Ocean Kingdom Playing This Weekend

Mar 25, 2013 Published under Art

Ocean Kingdom, a modern mash on Pericles, is playing this weekend only at Magic Future Box.

See more on the show from Artistic Director Douglas Eacho after the jump!

I first read Pericles three years ago, and was astounded. It tells the Odyssey-like story of a Mediterranean prince who is hit by a series of shipwrecks and losses – with no desire beyond that of returning to his home. Like no other Shakespeare play, it contains vast philosophical depth, a single-minded devotion to depicting grief and depression, a fiercely modern world, and – most notably – a total lack of stable characters and story. It does not feel like a play. It feels, instead, like life.

That said, it is a Shakespeare play, one that sags and bends and still contains the safety of something written years and years ago. I found the play thrilling because I know my Shakespeare pretty well, but I knew that to many, the play’s unusual aspects might not punch through. After a failed attempt to do Pericles as my senior year project at Brown, the play stayed with me – along with a growing conviction that simply performing it, no matter how well, would not be enough. I wanted more from drama, and the play itself wanted more than what it could provide. Through the eyes of our constantly disjointed world, an old picaresque plot doesn’t seem so odd.

The result of all these thoughts, of a notebook I kept all through my post-college year in DC, of an incredible workshop held here in December — is OCEAN KINGDOM. About a third of it is Pericles. The rest is a collage – a mash-up, to the youngsters out there – of a dozen different plays. Our Prince Pericles isn’t just inflicted with loss and physical harm, he is inflicted with modern culture: from Tennessee Williams to Lorraine Hansberry, he is thrown through a kaleidoscope of other stories and identities. All of this is set in a neon-lit, sex-crazed, music-thumping industrial club. Pericles is thrown from Shakespeare into our world, and the drama of our piece is – how should he react? How should we feel about the culture we have created, from highbrow to low?

I have been blessed by finding some of the best young actors and designers in NYC, through one of the coolest, most supportive residencies in Brooklyn. The show is hilarious, gorgeous, and bonkers. Dennis Kozee, who’s playing our lost Prince, is doing deeply affecting work. Best of all, judging by some of the reactions to folks who’ve come to see our rehearsals, it’s got something for everyone – the theater references keep the theater people happy, and the highly un-theatrical DJ’d atmosphere keeps the feet tapping of those who’d rather be anywhere else than a theater.

-Douglas Eacho, Artistic Director


@ Magic Futurebox
55 33rd Street, Brooklyn, NY

March 21-24 + 27-30, at 8:00
$15 advance, $20 at the door


A note on the venue: Magic Futurebox is a theater occupying a 20,000 sq. ft. warehouse.
A lot of theaters say they have industrial spaces. This is the first one I’ve seen that actually means it.
Point is, it’s down a sketchy side street and surrounded by for-real warehouses.
That said, it’s very very close to the 36th Street express DNR stop – just the second stop from Manhattan.

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