Travel with The Acting Ensemble back to the days of the 1960s avant-garde theater movement when AE presents Tom Eyen's absurdist comedy Why Hanna's Skirt Won't Stay Down as the theater company's next StageWorks stage reading. The play brings alive all the crudeness, brashness, and exuberance of the era. Hanna, a 42nd Street ticket taker, enjoys her spare time relaxing over a breeze hole in Coney Island, until one day she meets a young narcissist, and Hanna's life is changed forever. The New York Times called the original production "a very evocative play, shabby, sleazy, but defiant."
Tom Eyen, a prolific experimental playwright who wrote more than 40 plays, was one of the pioneers of the Off-Off-Broadway movement. Throughout his long career, he established himself as one of the most prolific and popular playwrights of movement.writing such abstract plays as Frustata, My Next Husband Will be a Beauty, and Alice Through a Glass Darkly. In 1970, Eyen had his biggest commercial success to date withThe Dirtiest Show in Town. Eleven years later, Eyen would write the book and lyrics for the smash Broadway hit Dreamgirls, winning the Tony for Best Book.
Why Hanna's Skirt Won't Stay Down is considered an icon of the Off-Off-Broadway movement. Its first act was originally produced in 1965 by LaMama Experimental Theatre, now considered a world renowned cultural institution. The play soon gathered cult status encouraging playwright Eyen to finish the sequel, Who Killed My Bald Sister Sophie, which was produced at Caffe Cino in 1968.
The complete play, which consists of both plays, was produced in 1974 as a commercial Off-Broadway production at the Village Gate where it played to enthusiastic critics and audiences. The play has since been produced in London, and LaMama revived it in 2005.
The Acting Ensemble's performance will take place Monday, January 14 at 7:30 pm in Studio 217, 217 S. Michigan Street. Tickets are $5 and seating is limited. Tickets can be purchased in advance online atactingensemble.com.