Confirmation Photo

US Premiere

Theater

January 13-17

Confirmation
Chris Thorpe & Rachel Chavkin (UK/USA)

Confirmation attempts to have an honorable dialogue, real and imagined, with extremist thinking and the toughest political issues of our time. Set in an arena-style ring, a series of conversations between Thorpe and a British activist from the extreme right unfold; tackling frustrations that happen within political discourse and the phenomenon of “Confirmation Bias”.

Confirmation challenges notions of what it means to be open minded and asks whether any of us are really listening to the other side of an argument. The effects of confirmation bias is often stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs, an area which Thorpe and Chavkin are not afraid to tread.

Writer & Performer: Chris Thorpe
Director: Rachel Chavkin
Design Consultant: Ben Pacey
Sound Editor: Melanie Wilson
Producer: China Plate
Videography: Mehmet Salih Yildirim

“a fiercely intelligent and relentlessly curious piece that strives for the truth.” – Herald Scotland

85 minutes running time

Chris Thorpe is a writer and performer from Manchester. He is a founding member of Unlimited and is also an artistic associate of Third Angel. He is making a cycle of solo pieces and continues to collaborate with companies like Slung Low, Forest Fringe, RashDash and Soup Collective, with whom he wrote and recorded the piece The Bomb On Mutannabbi Street Is Still Exploding, which has been permanently installed at the Imperial War Museum North. Chris’s plays have been produced worldwide and he has toured with Unlimited and Third Angel in Europe, Africa, Asia and the USA. His new show with Unlimited, Am I Dead Yet? was part of the British Council Showcase in 2015 alongside Confirmation.
 
Recent projects include a trilogy of plays, Overdrama, House/Garden and Dead End for Portuguese company mala voadora, which continue to tour in Europe. His new show with mala, Your Best Guess, opened at Lisbon’s Almada Festival in June 2015. He is also still touring in Third Angel’s show What I Heard About The World, recently to Poland, Brazil, Germany and Lebanon. He also wrote forums performed in Third Angel’s Paradise Project.
 
He worked with poet Hannah Jane Walker in 2010 to make her solo show, This Is Just To Say. Hannah and Chris then worked together again to create The Oh Fuck Moment, which won a Fringe First at Edinburgh Fringe 2011, and I Wish I Was Lonely in 2013, most recently performed at Perth International Festival. He also plays guitar in Lucy Ellinson’s political extreme noise project TORYCORE.
 
As a playwright, Chris revived his show, There Has Possibly Been An Incident, at the Stuckemarkt in Berlin (following an invitation from playwright Simon Stephens). He also wrote Northern Stage’s Christmas Show, Dark Woods, Deep Snow in 2013. Chris is currently writing shows for the Royal Court and the Unicorn Theatre as well as continuing work with Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre as an Associate Artist, working towards a new piece in 2017.
 
Rachel Chavkin is a Brooklyn-based director/dramaturg/writer, and the Artistic Director of collaborative ensemble the TEAM. Founded in 2004, the TEAM makes new work about the experience of living in America today, and aims to keep the brain, eyes, and heart of the audience constantly stimulated. Four time winners of the Fringe First, winner of the 2011 Herald Angel, the 2011 EIF Fringe Prize, and ranked Best of 2013 on three continents, the TEAM’s work includes Mission Drift, a new musical composed by Heather Christian that travels through 400 years of history in pursuit of the soul of American capitalism, and RoosevElvis, the story of a surreal road trip from the Badlands to Graceland. The TEAM has been presented at or received commissions from organizations all over New York (including the Public Theater, PS122, and the Bushwick Starr), nationally (including the Walker Art Center and the A.R.T.), internationally (including London’s National Theatre, the National Theatre of Scotland, the Barbican Centre, the Almeida Theatre, the Traverse Theatre, international festivals in Perth and Hong Kong, and the Salzburg Festival’s Young Directors Program).
 
In addition to her work with the TEAM, Rachel collaborates regularly with writers and composers on new work. Recent projects include Dave Malloy’s immersively staged electro-pop opera Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (Kazino – commercial transfer; World Premiere: Ars Nova – New York Times, Time Out New York and New York Post Critics’ Picks, and Top Ten); storyteller James Monaco and composer Jerome Ellis’ collaboration Aaron/ Marie; Meg Miroshnik’s The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls (Yale Rep); Rick Burkhardt, Alec Duffy and Dave Malloy’s Three Pianos (A.R.T., NYTW – Dec ’10/Jan ’11, Ontological Incubator Series – Feb/March ’10, 2010 Obie Award); and repeat collaborations with playwright/performer/activist Taylor Mac including his extravaganza The Lily’s Revenge (World Premiere, Act II) (HERE Arts Center, 2010 Obie Award) and Peace, co-written by Mac and Chavkin (Workshop, HERE Arts Center, 2007).
 
Rachel is a two-time Obie Winner, and was nominated as Best Director for both the Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Awards for her work on Great Comet. Upcoming work includes multiple projects with Dave Malloy, adapting folk singer Anaïs Mitchell’s album Hadestown, a theatrical concert adaption of Mac Wellman’s intergalactic Ohio-based novel Annie Salem in collaboration with composer Heather Christian, and the TEAM’s multigenerational cover band project, Primer for a Failed Superpower.
 
China Plate is an independent theatre studio that works with artists, venues, festivals and funders to make original, exciting theatre that plays with form and has narrative at its heart.
 
China Plate consists of Ed Collier, Paul Warwick, Kirsten Burrows and Kaya Stanley-Money.

The Invisible Dog Art Center The Invisible Dog Art Center is housed in a three-story former factory building in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Built in 1863, our 30,000 square foot facility has been the site of various industrial endeavors – most notably a belt factory that created the famous Walt Disney invisible dog party trick, from which they take their name. The building remained dormant from the mid 1990’s to 2009 when founder, Lucien Zayan, opened The Invisible Dog.
 
The Invisible Dog is dedicated to the integration of forward-thinking innovation with respect for the past. In 2009 the building was restored for safety, and has been maintained over the years, but otherwise preserved in tact from its original 1863 form. The rawness of the space is vital to the space’s cultural identity.
 
The ground floor is used for exhibitions, performances and public events, featuring artists and curators from round the world. This floor also includes a new pop-up shop, designed by artist-in-residence Anne Mourier, conceived as a new home for independent, commercial designers in various fields. The second floor and part of the third floor are divided into over 30 artists’ studios.The third floor, luminous and spacious is used for private events, exhibitions, performances and festivals. Finally, the Glass House is a brand new, seasonal exhibition space dedicated to featuring the work of female-identified artists.

 

The Invisible Dog Art Center is located in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn and is accessible by the F and G subways. This cool and calm region on the northwest side of Brooklyn is home to roughly 20,000 residents. Invisible Dog Art Center sits one block from Dean Street and two blocks from Atlantic Avenue, both boasting a plethora of bars and restaurants.
 
Boerum Hill claims a trendy stretch of Smith Street as its own, and small cafes and stores are dotted throughout the neighborhood’s interior, like the restaurant Building on Bond and the Brooklyn Circus boutique. Some staff picks include: 61 Local, just next door at 61 Bergen Street! Hancos, 85 Bergen St & 134 Smith Street (2 locations); Van Leeuwen, 81 Bergen Street; Bien Cuit, 120 Smith Street; Van Horn Sandwich Shop, 231 Court Street; Ki Sushi, 122 Smith Street.

 
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Featured image by China Plate
 
Confirmation was produced by the Warwick Arts Centre and China Plate and commissioned by Northern Stage and Battersea Arts Centre.

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