EL GALLO GRANDE by James E. Burnside
Sunday, April 28 at 6:30 PM
Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd St.
Modern western comic theatre arose from ancient Greek fertility rituals… male fertility rituals. The theatre, and indeed, the world needs to be cleansed of this toxic masculinity. Four women put on a play to perform a cleansing ritual. Part of the ritual involves a “symbolic” penectomy of a misogynist male comic. Things do not go as planned as the women confront their own histories with male genitalia.
About James Burnside
I’m a gamer. I was a gamer before there were gamers. I was raised a naturalist, a scientist, but at seventeen, I knew I wanted to write fiction or play professional chess. In college, I played tournament bridge and studied geology, math, engineering, screenwriting and read books about theatre history and married the love of my life. We had babies. I fixed fighter jets in the Air Force and wrote poetry. Then our son died. There was a long silence. Ten years as a commuter cyclist gave me time to think… and dream. Books on art theory, Dada, Surrealism, Theater of Cruelty, became my companions. I read Aristophanes and I wrote screenplays that got smaller and smaller. The stage seemed the only solution. I joined ScriptWorks and participated in a 10-minute play writing contest, and my play about President Gerald Ford went on stage and the director transformed it into a dance that delighted me.
I am now a ScriptWorks Board member. I love going to staged readings of new work and talking to writers about keepin’ on, keepin’ on.
Because I am a disabled veteran (tinnitus and minor hearing loss from six years under F- 4’s,) in the last couple of years, I joined the Board of TILT Performance Group and the Board of the Austin Veterans Arts Festival. I have had more productions and I am always surprised and thrilled by how smart, friendly, and hard working theatre people are and how difficult the theatre is. I consider myself a DADA/Surrealist playwright heavily influenced by Aristophanes, Brecht, and Artaud. I believe that the advantage of the theatre over the screen is the live audience. I often try to speak directly to the people in the seats and not pretend they aren’t there.