THE HEART OF A DOG
Bad Soviet Habits announces the world premiere production of The Heart of a Dog by Kurt Hartwig and Andy North, starting Friday, May 28, 2010. This distinctive actor-centered production will be held at the Divadlo na Prádle – Kavárna at the 2010 Prague Fringe Festival.
Where Bulgakov´s satire focused on then-contemporary Soviet society, Hartwig and North have incorporated historical events from the United States, keeping the satire but relocating the play both in place and time. The satire is less now at the particulars of history and more at the illusions of the present. True to Bulgakov, the story remains that of a friendly dog transformed accidentally by a brilliant scientist into a horrible man who happens to hate cats. The five characters in this version – the genius Doctor Voronov (Preobrazhensky in the novel), Doctor Bormenthal, the dogcatcher Pete, and finally Shardik the dog and Shardik the man – are all played by the two writer-performers. Neither North nor Hartwig occupy one role exclusively. They are not merely interchangeable within the show, however, but between shows. At the beginning of every performance, the audience will have a hand in determining which of the two shall begin the play as the dog. Viewers who come more than once may see the entire story performed by the opposite actor that they saw previously.
Bad Soviet Habits is a sometime-collective of artists and artisans which strives to create new work in alternative performance sites, and to foster new artists and projects. This is its second year at the Prague Fringe Festival, where last year Hartwig´s memory play Decaffeinated Tragedy won the inaugural Creativity Award.
In addition to this work, Kurt Hartwig has created the urban fairy tale Who I Was Yesterday, adapted and staged Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark for Theatre X in 2002, and created the dance-theater collaboration Cat’s Cradle with choreographer Luc Vanier at Dancework’s Mixed Six in 2005 and at the University of Milwaukee´s Winterdances in 2006. Kurt also produced kinetic sculptures for ArtBikes in connection with the UPAF Ride for the Arts in 2005 and 2006. In Milwaukee, he has directed for Next Act Theater, Bialystock & Bloom, and the Boulevard Theater, and has worked extensively in production in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, and trained and studied in the Czech Republic. His most recent project is producing Motionary Comics, an interactive, improvised comic strip 8´ tall and 60´ long, that will be created in one night at Moct Bar in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 16.
Andy North has performed extensively in Chicago and Milwaukee as an improviser and stand-up comedian. He took second place in 2001’s “Best New Talent” awards in Los Angeles, and won “Best Hair” with the group Alamo Basement at the 2005 Chicago Sketch Fest. He most recently appeared as the Twins in Kurt Hartwig’s Who I Was Yesterday and as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire at Sunset Playhouse. He is currently a performer in the ongoing sketch show Bye Bye Liver in Milwaukee.
THE HEART OF A DOG
Based on the novel by Mikhail Bulgakov
Adapted by Kurt Hartwig and Andy North
The Heart of a Dog is a new, two-person adaptation of Bulgakov´s classic satire. The story follows the trials of the friendly dog Shardik who is transformed by the genius Doctor Voronov into a horrible man who then must come to terms with his dual nature in the face of three role models who are each in their own way less than inspiring.
Divadlo na Prádle – Kavárna
Malá Strana, Praha 1
Prague Fringe Festival
Nightly at 6:30 pm
Limited seating – ample standing room
Kurt Hartwig, Andy North
Stage Manager: Kelly Crandall