PUSH Physical Theatre tackles deep themes in ‘Generic Male’

Around Town

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — PUSH Physical Theatre is performing its new show “Generic Male” at the JCC Hart Theatre in Brighton as part of the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival.

Upcoming performances are this Thursday, September 23 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, September 25 at 7:00 p.m.

Darren Stevenson, PUSH Founding Artistic Co-Director, and fellow PUSHer Ashley Jones discussed the idea behind the new work Tuesday during News 8 at Noon.

“The idea of ‘Generic Male’ started as a discussion between Darren and I about masculinity in the contemporary world,” said Jones. “What does it mean to us, how do we express it, how do we learn it, and how do we pass these learnings on generationally? So what came out of it was a lot of stuff about how we learn these things and how we teach others these things. There’s a lot in our show about fathers and sons and that relationship. We talk about the things we’ve taught our sons and the things we wish we had taught them. We developed work out of that and created the show.”

The World Premiere performance took place this past Saturday, September 18 at the JCC Hart Theatre. “The response was overwhelming,” said Steveson. “It was wonderful. We actually had a post-show reception so we got to talk to the audience and drink some wine and just hang out with the people who had just seen the show. We’re having another one of those next Saturday, by the way, for anyone who comes. And we’re really interested in feedback because for us this is a really different kind of show. We’re hitting on some hot-button issues and some really deep topics. But it’s very funny as well and so there’s kind of a light touch. It’s quite a satire about these two whiny English guys complaining about their privileged positions in society. We were quite nervous going into the performance. You’re just hoping the audience will get it and fortunately Rochester audiences are very smart and very thoughtful and in for a good laugh and a good satire so the whole thing worked.”

In addition to the content, there was the challenge of performing before a live audience for the first time in 18 months. “Yeah, it was really strange not performing with my own face in front of me for the first time in a year and a half!” joked Jones. “It was exciting knowing we were going to be back on stage in front of a live audience and feeling the electricity from the audience and the little giggles and laughs – and that moment where the doors of the theatre close and it closes your audience in and you’re stuck in there with them and we know this event, this action is about to happen – that’s one of my favorite moments of doing theatre and it’s back and it’s so exciting to be doing it again!”

For tickets to see “Generic Male” and more information about the Fringe Fest visit RochesterFringe.com.

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