July 28 – September 5
The Great Room
138 South Oxford Street
The world premiere of The Iron Heel, an adaptation of Jack London’s 1908 novel, will be presented at South Oxford Space and across the city from July 28 – September 5 on the 100th anniversary of his death. The novel is considered to be the first modern dystopian novel, was an inspiration for Orwell’s 1984, and was praised in a book review by Leon Trotsky. Written as socialist propaganda, it is the story of an election between a socialist revolutionary and an entrenched oligarch. The oligarch prevails, turning America fascist, and inspires the Marxist revolution. Set in Jack London’s future, 1912 – 1934, its themes nonetheless have obvious relevance during this election season, a century later. The play is adapted and directed by Edward Einhorn. Besides the shows at South Oxford, it will also place at La MaMa, Judson Church. Governor’s Island, and Jackie Robinson Park.
The play is frameworked as a 27th Century Historical Reenactment Drama, presented in the socialist utopia London predicted in his prologue and footnotes. As onstage “historian”, Antonia Meredith, welcomes the audience in with food, drink, and participatory music (folk songs from the early 20th Century, some with altered lyrics to reflect the action of the play) Unlike the recent high tech productions of Untitled Theater Company No. 61, this is a deliberately low tech production, a gathering that can travel to multiple venues, public and private. Reflecting socialist philosophy, all performances are either free or pay what you can.
The show stars Craig Anderson, Kevin Argus, Yvonne Dallam, Charles Ouda, Victoria Rulle, and Trav SD, with sound by Chris Chappell and costumes by Ramona Ponce.
Edward Einhorn is the Artistic Director of Untitled Theater Company #61. Recent work includes City of Glass (The New Ohio) Money Lab (HERE, The Brick); The God Projekt (La MaMa); The Pig or Vaclav Havel’s Hunt for a Pig (3LD); The Velvet Oratorio (The Czech Consulate, The Walter Bruno Theater at Lincoln Center); and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (3LD). The New York Times has called his work “exquisitely ingenious”, “dramatically shrewd,” and “almost unbearably funny”; Time Out has called it “challenging, thought-provoking,” “mesmerizing,” and “startlingly intense”; and The Village Voice has called it “hilarious, provocative,” and “inspired absurdist comedy.”
Untitled Theater Company No. 61 (UTC61) is a Theater of Ideas: scientific, political, philosophical, and above all theatrical. Some frequent tools: language, live music, puppetry, video, found text, adaptation, and outstanding performances. UTC61 has been performing independent theater in New York for over 20 years, collaborating with venues such as HERE, The New Ohio, 3LD, La MaMa, The Brick, and other downtown spaces. They have also maintained a durable partnership with the Czech Republic, originally established though their work with former President Vaclav Havel during their 2006 Havel Festival. Recent UTC61 work has been Critic’s Picks in The New York Times, The Village Voice, and Time Out New York.