InterAct Theatre Company’s season continues with this gripping examination of the power and perversion of the male gaze. Described as “horrifying yet hilarious” (Julia Stier, Stage Raw), MAN OF GOD by Anna Moench, directed by Maura Krause (Artistic Director of the acclaimed Philadelphia playwrights collective, Orbiter 3) brings dark comedic laughs while “smoothly morphing into a serious depiction of sexual tragedies and their responses” (Gil Kaan, BWW). Written by an Asian-American author, and featuring an all Asian-American cast, MAN OF GOD represents both InterAct’s continued dedication to building demand for Asian American theatre and to bringing relevant and important topics to the forefront.
MAN OF GOD follows four Korean-American teenage girls on a Christian mission in Bangkok. They have very different attitudes, and they made this trip for very different reasons. But when one of them discovers a hidden camera in their hotel bathroom, they’re all definitely going to get get their revenge. Inspired by a true story, Moench’s funny feminist thriller MAN OF GOD explores just how invasive, pervasive and perverse the male gaze can be.
“I’m pretty sure that American audiences have not seen a play that has centered these characters or these voices,” says Producing Artistic Director Seth Rozin. “And Anna Moench does a wonderful job of vividly and humorously capturing four teenage voices and their individual and collective responses to the discovery that they have been spied on in their hotel bathroom.” Rozin was drawn to the play not just for the singular experiences depicted, but for the unique insight it lends to ongoing discussions about rape culture. “As the #MeToo movement continues to expose the pervasiveness of sexual harassment, abuse and assault, MAN OF GOD reveals what happens when the male gaze is internalized. We’re given insight into a pivotal moment in these girls’ lives: at a time when their brains and bodies are evolving, we see how grappling with the male gaze creates stressors on their mental and physical health that are all too common and yet rarely discussed in this context. Seeing themselves as objects for others twists how these girls view their own bodies, how they interact with their peers, and ultimately how safe they’re able to feel around those they’re supposed to be able to trust.”
“But it does all of this without simply making the girls victims,” Rozin adds. “They’re vital and vibrant and very, very funny.”
The play features Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters, Claris Park, Annie Fang, Kimie Muroya and Justin Jain (who recently won the Barrymore Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play for last season’s production of THE GREAT LEAP by Lauren Yee). While InterAct has produced a number of plays focusing on Asian and Asian American stories and characters in recent years (Christopher Chen’s CAUGHT in 2014, Mia Chung’s YOU FOR ME FOR YOU in 2017 and THE GREAT LEAP in 2019), MAN OF GOD will be InterAct’s second ever production with an all-Asian cast, along with YANKEE DAWG YOU DIE by Phillip Kan Gotanda back in 1995.
During the run, InterAct will present further post-show audience conversations after every performance, beginning January 30. Coffee Conversations occur on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, featuring informal discussions with the artists and complimentary coffee from Rival Bros. Coffee and treats from Insomnia Cookies. Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances feature Audience Discussions, where audience members are encouraged to dive into the play, ask questions and share their experience. These will be facilitated by local community members to foster conversation connecting the play to the larger community. InterAct will host speakers for three Speaker Sundays on February 2, 9 & 16 following Sunday matinee performances. MAN OF GOD will be presented as part of Theatre Philadelphia’s 2020 Philly Theatre Week, February 6-16. Guest Speaker Elena Waldman of Artemis – Self Defense will also teach a pop-up self-defense course from 10:30AM – 12:00PM on Sunday February 16. All bodies are welcome to attend to this free event.
InterAct is also pleased to continue Parents’ Day Out!, a new initiative for theatergoing patrons with children. During the matinee on Sunday, February 16, InterAct will provide theatre-themed childcare at The Drake during the performance. Cost is $25 for 3.5 hours of childcare.
