"Generosity and surprise abound, but director Derek Goldman has tapped deep wells of melancholy and insight too [...] It's the most athletic offering we've seen yet from Forum." - Washington City Paper
"Such an organically superb production [...] It is a story of incandescent joy. It is a work of art." - DC Theatre Scene
“…it's a celebration of passion, attraction, sexuality and excess.” - TBD describing BOB’s very dirty martini
“Forum’s space in Round House Theatre’s Silver Spring annex has been decorated efficiently and economically by gifted set designer Natsu Onoda Power… Goldman’s youthful cast adopts an agreeably gung-ho attitude” – The Washington Post
“5 out of 5 Stars” – Maryland Theatre Guide
"The Art of Imitating Rauschenberg's Art," a behind-the-scenes interview with BOB scenic designer Natsu Onoda Power in The Washington Post
BOB achieved the honor of being Helen Hayes Recommended!
by Chris Klimek
Bob Rauschenberg died three years ago,but he was still was around in 2001 when Charles L. Mee first saw his tribute to the pioneering collagist performed. Though Rauschenberg painted, made prints, and once deliberately erased an entire drawing by Willem de Kooning, his found-object “combines” are probably the works for which he’s best remembered. In the 1950s and early ’60s, he’d walk around on trash pickup day, helping himself to whatever bits of discarded Americana called out to him. These he cobbled together into perceptive, funny totems of American contradiction and abundance. He always denied these pieces carried any hidden meaning, but it’s unlikely he meant them as a critique. Discussing his combines in 2005, he spoke of “the generosity of finding surprises,” which is actually a pretty perfect summation of Forum Theatre’s wide-eyed new production of Mee’s play. Generosity and surprise abound, but director Derek Goldman has tapped deep wells of melancholy and insight, too....
by Team Treanor
You are in the lobby of Round House Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland, in America, waiting to get into Forum’s bobrauschenbergamerica. The problem is that you don’t know whether you’ve actually wandered into the play or not. The walls are festooned with American flag bunting. An attractive young woman in a floral dress enters, carrying a gaggle of balloons. Is she part of the play? Or here is a young girl wearing a helmet and in-line skates (Kallei Isaac). Surely she is! But what about that very tall man with the backpack in the corner? Or the young woman with the surprisingly bright red lipstick? Here’s somebody dressed up as Post critic Peter Marks! Oh, wait, that is Peter Marks. bobrauschenbergamerica is not about art in America – it’s about the art of America. Another way to say this is that it is about you.
Bob Rauschenberg was an artist whose work looked like this:
Robert Rauschenberg, untitled, 1963
He made what he saw. Unlike, say, Rembrandt, he did not try to control what you thought about his art. He put it together – painstakingly, and with great attention to detail – and let you think what you wanted about it. He was an American. He believed in freedom.
Thus Bob’s mom (Annie Houston) gives us a tour of his art...
FORUM THEATRE PRESENTS CHARLES L. MEE’S BOBRAUSCHENBERGAMERICA
“…brashly, unapologetically entertaining.”
—The New York Times
By Charles L. Mee
Directed by Derek Goldman
June 2-June 25, 2011
Press Opening June 4, 2011 at 8:00 PM
at Round House Theatre, Silver Spring
8641 Colesville Road
Rounding out the 2010-2011 Forum Theatre season is Charles L. Mee’s bobrauschenbergamerica, a wild and whimsical road trip through our country.
Tickets are $25 for all performances ($20 for seniors, groups, and Round House subscribers; $15 for students and patrons under 30). To purchase, visit www.forumtheatredc.org or call the Round House box office at 240-644-1100.
Inspired by painter and pop artist Robert Rauschenberg, bobrauschenbergamerica is a vivid collage of love stories, business schemes, backyard barbecues, singing, dancing, and chicken jokes. Director Derek Goldman described bobrauschenbergamerica as “a joyous celebration of life and art with an emotional center.”
Cast includes Forum Artistic Director Michael Dove and Forum Company Member Cliff Williams (dark play, The Skriker at Forum) as well as Joe Brack (Marat/Sade at Forum, The Ramayana at Constellation), Chelsey Christensen (The Solid Gold Cadillac at Studio), Maboud Ebrahimzadeh (Scorched at Forum), Julie Garner (The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at Forum), Annie Houston (Metamorphosis at Synetic, Seascape at American Century), Kailei Isaac, Augie Praley (Courage at Dog & Pony DC), and Aaron Reeder (Passing Strange at Studio 2ndStage, Les Miserables at Signature).
With bobrauschenbergamerica, Dove says, Charles L. Mee “has a wonderful way of using the everyday experience to talk about what it means to be part of this American community; the play has the ability to make you see your world differently.”
Creative team includes scenic designer Natsu Power, costume designer Ivania Stack, lighting designer Paul Frydrychowski, sound designer Veronika Vorel, and choreographer Kelly Mayfield, with dramaturg Laura Esti Miller, production stage manager Stephanie Junkin and rehearsal stage manager Zachary W. Ford.
Director, Derek Goldman, is Artistic Director of the Davis Performing Arts Center and Associate Professor of Theater and Performance Studies at Georgetown University. He has directed Off-Broadway, internationally, and worked regularly as a director and adapter/playwright with leading regional theatres such as Steppenwolf Theatre, Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, and Theatre J. He is also Founding Artistic Director of the StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance in Chicago.
Performances are Thursday-Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM. Additional shows Saturday, June 18 2:00 PM, Monday, June 20 at 7:30 PM, and Saturday, June 25 at 2:00 PM.
Open Forum discussions will follow the performances on June 12, June 16, June 18, and June 23.
There will be two Pay-What-You-Can Previews on Thursday, June 2 & Friday, June 3.
Press night will take place on Saturday, June 4 at 8:00 PM. Please email email@example.com to RSVP.