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Curio Theatre Company Concludes Mainstage Season with Joseph Heller’s Stage Adaptation of Catch-22

Curio Theatre Company concludes its 13th Season with a highly anticipated production of Joseph Heller’s adaptation of his famous novel Catch-22.  Curio previously produced this play more than 10 years ago. This production, directed by noted local director Claire Moyer, set in the heart of World War II, tells a classic tale of the absurdity of war.  The show runs April 25-May 19. Opening Night is Friday, April 27 at 8 p.m.  Most performances are ThursdaySaturday at 8 p.m. Industry Night is Monday, May 7 at 8 p.m.  All performances are held at Curio’s home in the Calvary Center for Culture and Community at 4740 Baltimore Ave. Tickets cost $15-$30 and are available online www.curioutheatre.orgor by phone at 215-921-8243.

In Catch-22 disillusioned bombardier, Yossarian, has only one goal–to live forever. He tries everything to get out of flying dangerous missions, but unfortunately, there’s always a catch: every time Yossarian comes close to getting away from the war the brass raise his mission quota, leaving him endlessly embroiled in military bureaucracy. Featuring a bizarre cast of characters, Joseph Heller’s stage adaptation of his classic satirical novel asks what it means to be sane while surrounded by madness.

Curio Company member Chase Byrd is cast as Yossarian. The rest of the ensemble includes: Curio Company members Aetna Gallagher and Doug Greene, and Sarah Knittel, Aston Carter and Merri Rashoyan. Curio Artistic Director Paul Kuhn designed the set. Liz Atkinson is the Sound Designer. Amanda Jenson is the Lighting Designer. Victoria Bonito is the Costume Designer. Matthew Catledge is the Assistant Director. Kathleen Soltan is the Stage Manager. Keyonna Butler is the Assistant Stage Manager.

Said Kuhn, “Our audience is too forward thinking and was already looking into the future and seeing beyond the oppression of the current administration.  I thought, rather, could we look back and find a piece that reflected a situation that seemed overwhelming and yet the author was able to see beyond and get some perspective?  And then I had an ah-hah moment.  Catch-22.  Here was an extremely brave work that could have simply reflected the successes of defeating the most horrendous evils in modern history but rather chose to look at its own absurdity and hypocrisy with deft humor.  We produced this play over ten years ago before we had fully secured an audience base.  Now, with a steady audience of young intellects, I hope this play will be a departure and yet give us some perspective on our current situation.”

Moyer is making her Curio debut. She adds, “Based on Joseph Heller’s own experiences during the war, the production maintains the madcap feel of the original book with a whirlwind of characters, each trying to survive the war in their own way…and maybe even get out ahead.  The characters are heightened, and the punchlines keep coming, but in the end it’s a story about one man caught in the cycle of human violence. I feel that the fear of being diminished to nothing but a number, a cog in the system is one that continues to grow within the structures of our modern society.  Heller had his finger on the pulse as these thoughts resonated with the young people of the Vietnam War era and a growing sense of disenchantment with and critique of the war that America was fighting, but these fears seems to have only increased as time has gone on.”

About Curio Theatre Company
Curio Theatre Company’s mission is to serve audiences in West Philadelphia and beyond with high quality, affordable theatre performances; to develop artistic talent through ensemble, company-based training and rehearsal processes; and to further academic, social, and personal development through arts education.  The artistic and the educational arms of the theatre company are intertwined as we make our home in the diverse community of West Philadelphia.    The company’s Educational program was just awarded the 2017 Victory Theatre Education Award at the Barrymore Awards Ceremony. It marked the company’s first Barrymore Award. Curio Theatre Company is a 501(c)3 non-profit company based in West Philadelphia. We are currently in our 13th season. The Company was founded by professional artists and administrators who met at the Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley, PA, and incorporated as a non-profit in 2004.”. After touring locally and internationally for several years, the Company began a search for a permanent home. In January 2005, Curio Theatre Company joined in partnership with the Calvary Center for Culture and Community at 4740 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia. This partnership provides Curio with a performance venue and classrooms within the Calvary Center as well as office space and company housing in the adjacent parish house. In return Curio is assisting the Calvary Center in creating a professional Performing Arts Venue in the heart of West Philadelphia.

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