The Appointment: Best of Theater!

We are amazed to announce that “The Appointment” has been named on not one, but THREE, of New York’s year-end Best of Theater lists! The New York Times, Time Out New York, and New York Magazine/Vulture all recognized the show, making “The Appointment” one of only four shows that was named on all three lists (and the only one that was self-produced and crowd-funded, we might add!).

A demystifying depiction of abortion and the restrictions around it, the show was as quietly thoughtful as it was boisterously, hilariously transgressive.

Laura Collins-Hughes, the New York Times
Image of a woman in a hospital gown standing in front of an exam bed. Text over top reads "The Appointment by Lightning Rod Special: Best of Theatre 2019!"

We are overjoyed by the reception of the show; this was truly a wild and wonderful end to 2019. Read for yourself what the critics said:

The New York Times

New York Magazine

Time Out New York

In case you thought that was all the year-end excitement we could handle, “Underground Railroad Game” was named the best of theater in Melbourne, Australia this year.

Ars Nova’s brilliant and brutal excoriation of race relations in America for Malthouse set the bar early in the year, and it proved too high to clear. An examination of slavery’s effect on personal relationships in a classroom setting, this was theatre as profound provocation, stunningly designed and performed. Australia isn’t ready yet to produce a work of this complexity on the subject of race, perhaps because our wounds are too raw. But when we do, we’ll look back on this searingly honest, courageous production and thank it for showing us the way.

Time Out Melbourne

We are loving that phrase, “theatre as profound provocation.” It sums us up pretty nicely, don’t you think?

Many thanks to all who have supported us this year, whether by coming to see “The Appointment” in New York and Philly, donating time, money, and resources to make our work possible, or telling your friends to see our work. We promise to keep making profound provocations in 2020 and beyond. We’re glad you’re with us.

What’s up next? Well in February we’ll have our annual fundraiser, the Big Bad Funtime Bash. Be sure to join us there. https://lightningrodspecial.ticketleap.com/big-bad-funtime-bash/details

Become a donor today to keep our #neverboring work possible:

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We are deeply humbled to announce that UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME was named #21 of the 25 best plays of the last 25 years by the New York Times.

Better 25

From the article:

Physical-theater artists who wrote this daring show for themselves to perform, Ms. Kidwell and Mr. Sheppard are accustomed to making work that’s rooted in the body. “Underground Railroad Game” is more text-based than they’re used to, yet it’s rooted in the body, too — the black body and the white body, female and male, locked in a poisoned dynamic of scarring damage and enormous pain.

Read it HERE.

We have been working on this piece since 2013, for all five years of our life as a company. From the cramped RV we drove down to New Orleans that fall, to the esteemed OBIE Award ceremony last spring, we have been bowled over by reception to this work. To find our show on this list, amongst plays like “August: Osage County,” “The Laramie Project,” “The Vagina Monologues,” and “An Octoroon” is more than we could ever have dreamed of.

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME stands as a testament to the continuing power of live theatre. If you have been moved by the show and believe in our mission of exploding complex questions with precision and play, we urge you to secure the future of Lightning Rod Special’s work:

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Make a donation here.

Your tax-deductible donation ensures that we can maintain our commitment to creating intelligent, considered work that provokes the cobwebbed corners of our audiences’ minds. Donations of all sizes have a huge impact. If you are interested in making a donation of $2,500+ or in becoming an honorary producer of our future work, please contact Alice@lightningrodspecial.com.

Thank you.

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For more information about the UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME tour and art book/script, click HERE.

To stay up-to-date on all things LRS, click HERE.

A Lacerating Comedy

Do you have your tickets for “Underground Railroad Game” yet? Buy them HERE and buy them now.

Jenn and Scott’s incendiary piece just received its first RAVE review (though we are sure it won’t be its last). Ben Brantley says the show “manages to be, in the year 2016, shocking in ways that “Dutchman,”LeRoi Jones’s surreal 1964 play about a black man’s encounter with a white woman on a subway, must have been 50-some years ago.”

If you think you’ve seen this piece before, think again.

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Off-Broadway, here we come!

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UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME makes its NYC premiere next month!

Jenn and Scott, along with director Taibi Magar, have been working tirelessly to push the limits of this provocative show for its New York premiere. In addition to an entirely new staging for the Ars Nova space, be prepared for new scenes, and a more in-depth exhibition of the antebellum slave doll on loan from Theaster Gates and the ReBuild Foundation.

We are beyond excited for URG to be presented at Ars Nova, the alma mater of “Natasha and Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” which has its Broadway opening soon, and artists like Lin-Manuel Miranda. They are a passionate and dedicated company… not to mention wicked good at corn hole.

Ars Nova is a 99-seat theatre and we have a limited, four-week run so don’t wait around another minute to get your tickets. Some performances are already sold out (SERIOUSLY!!). The show runs nightly September 13-October 15th except for Sundays.

Tickets to performances at Ars Nova are $35 but there are discounts codes available if you’re buying early. Week one tickets can be purchased for $15 using the code “GOHAWKS” and week two tickets are $25 with the code “SLURPEE”.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Next week: UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME at FringeArts!

The smash hit of last year’s Fringe Festival is returning to Fringe Arts next week! Don’t miss the show in Philly before it moves to its Off-Broadway premiere in the fall. Even if you managed to snag one of the tickets last fall (before they all sold out!) be sure to check it out again–we’ve got a slew of post-show events to enhance your participation in the UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME!

May 11 at 8pm (preview),  May 12 at 8pm (post-show event: party with THE ILL DOOTS!),  May 13 at 8pm (post-show event: panel with R. Eric Thomas),   May 14 at 9pmMay 15 at 7pm,  May 16 at 8pm (post-show event: “Lie With Me” with Brad Wrenn),  May 18 at 8pmMay 19 at 8pm,  May 21 at 8pm

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Join the conversation online! Tag your posts with #AllAboardURG on social media.

Fringe Arts presents UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME

The smash hit of last year’s Fringe Festival is returning to Fringe Arts this May! Catch the show one last time in Philly before it moves to its Off-Broadway premiere in the fall. Even if you managed to snag one of the tickets last fall (before they all sold out!) be sure to check it out again–Jenn and Scott always have something new in store.

May 11 at 8pm (preview),  May 12 at 8pm,  May 13 at 8pm,   May 14 at 9pmMay 15 at 7pm,  May 16 at 8pm,  May 18 at 8pmMay 19 at 8pm  May 21 at 8pm

ANNOUNCING: Underground Railroad Game at Ars Nova

We are thrilled to announce that Ars Nova, Off-Broadway champion of new work and alma mater to artists like Lin-Manuel Miranda and pieces like Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, will present Jenn and Scott’s Underground Railroad Game as the opening piece of their 2016 season.

The September run will last five weeks and, while tickets aren’t on sale yet, you should get yours as soon as they are–the run at FringeArts sold out in record time! We’ll be sure to post a ticket link here as soon as we can.

Broadway World: Ars Nova 2016 Season Lineup

American Theatre: Ars Nova Sets 2016 Season