Monday, July 18, 2016

Sing along with IRON HEEL! Down w/Capitalism in Jack London's Socialist Dystopia, adapted by Edward Einhorn, JULY-AUGUST NYC

Edward Einhorn has adapted London's novel. New Play Network's synopsis: 
An adaptation of Jack London's 1908 novel, the first-ever dystopia, written as a socialist propaganda piece. It tell the story of Avis and Ernest Everhard, two leaders of an envisioned socialist revolution in the 1920's, when the oligarchy has taken on a totalitarian edge (The Iron Heel). Praised by Leon Trotsky and George Orwell. Set as a "reenactment drama", being told 600 years in the future, in a world that has become a socialist utopia. Using folksongs from the early 20th century throughout, some with altered lyrics.


Jack London's socialist dystopia, IRON HEEL, is rarely read in schools.  Somehow I missed it, thought a student of both utopias and dystopias. I did read Einhorn's adaptation and found it both rousing and quaintly pertinent to today's politics. But the "today" in this play is a socialist dominated future, whose leaders are recounting the revolutionary struggle against the Capitalists in an alternative 20th century. The story within a story is about Ernest and Avis, he the Socialist rebel, she the lovely daughter of a capitalist, a professor and stockholder in the mill.

When Ernest crashes a party at Avis's father's stately house in Berkeley, California, it's the instant attraction of opposites. He's a "trouble maker" dismissed from the mill for "impudence," She's the lovely dutiful daughter. But as his world and hers join, love and politics become a violent clash with the ruling Oligarchy, His Socialist ideals, which have the majority of support by Americans, are focused on ending Capitalism. But it's a nasty fight. Capitalists of the Oligarchy have no mercy.

The righteous heroic struggle leads to martyrdom. This is not Shaw's Socialism, witty and satirical. But there is are folk songs Woody Guthrie might enjoy and stories as true as Erin Brockovich, Sanders' supporters may enjoy this unusual taste of early Socialist ideals. London thought Socialism was a logical progression and perhaps Anarchy. My question for London, if he were around, is his assumption that Socialism was an end result. What would he think about Socialism becoming Communism's "Worker's Paradise?" But in London's story the struggle is enough. The tellers of his story are the present day victors.

I can see how this story may have inspired Sinclair Lewis' IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE, as well as Orwell. In Lewis' dystopia, the U.S. devolves from capitalism to fascism with a glib Ad-Man president. Obviously, this character is far too on target for election 2016.

 My own dystopia, "Paradise Gardens," reverses the passage of Feudal society to Capitalism with corporate business estates underground. It's looking at the corporate exodus in 2050 of the earth's inhabitable surface for the underground (after the dissolution of the Old Fed),  and life on the estates in 3011. More's Utopia is with me yet...

IRON HEEL the production has "People's Rates," even free nights. The play is a must see for idealists, lovers of political philosophy, agit prop theater, folk music or anyone pondering late stage Capitalism. Join the rabble!  This is the good fight!



Many of our shows are limited seating, and for those we ask for advance reservations.  But in the socialist spirit, we provide discounts.  Tickets are normally $20, but can't afford that--pay $15!  Can't afford that--pay $10. Or even just $5 or $1.  The one thing we ask is that you reserve sooner rather than later.  The venues are small, and the reserved seats available even smaller--we need to accommodate press, grant givers, and our own staff.   So reserve your seat now by clicking here.  Audiences of the world, unite!  And buy our tickets while you can.  As you will see on our ticket page, we currently have all payment options.

From the book by Jack London

Adapted & directed by Edward Einhorn

The first modern dystopian novel, written as a socialist
propaganda piece in 1908. An election between a socialist candidate and an oligarch.  What happens if the oligarch wins?  Presented on the 100th anniversary of Jack London's death.

Join us as we gather for light snacks, folk songs, and performance.
Craig Anderson, Kevin Argus, Fred Backus (on Governor's Island only), Charles Ouda, Yvonne Roen, Victoria Rulle, and Trav SD

Costume/prop design: Ramona Ponce
Sound design: Chris Chappell
Stage manager: Blake Kile
Assistant director: Rebecca Silbert
Production assistants: Deonna Dolac, Yael Haskal, and Mark Hunstein

"Audacious...genuinely prophetic"

To buy tickets for pay what you can shows (suggested price $20)
Call 212-352-3101 or  click here
Free performances can be attended without reservation

Sat July 23 1pm (Governor's Island, FREE)
Sun July 30 1pm (Governor's Island, FREE)

Thu July 28 7:30pm (South Oxford, Pay What You Can)
Fri July 29 7:30pm (South Oxford, Pay What You Can)
Sun July 31 5pm (South Oxford, Pay What You Can)
Fri August 5 8pm (Freedom Hall, Pay What You Can)
Sun August 7 3pm (South Oxford, Pay What You Can)
Mon August 8 7:30pm (South Oxford, Pay What You Can
Thu August 18 7:30pm (South Oxford, Pay What You Can)
Fri August 19 7:30pm (South Oxford, Pay What You Can)
Wed August 24, 7pm (Judson Church, FREE)
Fri August 26, 6pm (Jackie Robinson Park, FREE)
Sat August 27 7:30pm (South Oxford, Pay What You Can)
Mon Sep 5 5pm (West Side Community Garden, FREE) 

South Oxford Space, The Great Room, 138 South Oxford Space, Brooklyn
Freedom Socialist Party, Freedom Hall, 113 W. 128th St., Manhattan
Governors Island, House 8B in Nolan Park (part of the Dysfunctional Collective)
Jackie Robinson Park, bandshell, 85 Bradhurst Ave, at 145th St, Manhattan
Judson Memorial Church, Assembly Hall, 239 Thompson Street, Manhattan
West Side Community Garden, 142 W 89th St, Manhattan