InterAct opens its season with the risky ‘#therevolution’

InterAct opens its season with the risky ‘#therevolution’
InterAct Theatre Company

In a typical season, InterAct Theatre Company dedicates at least half of its productions to new work, a risktaking strategy that has come to be one of the company’s defining factors. But after 18 years at the Adrienne, InterAct is moving this season to its new home at the Drake and decided to play things a bit safer: Just one new work in a four-play season, to accompany their big move with a less stressful, more proven commodity.

Things didn’t quite work out that way. Construction delays necessitated a juggling of the schedule, meaning that the season started not last fall with George Brant’s “Grounded,” which had been tested in an Off Broadway production directed by Julie Taymor and starring Anne Hathaway. Instead, the new theater’s unveiling will now come with “#therevolution,” the season’s sole world premiere.

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“We wanted to have a slightly less risky season so that we could concentrate on other things,” shrugs InterAct producing artistic director Seth Rozin. “As it turns out, the play that we’re moving in with is by far our most complicated and risky play of the bunch.”

Risky in the sense that any unproven play is risky, but also because Kristoffer Diaz’s play offers “a lot of technical, stylistic, tonal, and dramaturgical challenges,” according to Rozin. While it’s proved challenging, a play like “#therevolution” may also be the most appropriate way for InterAct to christen its new digs.

“In some ways it worked out well in that it’s a play that represents very well all the things that we’re about: championing new work, new voices, diversity and big ideas,” Rozin says. “Ultimately I feel good about it because it’s signaling that InterAct isn’t changing who we are when we go into our new space.”

Viva la #revolucion

“#therevolution,” as its hashtag-laden title implies, focuses on the satiric aftermath of a social media-driven revolution. The show stars Brett Ashley Robinson and Mary Tuomanen as two young women forced to grapple with the burden of power after leading a successful American uprising. InterAct previously mounted a successful production of Diaz’s pro wrestling-themed play “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity,” the only show since settling at the Adrienne where physical demands forced them to find an alternate venue.

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Like that production, “#therevolution” comes with staging demands that InterAct simply couldn’t have realized in their old home. Space is only one benefit, however; the move also gives the company more freedom to control all aspects of the audience experience, according to Rozin. The Drake will also provide a home for PlayPenn, Simpatico Theatre Project, Azuka Theatre, and Inis Nua Theatre, making it “a spiritual and artistic hub for the new play community,” Rozin says.

If you go

Jan. 22-Feb. 14
The Drake
15th and Spruce Sts.
$22-$38, 215-568-8079