NEW YORK—“My Insane Shakespeare” comes to New York City’s Theatre Row for world premiere October 13. Written, directed and performed by independent actor and director Arthur Elbakyan, it is currently sold out at the United Solo Theatre Festival, and an additional performance has been added on October 19.
“What is better, to be in a mental hospital among normal people or to be free among the insane? This is one of the questions I ask in my performance,” states Arthur Elbakyan.
Elbakyan plays the main character, an actor, who involuntarily finds himself in a mental hospital at which point, the key developments of the play unfold. Betrayed by his close friends and allies, the actor analyzes life, love, hatred, vanity, human rights, freedom of speech, and rulers of the world. In the midst of solidarity and seclusion, his feelings and emotions begin to flow upon paper and canvas.
“I tell this true story with my paintings, which make up part of the stage design. I have painted the battles and breakthroughs of the main character,” says Elbakyan, “This play is a reflection on how an individual doesn’t break down in an insane asylum but instead, against all odds, finds inner strength and willpower to live, love and create.”
Shakespeare has always been a contemporary writer of times. By drawing parallels between our modern day lives and the days of Shakespeare, Elbakyan proves that over time, human relationships and values have not changed at all. Moreover, he shows that Shakespeare’s “to be, or not to be” has become even more of a burning question today.
Arthur Elbakyan is an international actor and theater, film, and television director and producer. Having lived in Armenia, Russia, Europe and the United States, Elbakyan has played over 30 leading theater roles and has been the author and host of numerous television shows. Elbakyan was the founder of the Theatre Studio “13” and also co-founded the first independent television channel in Armenia “AR”. Elbakyan’s passion for theater was strong enough to bring theater to television with his introduction of a series of television shows “It’s Majesty Theatre” on the National Television of Armenia, taking the audience to the unique world of the theatre and performing arts. Recently, Elbakyan has received Best Documentary Short Award at the Los Angeles Film and Script Festival.
2014 United Solo celebrates its 5th anniversary season and its dynamic expansion in scope and popularity. Over 130 shows from six continents are staged at Theatre Row: 410 West 42nd Street, New York City. Tickets, with a price of $19.25 (including a $1.25 theater restoration charge) are available at Theatre Row box office, 410 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036, as well as over the phone at 212.239.6200 and online at www.telecharge.com. More details can be found at www.unitedsolo.org.