Performance Schedule: June 28 - , 2001
Thursday - Sunday 8:00pm
Sunday Matinee 2:30pm
First Floor Theatre
"Single Action Shotgun," written
by Mike Gorman (The Fabulous Giggin Brothers), is a seven-character comedy set
in rural New England that relishes the local color and quirky characters of the
region. The play, co-directed by Gorman and Rick Gomez, will have its premiere
run June 28 to July 1 in La MaMa's First Floor Theater.
In the play, a beloved local swamp is threatened by a real estate developer from
Poughkeepsie. This inspires new-found harmony a Massachusetts community of fractured
farmers, car mechanics, country matriarchs and a boy who transforms into a beaver.
There is an allegory at work--the community is to be taken as the American family
and the play as a serious statement on what's missing in it. The production includes
live music, dance and a humongous beaver puppet designed by Federico Restrepo.
Gorman says he wrote the play while watching the beavers at a camp on a lake
in Palermo, ME, and reflecting on themes from novelist Carolyn Chute ("The Beans
of Egypt"), who is sort of a feminist John Steinbeck and richly employs
local color from Maine. Gorman's plays are typically set in an imaginary community
inspired by his home town of Vinalhaven, ME, and represent a fusion of American
Folk and postmodernism. They beguile with delightfully engaging dialogue and
madcap passions drawn from local types there. Gorman's New England rurals are
like New Yorkers in the sense that they will argue about everything, and in this
play, they do, taking on such urgent issues as Firestone tires, rototilling the
garden, Indian land rights, evolution in spotted newts and violence in beavers,
to name a few.
Mike Gorman and his brother Will started The Fabulous Giggin Brothers theater
troupe in Vinalhaven and made their La MaMa debut in March, 1994 with an evening
of one act comedies filled with enthusiastic literacy, new math and twisted tacklebox
humor. In one, a pair of men sat at a cafe mathematically estimating how many
grains of sand there are on the beaches of the world. They were joined by a strange
frogman who instructed them on how to attack giant mussels underwater with a
tennis racket. The Village Voice (James Hannaham) described the outpouring of
writing, "From Maine, land of crustacean splendor and dweeby plaid-clad Caucasians,
come The Fabulous Giggin' Brothers" who "lovingly explore the pathology
of freaks obsessed with applying hard science to the mundane."
The next season, they returned to La MaMa with "Chores, or The Big Man in
the Orange Rubber Rain Suit," a series of comic turns for four "regular"
folks--a one-armed mechanic, a fundamentalist cleaning lady, a 35 year-old paper
boy and a paranoid logger--whose path to salvation is through their daily chores.
Gorman's "A Funny Old Bird" (1996) was a sprawling, twelve character
absurdist comedy set in the household of an elderly man which lampooned rural
New England family values. (Gorman characterizes the current play as a sort of
successor piece to "A Funny Old Bird.") Gorman's last play at La MaMa
was "Ultra-Light," a family drama in which a young man lured his older,
heroin-addicted brother into an extended fishing trip to Montana, aiming to help
him shake the monkey off his back through isolation and the principles of trout
fishing. "Ultra-Light" will be featured in the 2001 season of Gloucester
Stage Company in MA, artistic director Israel Horovitz .
Set design is by Mark Tambella; lighting design is by Federico Restrepo. The actors
include Rick Gomez, Joshua Gomez, Kristy Zornes, Rob Lietar, Glenn Brackenridge
and Natasha Price. Composer Joshua Eden (also of Vinalhaven, ME) leads a progressive/folk
band named Ishai's Story, which will perform throughout the piece.