'Close to the Bone' at Theater for the New City
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"Close to the Bone" (world premiere) written by Guillermo Yuscarán, adapted by Mario Quesada, directed by Felix Ivanov. Cino Theater. Tuesday, August 16 at 7:00PM; Saturday, August 20 at 5:00PM; Tuesday, August 23 at 7:00PM; Tuesday, August 30 at 7:00PM; Wednesday, August 31 at 9:00PM. Running Time: 75 minutes | Tickets $15.
A story of adventure and hope, "Close to the Bone" is a fictional adaptation of the novel "Blue Pariah" and other works by Guillermo Yuscarán. Told by its characters, this solo show, acted by Mario Quesada explores the mysteries of life, death, and miracle from the streets of California to the mountains of Honduras. A puppy is bought from a Brooklyn ex-boxer in Southern California in 1969. The puppy, Brown, grows up to compete in boxing matches with other dogs for rule of the sidewalks in Isla Vista. Brown becomes revered as a champion by his fellow dogs in their society, a fearless rebel who defines his own path. But by the late 1970s, the world around his human family has been changed by the Vietnam War, social unrest, and suburban apathy. Seeking a more meaningful and simpler way of life, Brown's human master, Bill, embarks with his young son and dog on a one year trip to live in Honduras. Living in its mountains and villages and making new friends along the way, they begin to discover their unique place in the world and explore "the universe of the impossible dream on foot." Guillermo Yuscarán (William Lewis) is both a writer and primitivist painter. He has lived in Honduras periodically for more than three decades and currently resides in Santa Lucia, a small village outside of the capital city of Tegucigalpa. A former Fulbright scholar, he holds a PhD in Hispanic Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. His work has appeared in major publications in the US, Canada, Latin America and Europe. Exhibitions of his paintings have been held in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize, as well as the US. He has authored numerous books, including "Gringos In Honduras," "Velasquez: The Man And His Art," "Points Of Light," and "Blue Pariah." Mario Quesada is an actor and writer based in NYC. His work includes lead and character roles in "Three Sisters" (Classic Stage Company); "The Cherry Orchard" (Classic Stage Company); "Zastrozzi" (dir. Felix Ivanov) and "The Three Penny Opera" (Columbia Stages). He wrote and performed his first solo piece, "Ya Get The Picture," for the Howl Arts Festival at the Connelly Center. The piece was based on his time working with a street ministry/homeless group. Quesada has also performed with groups such as Columbia Stages, the MFA Directors of Columbia, and The Nature Theater of Oklahoma. He holds a BA in English and Drama from Catholic University in Washington, DC. He worked for four years with the group of Russian and Georgian artists in Washington DC formerly known as the Stanislavsky Theatre. With them, he played roles in the Helen Hayes Award-winning productions of Dostoevsky's "The Idiot" and "Goethe's Faust: Parts 1 & 2," and toured with "Chicha The Fox." Felix Ivanov is an internationally acclaimed fight choreographer, teacher and director. He is a member of The Wooster Group, The Acting Company, The Russian Guild for Movement and Stage Combat Teachers. Felix trained under the original students of Stanislavsky and Vakhtangov. He holds an MFA in Acting from the Vakhtangov Theater School, and a BFA from the Stasov Music School, both in Moscow, Russia. He is well versed in the art of Musical Clownery, Physical Comedy, Stage Combat, Movement and Character Dance. Ivanov has over 30 years experience in the martial arts, participating annually in both national and international competitions, and holds the master's level in the Chinese Martial Arts of Kuoshu, and the black belt/Shodan rank in Judo. Ivanov has been on the full-time faculty of Syracuse University's Drama Department since 2008. He has served on the full-time faculties of: The Juilliard School (1996 to 2008); North Carolina School of the Arts (1991 to 1996); The Conservatory of the Moscow Art Theatre (1985 to 1991); among others. His stage movement and fight choreography: The Shakespeare Theater (Washington, DC); The Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis, MN); The Shakespeare Theater Festival (Cleveland, OH); New York: The Acting Company; The Lincoln Center Theater; The Metropolitan Opera; The New York Theater Workshop; The Wooster Group; The Pearl Theater; The Cherry Lane Theater; The SoHo Repertory Theater; SoHo Playhouse; among others.