CIRCLE JERK

A FAKE FRIENDS PRODUCTION

LIVE-STREAMED FROM THEATER MITU

OCTOBER 18-23, 2020.

 

PRODUCTION PHOTOS: 

JJ Darling (instagram: @catdad_art_) 

Conceived and Written by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley 

Directed by Rory Pelsue 

Featuring Catherine María Rodríguez 

Dramaturgy by Ariel Sibert 

Video and Lighting Design: David Bengali

Scenic Design: Steph Cohen

Costume Design: Cole McCarty

Sound Design: Kathy Ruvuna

Stage Manager: Codey Leroy Butler

 

 

Cast:

Michael Breslin, Patrick Foley,

Catherine María Rodríguez 

press HIGHLIGHTS:

Circle Jerk isn’t a substitute for in-person theatre, or a case for humbly making the best of limitations. It’s a gauntlet and a dare to imagine the future.”

— Naveen Kumar, Towleroad

BEST NEW REMOTE PERFORMANCE PARADIGM:

CIRCLE JERK

“…the team invented a form of remote theater that had the energy of in-person theater (scrappy, costumey, full of frantic racing on- and offstage) and the mechanics of old live sitcoms, with cameras in position to capture multiple locations on a soundstage. The U.S. theater hasn’t figured out how to film and stream performances in a way that captures a sense of motion; best case scenario, in most Zoom theater, you might see part of the torso. But Circle Jerk wrangled a dozen programmable cameras and a truly dazzling video design to make a sharp, satiric, fully physical farce saturated in the intoxicating wine of the very online. It’s the first hybrid of its type, and certainly not the last."

— Helen Shaw, “Best Quarantine Culture,” Vulture

BEST THEATER OF 2020

Patrick Foley and Michael Breslin’s megahype online comedy, which converted a stage play into a fusion of Instagram content and live-shot The Honeymooners episode, included one million jokes about dramaturgy, a tart analysis of online activism, and a couple of big axe-blows at gay white supremacy. Somehow, they made the thing in quarantine conditions: Borrowing camera techniques from live sitcoms and the sweaty vibe of theatrical production, Circle Jerk actually belonged in the virtual realm — no longer a film or an adaptation, but rather some digital country’s first native. All farces do not serve all people, and the team’s rat-a-tat dialogue worked best for those who shared a given set of references. But even in moments you felt lost, there was a dazzle, the firework glitter of satirists working in a frenzy. And in that light, you saw a new form being born.

— Helen Shaw, Vulture

 

 

The new play Circle Jerk is a lot...a crazed, ambitious satire of how the media and woke cultures feed on themselves and into flamboyant incoherence ”

— Elizabeth Vincentelli, The New York Times

“A remarkable performance…It embraced all of the limitations of our current situation and all of the conditions of artificiality…while also thinking in a very rich and fairly sophisticated way about cultural positions, particularly in queer communities, especially focused in gay men, relative to other social changes being called for across racial equity and racial justice. I’ll be honest: I’m a big fan of this show.”

— Sarah Bay-Cheng,

On TAP (Theater and Performance Studies Podcast)

“I bet artists will be using it as a model, even after the pandemic.”

— Helen Shaw, Vulture

“An impactful, memorable work that’s likely to be a highlight of this prolonged period of theatres remaining dark. As the credits rolled, I really felt like I’d spent the night at the theatre for the first time since early March, and hungry for more.”

— James Kleinmann,Queer Review

 

 

RORY PELSUE director