Table 8 Productions makes its Hollywood Fringe Festival debut June 5th with a twisted premiere of Titus Andronicus, Jr., written and directed by Troy Heard, at Sacred Fools’ Second Stage.
The premise: Benjamin, a recently divorced art teacher at upscale Dawson Middle School, is assigned the most unenviable task of directing the spring play. When he opts to mount Shakespeare’s bloodiest tragedy he gets caught in a darkly comic spiral as the students supplant the teacher and he learns the toughest lesson of them all.
Titus Andronicus Jr. originated two years ago when Heard staged A Very Merry Unauthorized Scientology Pageant with a cast of young children. “After Pageant, I had people coming up to me saying I should do Shakespeare with children, which didn’t really interest me. But I thought if only there were a gimmick…and that’s where the idea of doing Titus popped up. I took inspiration from the pageant scenes in The Addams Family movies.”
But that still wasn’t enough for Heard. “The framing concept of the teacher/director suffering a nervous breakdown developed about a year later,” he says. “Who else would be insane enough to attempt to stage this show with a bunch of middle schoolers than a teacher at the end of his rope. So ‘Mr. Benjamin’ quickly became a major character and in some ways his descent into madness mirrors General Titus’s tragic decline.”
A public reading of the script took place at UNLV’s Organic and Homegrown Playwrights Festival in March and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Audiences expecting a quirky evening of children performing Shakespeare were instead given a darkly comic journey.
Sounds perfect for the Fringe…
TITUS ANDRONICUS, JR.
June 5 – 18, 2016 (8pm)
Sacred Fools Theater Second Stage
6320 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Running Time: 60 minutes
Ticket: $12 at hff16.org/3410 or at the door