By Byrne Harrison
Name: Brian Rady
Play: The Green Knight
Relationship to production: writer/ adapter
AND view our music video (below).
How did you first get involved in theatre?
I played the three of clubs, in Alice and Wonderland at a community theatre in Texas. My costume was basically one of those two-sided wearable roadside posters that say "Eat at Joe's."
Who are your biggest influences?
Mary Kinzie, a poet & one of my favorite professors, Anne Carson, Chuck Mee, and Jeremy Bloom.
What is your show about?
From the legend of the green knight, the figure of the party crasher originates. He comes to Camelot on Christmas Eve and lays down a challenge. The green knight says he'll kneel before anyone and allow them to chop off his head, as long as they agree to recieve the same blow a year later.
What inspired you to write in it?
I was originally drawn to the beautifully confounding verse of the medieval English epic poem, "Sir Gawain & The Green Knight," a fantastical, thrillingly alliterative, and ornate text. And what makes this seductive poem even more sexy is that we know so little about it. The author is anonymous and the story is utterly bizarre. I'm also drawn to the philosophical and political implications the story can have in a contemporary context. The green knight is essentially a hero-humbler, "green as the grass and greener still," possibly sent from the spirits of the bogs and of the earth, a manifestation of nature with which humankind must strike a bargain.
What made you want to perform in an eco-friendly theatre festival like Planet Connections?
The people and the passions behind Planet Connections are astoundingly warm and accessible and we were very excited to join in the fun this year.
Planet Connections is fairly unique in that a portion of the box office for each show is donated to a charity. What charity have you chosen and why?
826 NYC. It's a free tutoring and creative writing center for kids elementary to high-school. They're amazingly creative and enthusiastic over there and they really ignite kids to write. The story we're telling is mythic and bright-colored and in the spirit of curiosity just like the imaginations and talents of the programming, people, and students at 826 NYC.
What's next for you after Planet Connections?
I'd love to dramatize "Pearl" another of the poems in the same manuscript as the green knight poem. I'm also currently working on a piece called The Penelope Project which casts Homer's matriarch in a contemporary NYC context and gives her the agency a New York woman would have.
And finally, if you could go back in time and meet yourself as a kid, what advice would you give your younger self?
Have more fun with strangers!
The Green Knight
Written by Brian Rady
Directed by Jeremy Bloom
Running time: 90 minutes, no intermission
Venue: Green Room Theatre, Theatres at 45 Bleecker Street (downstairs), 45 Bleecker Street
Sun 6/6 @ 8:30pm
Thurs 6/10 @ 4:30pm
Sun 6/13 @ 6:30pm
Sun 6/20 @ 6:30pm
Sat 6/26 @ 3pm
Tues 6/29 @ 8pm