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Crouch is the most engaging of performers, and he is actually exploring on stage the nature of art and performance itself.
– The Guardian
Endlessly curious about the possibilities of stage and audience, Tim Crouch is not just a superlative actor. He is perhaps one of the most influential experimental playwrights working in the English language today. His Obie- and Fringe First Award-winning work of the last decade includes the polarizing Royal Court production, The Author, as well as An Oak Tree, which casts a new actor in its central role every night.
The secret of Crouch’s impact is his insistence that the most interesting effect of theatre occurs in the minds of the audience, in the collective capacity for imagination. My Arm, his first play, is the story of a man who has lived for thirty years with one arm above his head, told with all the authenticity and detail of a first-person autobiography. Performing this important production for the first time in North America in almost ten years, Crouch leaves his arms casually by his sides.
Playwright, director and performer
Tim was an actor for many years before starting to write – and he still performs in much of his work. His plays include My Arm, ENGLAND (a play for galleries), the OBIE award winning An Oak Tree, The Author, Adler & Gibb and (with Andy Smith) what happens to the hope at the end of the evening. Tim tours his work nationally and internationally. He also writes for younger audiences. A series of plays inspired by Shakespeare’s lesser characters includes I, Malvolio and I, Peaseblossom. For the Royal Shakespeare Company, Tim has directed The Taming of the Shrew, King Lear and I, Cinna (the poet) – all for young audiences. Other directing credits include Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore for the Unicorn Theatre and The Complete Deaths for Spymonkey. Tim is published by Oberon Books.
The more experimental a performance presents itself as, the more it can feel like a kind of con. Are these strange performers truly creating art, or — if some critics are to be believed — are they gaming the system to get paid for useless nonsense? Is art, to quote Tim Crouch out of context, simply “anything you can get away with”? Before the opening performance of Crouch’s My Arm, join Scholar-in-Residence Matt Sergi for a structured opportunity to share with fellow audience members your opinions, inspirations, and even frustrations for what performance makers “get away with,” or to defend such artistic roguery as a cultural necessity.
Following this evening’s performance, connect with the artists as they field your questions and discuss the work you’ve just seen. It’s the most direct behind-the-scenes access you can get. Admission is free with the purchase of your ticket.
Hosted by Chris Reynolds
Chris Reynolds is a freelance producer and consultant who co-founded CRATE productions. He was formerly artistic associate in the performing arts department at Harbourfront Centre where he played a vital role in the management of seven World Stage seasons, including commissioning and touring of new theatre and dance works, and presentation of international projects from one-person shows all the way to a 60-dachshund durational performance.