Manbites Dog Theatre

photo of the back of an african american woman's head, facing a white woman across a table who is out of focus
Derrick Beasley

Throughout modern history the work of African-American artists has often been appropriated for the financial and cultural gain of those outside the black community. Black artists bare their souls to create provocative art, but their work is sometimes tokenized or categorized as being just "black art." At the Bullcity Black Theater Festival in Durham, black artists are challenging perceptions of their work through performances and community conversations. 

Two Catharsis Production Educators
Courtesy of Catharsis Productions

 A Triangle-based comedy theater will close its doors later this month in the wake of assault and harassment allegations against its founder and director. He has denied the allegations, but the testimonies and resulting media coverage inspired a number of individuals in the theater and improv communities to start a more public conversation about how to create and maintain safe spaces. 

An image of actor Emily Anderson in 'Orlando'
Alex Maness

In 1928, writer Virginia Woolf portrayed the story of an Elizabethan nobleman in her novel “Orlando: A Biography.” The story follows Orlando as he becomes a woman and travels through time. Orlando’s journey takes on a 21st-century spin in the stage adaptation by Sarah Ruhl. Durham-based theater group The Delta Boys have brought Ruhl’s adaptation to Manbites Dog Theater.

Alan Dehmer / ManBites Dog Theater

Editor's note: this conversation contains elements of sex and violence that might not be suitable for some listeners. 

In the near future, the Internet has become a totally immersive virtual reality called The Nether, in which users can carry out their wildest fantasies.

Rob Jansen stars in the one-man play, 'The Tramp's New World,' which envisions a post-apocalytic world for Charlie Chaplin's character, 'Tramp.'
Manbites Dog Theater

Charlie Chaplin’s most well-known on-screen character was the “Tramp,” a bumbling man whose humor and playfulness guided audiences through some of the darkest periods of the early 20th century. After the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, renowned journalist and film critic James Agee urged Chaplin to bring back the Tramp. He wrote a screenplay and sent it to Chaplin, insisting that the Tramp’s humor and grace were essential to help the world heal from this tragedy. Chaplin declined, and the play faded mostly into oblivion.

Survivors of a civilization-ending apocalypse manage to salvage fragments of their cultural history.
Emily Levinstone

The Simpsons is the kind of show that people watch over and over. Many episodes continue to linger in popular culture no matter how many years have passed since they originally aired.

But what would happen if suddenly all The Simpsons episodes and all other media and technology were gone and all that remained were people’s memories of what they think they heard or saw?

Alan Dehmer

Last week as Shakespeare fans around the world celebrated his 450th birthday, Durham's Manbites Dog Theater opened a modern adaptation of his last masterpiece, The Tempest. 

A moment from Grounded, a one-woman show featuring Madeleine Lambert.
Jon Haas

After an unexpected pregnancy, an F-16 pilot gets reassigned to a desk job: flying drones from an armchair in a windowless trailer in Nevada.

Derrick Ivey (Left) as C.P. Ellis and Lakeisha Coffery (Right) as Ann Atwater
manbitesdogtheater.org / Manbites Dog Theater

    

  In 1971, civil rights activist, Ann Atwater, and ku klux klan grand exalted cyclops, C.P. Ellis chaired a community meeting to handle violence in the recently desegregated Durham school system. And those meetings started a unexpected lifelong friendship between the two. A play by Mark St. Germain retells the story of this unlikely friendship in the play, Best of Enemies

christophermcelroen.com

    

   

War. The country has been engaged in it for the last decade, and yet the majority of the population knows it as little more than images on a screen.