Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bonus Feature: A Letter to Montreal from Shreds and Patches of You Killed Hamlet

Nathaniel Justiniano, Ross Travis (photo by Shootthatklown)

Dearest Montreal
a dispatch
by Shreds and Patches

Naked Empire Bouffon Company
was created by Nathaniel Justiniano in 2009. Then Ross Travis came along in 2010. They’re play friends.

They are mostly interested in:
Drawing The Line and Stepping Over It
Fart Jokes and High Poetry
Confrontation and Charm
Crudeness and Sophistication
Rehearsing and Making Shit Up

They are total winners and even better than that, total braggarts. Nathaniel has won a Best of the Bay award for Best Romp with your Inner Psychopath for his bouffon intensives. Ross has won a TITAN Award Grant for Actors from Theatre Bay Area. Their company has received a Cultural Equity Grant from the SF Arts Commission, a Best of the Fringe Award from the San Francisco Fringe Festival, and a Talk of the Fringe Award and Critics Choice Nomination at the Vancouver Fringe for their play, You Killed Hamlet, or Guilty Creatures Sitting At A Play

Dearest Montreal,

This November something amazing is going to be happening in Quebec. It will cause you to see the world in a new way. It will inspire you to change your life more than you’ve ever been inspired to do so before. It will literally blow your mind to smithereens. You will go home wanting to make love for hours on end in affirmation of your sweet life. Many have been known to suddenly understand all of life’s great mysteries and no longer need to go on living. That’s right, you will be one step closer to enlightenment if you attend …
It’s only a two hour drive out of Montreal in nearby Ottawa. GO! GO WHILE YOU STILL CAN AND BE SAVED!
For those of you poor sods that are not able to take this trek for whatever reason, that sucks for you but do not fear because there’s a second best option. And that option is coming to see us. We’ve been told we’re going to be mainlined at a small 40-seat theatre downtown. We’ve no idea how they are going to mainline us we just hope it’s not too violent. After all we come in peace we two Americans. We’re excited to come and see the fair city of Montreal. To practice up on our French, to see some real life Canadian mobsters in action and to visit the headquarters of Cirque Du Soleil, the circus capital of the universe.
But be forewarned, if you come to our show, we can’t promise you all the glory that the aforementioned solo Hamlet show will surely achieve. However, if you come ready to get your freak on, with all your glory bits hanging out, we promise to play a 70 minute game of satirical chicken that you won’t soon forget, where hopefully no one dies, but it has happened before, so bring armour.
Dearest Montreal, you seem to be a safe haven for those who have been ostracized. And ostracized we’ve been. First we were kicked out of San Francisco for being:
“An hour’s worth of mirth and mahem. Highly recommended.”   
-Huffington Post

It sounds good right!? Don’t ask us why they gave us the boot. Then we were kicked out of Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver because:
“Naked Empire Bouffon Company delivers the goods in unexpected ways. It’s vile and provocative, but it’s also a very sly, smart commentary on a culture busily amusing itself as it slides off this mortal coil, too afraid to talk about serious things, and too busy dumbing itself down.”                                      
-John Marcher, Beast In The Jungle
It just doesn’t make sense! So much praise followed by so much abuse! One guy even said this to us in Toronto as he was shoving his foot into our face over and over again:
"It is a rare and needed opportunity to experience a bouffon duo with such incredible complicity and virtuosity.  You Killed Hamlet is a joy ride of vice and provocation. These two tricksters dare their audience to go unscathed.  We are revealed and called out while we howl with pleasure.  A must see!"   
-Adam Lazarus, Artistic Director TFoC, Faculty at National Theatre School of Canada
So please Montreal. If you aren’t being enlightened by the groundbreaking solo production of Hamlet in Ottawa, come see our scaled down production that only focuses on the text. Everyone will wear black. Kenneth Branagh is playing the dane. It’ll be great. And afterwards you can go have a drink with friends and talk about how decent our acting was. We do what we can.
Yours in humility,
Shreds and Patches  

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