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Apr. 25 2024

CINDY OF ARC jousts with the patriarchy at Theatre Project

By Gavin Witt | Posted in Interviews, Staff Blogs, WBJC Programs | Comments Off on CINDY OF ARC jousts with the patriarchy at Theatre Project

I had the pleasure of chatting all the way across the Atlantic with writer/performer/creator Cynthia Kaplan about her new play Cindy of Arc, coming to Baltimore Theatre Project May 2nd-4th after a raucously successful stop at Intiman Theatre in Seattle.

The journey of this piece has been a lengthy and arguably convoluted one, from extremely topical short film made in a barn under pandemic quarantine through developmental workshops to transform it into a play and recognition as a Finalist for the Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre–all the way to its current iteration as a one-woman rock-n-roll tour through human history, mythology, literature, and more. But it can also seem inevitable when you hear the author-performer talk about it, burning as it has been in her mind and heart.

And while it may be told by its creator, and our guide through that span, Cynthia Kaplan in the persona of Cindy of Arc, it is by no means a solo performance. A multitude of creators on-stage and off, including director and designers and musicians and others, help bring to life the saga. You can find a full listing of them here theatreproject.org/cindy-of-arc

More about the creator herself–and samples of the show, her music, her other writing, and so much else–can be found here.

Here the conversation here if you miss it on air (or want the extended cut!)

As the production press materials put it:

This rock’n’roll musical is written and performed by Cynthia Kaplan and
directed by Emmy Award-winner Dani Davis. It has played to sold-out audiences at NYC’s Dixon Place and The Bitter End and was the opening production of Intiman Theatre’s 50th anniversary season.

A comedy and music extravaganza about the problem men have with lying and where that’s gotten the rest of us, particularly women. And Jews. Cindy of Arc speaks truth to politics, religion, Nazis, dogs, and the guys who wrote Delta Dawn, all in a blisteringly hilarious 70 minutes.

Or, as one write-up tried to sum up: “Brilliant and blistering,…Cindy of Arc is like a special blend of the poppiest of Jello Biafra and Mojo Nixon’s Prairie Home Invasion political satire cuts, folded into Lauren Weedman’s comedic musical commentary and storytelling, whipped with the stalwart feminist political devotion of The Raging Grannies. There are a lot of comparisons, but it’s a unique result. What Kaplan brings is her unexpected pairings: of catchy and horrifying, insightful and obvious, playful and deadly.” NWTheatre.org

A portion of the proceeds, as well as additional donations, will benefit Women’s Health Center of Maryland. Select performances will include talk backs with the creative team and local reproductive justice warriors, including Maryland State Center Cheryl Kagan.

Cindy of Arc performances have so far raised over $10,000 for women’s and reproductive rights (because why talk, or sing, about the patriarchy and not do anything?

Cindy of Arc plays for four performances only from May 2-4, 2024, at Theatre Project, 45 West Preston Street, in Mt Vernon.

Tickets are on sale now at theatreproject.org

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WBJC listeners and Baltimore audiences may know Gavin from his nearly 20 years as dramaturg and associate artistic director at Baltimore Center Stage (in which capacity he was a frequent guest on WBJC to talk about programs and events), or from regular appearances alongside Jonathan Palevsky at the Charles Theater for Cinema Sundays discussions. A director, dramaturg, producer, translator, and adaptor who also teaches on the theater faculty at Towson University, Gavin is a recent addition to the WBJC team and delighted to play this new role.

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