RIDING THE BULL

Genre: Comedy, Drama
by August Schulenberg, directed by Kelly O'Donnell

In West Texas--in a town called Godsburg--there live, according to August Schulenberg's "Riding the Bull," a couple of awkward young people, a pet cow and a one-horned bull named Suerte. A celibate rodeo clown named G.L. has succumbed to his sexual fantasies (in private, of course) and has gotten excommunicated from the Church (to his continual regret and pain). His irreverent girlfriend, Lyza, is a husky, plus-sized roundheel with a saucy outlook, an acute business sense, and a pet cow named Cyndi. Their worlds seem far apart, yet somehow they fall in love.

Liza's gawky charm and G.L.'s zany obeisance to religious symbols make these two people seem preciouosly mismatched. As they declaim together upon their world, there is a rare theatrical joy in their acute dialect and the overriding imagery of the cow culture, in which Lyza's similarity to Cyndi is not missed. G.L. and Lyza have never spoken until Lyza decides one day to desecrate the town's nativity scene. Once they are acquainted, she begins to exert an almost magical power over him. There unfold sessions of prophetic sex, bull riding scams, a search for the true Elvis, and cows that rise from the dead.

Lyza turns G.L. into a millionaire in Act Two and there is a dramatic changing of places: the zaftig one becomes thin, the sinner becomes devout, the self-less becomes selfish, the unbeliever believes--they exchange each other's relationship with God. G.L. is eventually gored by the one-horned bull, but Lyza becomes so emotionally close to her pet cow, Cyndi, that they become nearly one and the same. This ultimately drives G.L. to an act of desperation that is a striking denouement. The play ends up as a comic tragedy that affects us all.

About the Company: Theater For The New City

THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY (TNC) is a Pulitzer Prize winning community cultural center that is known for its high artistic standards and widespread community service. One of New York’s most prolific theatrical organizations, TNC produces 30-40 premieres of new American plays per year, at least 10 of which are by emerging and young playwrights. Many influential theater artists of the last quarter century have found TNC’s Resident Theater Program instrumental to their careers, among them Sam Shepard, Moises Kaufman, Richard Foreman, Charles Busch, Maria Irene Fornes, Miguel Piñero and Academy Award Winners Tim Robbins and Adrien Brody. TNC also presents plays by multi-ethnic/multi-disciplinary theater companies who have no permanent home. Among the well-known companies that have been presented by TNC are Mabou Mines, the Living Theater, Bread and Puppet Theater, the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the Ma-Yi Theater Company, which won an OBIE Award for its 1996 TNC production, FLIPZOIDS. TNC also produced the Yangtze Repertory Company’s 1997 production of BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH, which was the only play ever produced in America by Gao Xingjian before he won the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature. TNC seeks to develop theater audiences and inspire future theater artists from the often-overlooked low-income minority communities of New York City by producing minority writers from around the world and by bringing the community into theater and theater into the community through its many free Festivals. TNC productions have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and over 40 OBIE Awards for excellence in every theatrical discipline. TNC is also the only Theatrical Organization to have won the Mayor's Stop The Violence award.

Preview:   04/28/05
Open:   04/29/05
Close:   05/22/05

Schedule:
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Theater:   Theater For The New City
Address:   155 First Avenue
New York, NY 10009
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Take the L train to 1st Avenue or the 6 train to Astor Place

Cost:$10.00
Buy Tickets Online or Call: at 212-254-1109
Company: Theater For The New City         Official Web Site: www.theaterforthenewcity.net