The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui is a play about a demagogue coming to power in a democratic state. Any resemblance to living persons is entirely coincidental. Written by Bertolt Brecht in 1941, Arturo is simultaneously a satirical explanation of the rise of nationalism in Germany and a warning against allowing the events of the 1930s to repeat themselves. While waiting for a visa with which he could escape the Nazi regime, Brecht wrote this play for the Americans with whom he was hoping to take refuge. He chronicles the rise of Arturo Ui, a fictional hustler, and his attempt to take over Chicago by any means necessary. Through a combination of force, political maneuvering, and sheer charisma, Ui seizes control of the Windy City and sets his sights on the rest of the country.
“I love plays that ask a question,” states director Noam Shapiro. “Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui challenges us to imagine how we would act in the face of demagoguery, hate, and fear. Seventy-five years after it was written, Brecht's warning to Americans is as timely as ever. As we head to the polls, Lyra's relocated take on Arturo Ui asks what happens when democracy becomes a circus.”
About the Company: Lyra Theater
Lyra Theater is the creation of New York City-based artists Hope Chavez, Noam Shapiro, and Kyle Michael Yoder. With backgrounds in cognitive science, history, media, directing, acting, and producing, we are on a mission to create theater by and for emerging artists. Lyra Theater exists to launch the next generation of theater artists onto the American stage. As a constellation of artists, we strive to build a creative home for emerging theater makers in New York City and to pay our artists for their valuable work. Through our productions, workshops, and open-submission policy, Lyra creates theater that aims to challenge audiences, start conversations, build communities, and reflect the diversity of our world.