FringeNYC 2009 Excellence Award Winner – Outstanding Solo Show
“Further than terrifying. Further than disturbing. Further than uncomfortable.” – TheFabMarquee
“Early on in this intense 90 minute solo show (written and directed by Kirk Bromley) performer Dan Berkey makes hand-to-hand contact with most of the people in the audience. That moment of connection is a shrewd, brilliant move, because it guards against us distancing ourselves once the calm, lucid man we’ve met transforms into a full-blown schizophrenic. The harrowing, claustrophobic show plays like a series of his psychotic episodes during which we’re inside his often incoherent stream of consciousness – it feels like a terrifying, violent freefall into insanity. The playwright has very definitely organized the show into distinct vignettes and themes – a section in which a slidehow of graphic pornography segues into candids of non-sexualized female faces is the most wrenching, while a section where schizophrenia proves helpful for the make-believe needed for stage acting is downright funny. Despite the organization, the playwright has done all he can to erase his hand and let the show feel chaotic and random and the performer convinces at every single moment. The result is a one-of-a-kind, undiluted and unforgettable trip into the crazy.” – JustShowsToGoYou
“***** [FIVE STARS] One of the many possible symptoms of schizophrenia is alogia: a severe reduction of verbal communication. It’s a blessing, then, not only that Daniel Martin Berkley is in remission, but that he commissioned Kirk Wood Bromley—a linguistic maximalist with a knack for poetic density—to help him explain his struggles in this one-man show. It’s an excellent pairing: Bromley may speak in “superannuated symbiologies” and aim to “magnify [Dan’s] vagaries,” but Berkley—in his Jay and Silent Bob T-shirt, cargo shorts and sneakers—remains direct and gut-shot honest. Berkley doesn’t always want us to follow him (and God help us if we can get inside his mosaic mind), but whether he’s being molested in grade school, doing heroin off a blow-up doll’s crotch or recollecting his days acting “the dance of the oculogyric crisis,” his intense emotions keep us connected—as do his visions, shared as projected photographs of his childhood and personal work. An actor’s bravery is rarely noted, but Berkley deserves a medal for willingly revisiting the spasms, abrasive voices and violence of his past, and sharing this important story in a most electric and rare performance.” – Aaron Riccio, Time-Out NY
“mind-blowing” – BackStage.com
“…(for) those in search of theatre that stretches, exercises, jolts, and exalts an audience in 90 intense and harrowing minutes of spectacular wordplay and virtuosic acting…” – nytheatre.com
“This is not a simple, passive kind of theatre, but rather the kind that really makes you fully aware of your feelings. This is the kind of theatre I look for but do not often find.” – nytheatre.com
The SoloNova Arts Festival
at PS 122
150 First Avenue
May 6, 8, 10, 18 at 7 pm
May 15 at 2 pm
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS
Written by two-time FringeNYC Excellence Award Winner (2002, 2003), Kirk Wood Bromley, produced by “The Best Downtown Theater Company (NYPress 2001), and starring downtown theater veteran, Dan Berkey, REMISSION is a one-man, true-story play about Berkey’s journey into and out of schizophrenia.
For 45 years, Daniel Martin Berkey suffered the ravages of schizophrenia. With his symptoms beginning at age six, Dan experienced a spectrum of challenges, including berating voices and haunting visions, paranoia and catatonia, and addiction to sex, heroin, and alcohol. Then, at the age of 51, homeless and deranged, while walking along a freeway on Long Island, Dan saw a vision – a giant golden cube suspended in the sky from which emanated 3000 winged humanoid figures beckoning him to join them in the World Self. Awaking from the splendor, he walked home, flushed his medications, and has been symptom-free ever since. REMISSION is his story.
REMISSION was written by Kirk Wood Bromley under Dan’s commission. Bromley has been a playwright in NYC for 20 years, and has won a variety of awards, including two Excellence Awards in FringeNYC (Playwriting in 2002 for The American Revolution and Book/Lyrics in 2003 for Lost – The Musical) and The Berrilla Kerr Excellence in Playwriting award. Inverse Theater, the company of which he is artistic director, was named “Best Downtown Theater Company” (NYPress, 2001) and won the Caffe Cino Award at the inaugural 2005 New York Innovative Theater Awards. Dan Berkey has been acting in NYC for over 15 years, working with such artists as Richard Schechner, John Clancy, CJ Hopkins, Doris Mirescu and Peter Dobbins. Designing the show will be Inverse design veterans Jane Stein (props), Jeff Nash (lights), John Gideon (sound), and Karen Flood, the original costume designer for Urinetown – The Musical.
Since 1998, Inverse has produced fifteen plays or musicals authored by award-winning Resident Playwright and Artistic Director, Kirk Wood Bromley. Presently, this list includes The Death of Griffin Hunter, The American Revolution, Midnight Brainwash Revival, Icarus and Aria, Want’s Unwisht Work, The Death of Don Flagrante Delicto, The Burnt Woman of Harvard, On the Origin of Darwin, Lost-The Musical, and The Banger’s Flopera – A Musical, Three Dollar Bill., No More Pretending., Me, and Untitled. These plays have been presented at some of NYC’s most important, seminal downtown theaters – The Ohio Theater, The Cornelia Connelly Theater, Soho Rep, The Kraine, St. Marks Theater, The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, The Present Company Theatorium, and The Greenwich Street Theater.