements are stripped away by events larger than oneself. A young man bows down to love, another young man bows down to the terrorist attacks, an actor gives a disquisition on hero worship and personal risk, and all grope around for emotional ballast. Pop culture nomenclature and images waft through their minds, the script and the playing space, like harpies. The total effect is meant to be greater than the sum of its parts, embodying the personal swirl of a generation which has heard, loud and clear, the stern command of the forces of history to get real. The effect is not to be beheld in the disconnected plot line of the piece, but in a greater sense: the refraction of life's ephemera in the double-illusion of a stage in the stage.

The play was written on impulse by Joe Brady, based on conversations with director Raine Bode in which they marveled at ideas of what they were and were not willing to bow down to after the events of 9/11. The song, "Bow Down," came first, and a play congealed around it, filled with little realistic moments and scenes and a stream-of-conscious feeling overall. Brady and Bode had been collaborators in a theater group called The Flying Tongues in Baltimore, where Bode had directed Brady's play, "Punch the Clock," which wedded monologues with sketch comedy.

Joe Brady graduated in 1989 from Towson State University with a BS in Theatre. He has worked as Assistant to the Dramaturgy at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and as a free-lance director and actor in Baltimore. In 1992 he founded both Mother Lode Productions, a theatre company dedicated to producing works which focus on social and political themes; and The Flying Tongues, a sketch comedy/improv troupe. Over the next six years both groups flourished. With Mother Lode Productions, he won Best Director and Best Production awards for "The Mysteries" and "What's So Funny" by David Gordon and "Waiting For Lefty" by Clifford Odets. He also won Best Director for "Kafka Dances" by Timothy Daly at Axis Theatre.

During this same period, the Flying Tongues won Best Comedy Group and toured the country performing in Phoenix, Los Angeles and Waterloo, Wisconsin. In 1998, Brady moved back to Chicago to study sketch comedy and improv at Second City, Improv Olympic and the Annoyance Theaters. He was a founder of the long form improv group Blue Highway. He won Best Play for "The Vestibule" as part of Collaboraction's SketchbookOne Festival in Chicago. Brady is currently completing his MFA in Directing at Brooklyn College, where he is staging "He Who Gets Slapped" by Leonid Andreyev. He is currently workshopping his new play, "Prisoners of War," in Brooklyn and is Literary Manager of Jean Cocteau Repertory.

Raine Bode is making her New York directing debut. Prior to this her, New York theatre credits included stage managing for Ellen Stewart's "Seven Against Thebes," both At La MaMa's Annex Theatre in the spring of 2001 and on tour in the summer of 2002 in Austria, Croatia and Yugoslavia. She also stage managed "Three Valises," directed by George Ferencz at La MaMa last season, and was assistant director for Mahmood Karimi-Hakak's "Mathnavi," also at La MaMa last season. Prior to moving to New York, Bode primarily worked with Mongrel Theatre, an independent theatre company, in Baltimore, MD, of which she was co-founder and Artistic Director. With Mongrel, she staged Max Frisch's "The Firebugs," Sam Shepard's "Buried Child," Samuel Beckett's "Not I," and her own play, "Judith," an original work based on the apocryphal book of Judith. As producer of Mongrel, she mounted numerous productions including Karl and Joseph Capek's "Insect Play" and Harold Pinter's "Betrayal."

Elsewhere in the Baltimore/Washington Area, she directed "Leonardo's Last Supper" for More Theatre Company, "The Lover" for New Century Theatre and "Punch the Clock" for The Flying Tongues. She also was a co-creator and participant in Seven Stages, an experimental performance piece which traveled to London and Edinburgh's Fringe festival. Ms. Bode is currently developing an original work called "Smalltimore," which is based on original stories written by a wide variety of Baltimore residents reflecting on the state of small American industrial cities in the age of technology.

(L to R: Anne Moore, TateHenderson, Ramona Pula,
Melissa Glassman, Cornelia Hepner)
photo credit: Antonio Cerezo

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