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Abraham Lincoln Goes to the Theatre

Abraham Lincoln Goes to the Theatre
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Larry Tremblay
Translated by: Chantal Bilodeau
Publisher: Talonbooks (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 96
Pub. Date: 2010
ISBN-10: 889226490
ISBN-13: 9780889226494
Cast Size: 3 male

About the Plays:

Abraham Lincoln Goes to the Theatre (English version of Abraham Lincoln va au théâtre) is a full-length comedy by Larry Tremblay, translated by Chantal Bilodeau. John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington D.C. Inside that theatre today, Ranger Powell of the U.S. Parks Service takes crowds of tourists, the curious and the ghoulish through a step-by-step description of the assassination. Underneath the box where Lincoln was shot, he describes the plot of the comedy Lincoln watched that night, Our American Cousin, as being "kind of like the Beverly Hillbillies."

Abraham Lincoln Goes to the Theatre is an absurdist comedy that tells the story of a narcissistic director who channels Lincoln and pushes two thespians through an endlessly looping rehearsal. Scratch the surface of any story and underneath you will find layer upon layer of fiction masquerading as fact. The play's main character, Mark Killman – a feared but much admired director – draws inspiration from Abraham Lincoln's assassination to stage the schizophrenia of America. He hires two actors to play Laurel and Hardy. Both are to re-enact the assassination, while he himself plays the iconic role of Abraham Lincoln as a wax figure. The script is frequently self-referential, building on each of these "retakes" with further allusions to itself, telling the same story many times over in different voices from different points of view. Tremblay quite explicitly stages elements of literary theory with this play, including references to Jean Baudrillards concept of the simulacra and the "desert of the real," concepts first popularized by the movie The Matrix – the idea that in our post-modern world, the imitator has become more relevant than the imitated, and that the virtual worlds we construct are becoming more "real" to us than the real world. Absurd, hilarious and haunting, Abraham Lincoln Goes to the Theatre is an unforgettable mystery that asks the question: How can we ever know who we are and what is true when the world we know is shifting beneath us? Its answer is simple: John Wilkes Booth was the first American star – the actor who kidnapped reality to transform it into theatre.

Abraham Lincoln va au théâtre premiered in 2008 at Théâtre PàP in Montréal. Abraham Lincoln Goes to the Theatre premiered in 2010 at Alberta Theatre Projects in Calgary and was subsequently performed in 2015 at the Verve Theatre in Sudbury, Ontario.

Cast: 3 male

What people say:

"…biting but eloquent social commentary." Calgary Herald

"…as multilayered as its characters." Globe and Mail

"…explores the wellsprings of psychic and social violence." Canadian Encyclopedia

About the Playwright:

Larry Tremblay is a Québec writer, director, actor and specialist in kathakali, classical dance-theater, which he studied on numerous trips to India. He has published over thirty books as a playwright, novelist, poet and essayist. His works have been translated into twenty languages and his plays have been produced in many countries.

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