A “Pay What You Can” Final Dress Rehearsal will be held on Thursday, January 23, at 8 PM. All proceeds will go to a local organization supporting women’s rights.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
ANNA MOENCH (Playwright) Anna Moench is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her plays include MOTHERS (Playwrights Realm 2019), MAN OF GOD (East West Players 2019, InterAct 2020), BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA (BETC 2017, ThrownStone 2019, Theatre With A View 2019), and SIN EATERS (Local Theater Co. 2020). She is currently the 2019/2020 Page One Playwright in Residence at The Playwrights Realm and has received fellowships from the New York Foundation of the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and the Van Lier Foundation, and her awards include the Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center, Boulder Ensemble Theater Company’s Generations Award, and East West Players’ 2042: See Change Award. She is an alum of UCSD’s Playwriting MFA program, the Emerging Writers Group at The Public, Youngblood at EST, and the Jam at New Georges. Anna is a staff writer on SEVERANCE (Apple TV) and the recipient of a Gerbode Special Award in the Arts commission for a new play that will be produced at Magic Theater in 2022.
MAURA KRAUSE (Director) is an award-winning director, creator, and producer of new work. She is delighted to be directing at InterAct, where her professional career in Philadelphia began, first as an apprentice and then as a National New Play Network Producer-in-Residence for two seasons. Maura is currently the Associate Artistic Director at Azuka Theatre, and an Associated Artist with Applied Mechanics. She was also the Artistic Director of Barrymore Award-winning company Orbiter 3, Philadelphia’s first producing playwrights collective. As a director and a dramaturg, Maura has worked with Woolly Mammoth Theatre, EMP Collective, PearlDamour, Tiny Dynamite, PlayPenn, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, and Cleveland Public Theatre, among others. Selected recent directing credits include TILDA SWINTON ADOPT ME PLEASE (The Greenfield Collective), THIS IS ON RECORD (Applied Mechanics), BON IVER FIGHTS A BEAR by Douglas Williams (ampersand), HEDDA GABLER (Arcadia University), BOYCOTT ESTHER by Emily Acker (Azuka Theatre), and TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS (Arden Theatre Company). Additionally, Maura is in the midst of creating a piece with playwright Lena Barnard entitled DOMINION, which mashes together global warming anxiety and fairytales (developed with the support of a HATCH residency), as well as in the early stages of a new project for ampersand, a casual producing collective she started with playwright Douglas Williams. Upcoming: A ROOM AT THE FLAMINGO HOTEL by Lena Barnard (Azuka Theatre).
|Friday, January 24, 2020||8:00 PM||Preview|
|Saturday, January 25, 2020||4:00 PM||Preview|
|Saturday, January 25, 2020||8:00 PM||Preview|
|Sunday, January 26, 2020||2:00 PM||Preview|
|Tuesday, January 28, 2020||7:00 PM||Preview|
|Wednesday, January 29, 2020||7:00 PM||OPENING NIGHT|
|Thursday, January 30, 2020||8:00 PM||Post show audience discussion|
|Friday, January 31, 2020||8:00 PM||Post show audience discussion|
|Saturday, February 1, 2020||8:00 PM||Post-show audience discussion|
|Sunday, February 2, 2020||2:00 PM||Speaker Sunday|
|Tuesday, February 4, 2020||7:00 PM||Coffee Conversation|
|Wednesday, February 5, 2020||7:00 PM||Coffee Conversation|
|Thursday, February 6, 2020||8:00 PM||Post-show audience discussion|
|Friday, February 7, 2020||8:00 PM||Post-show audience discussion|
|Saturday, February 8, 2020||8:00 PM||Post-show audience discussion|
|Sunday, February 9, 2020||2:00 PM||Speaker Sunday|
|Tuesday, February 11, 2020||7:00 PM||Coffee Conversation|
|Wednesday, February 12, 2020||7:00 PM||Coffee Conversation|
|Thursday, February 13, 2020||8:00 PM||Post-show audience discussion|
|Friday, February 14, 2020||8:00 PM||Post-show audience discussion|
|Saturday, February 15, 2020||8:00 PM||Post-show audience discussion|
|Sunday, February 16, 2020||2:00 PM||Speaker Sunday, Parent’s Day Out|
About InterAct Theatre Company
Celebrating its 32nd season, InterAct is a theatre for today’s world, producing new and contemporary plays that explore the social, political, and cultural issues of our time. Founded in 1988 by Producing Artistic Director Seth Rozin, InterAct seeks to entertain audiences by producing world-class, thought-provoking productions, and to use theatre as a tool to foster positive social change and civic discourse. Through artistic and audience outreach programming, InterAct makes a significant contribution to the cultural life of Philadelphia and the American theatre.