BY CARRIE ANN SALVI
Jonathan Levin and Joshua William Gelb, Schreiber High School graduates, will return to The Connelly Theatre in January with their acclaimed one-man play “A Hunger Artist” for limited performances.
The historic New York City venue held the work’s world premiere, and rave reviews and five-star ratings filled the years since the show went the road and overseas. At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, their work received the Lustrum Award for Excellence in 2017.
“A Hunger Artist” was also nominated for two Drama Desk awards; Outstanding Solo Artist and Outstanding Puppet Design.
Levin and a second Josh, Luxenberg, are the co-artistic directors of Sinking Ship Productions, which is producing the play. They joined with Gelb on the production. Gelb serves as director, Levin is the performer and Luxenberg is the writer.
For Levin and Gelb, who met at Schreiber, it was the first project they worked on together since high school in 2002.
“In a very real sense, this project wouldn’t exist without Schreiber,” said Levin, the Brooklyn-based performer and theater-maker.
“The extracurricular theater program that was there at the time was, I think, deeply inspiring to a number of us who went on to pursue careers in the theater. People like Mark Gamell, Cam Gelb, and Mardi Braun who ran it weren’t afraid to give us challenging material and bring us along in their vision of what live theater could be,” Levin said.
The play is based on one of the few short stories not ordered to be burned by Franz Kafka after his death. Kafka died of starvation from complications of tuberculosis while editing the story in 1924.
Levin, the performer, will sit on stage a dozen times in January, starving for your entertainment accompanied by Victorian miniatures, puppets and a few props.
The New York Times called the 75-minute play ‘visually arresting’ citing an ‘elegant script’ by Josh Luxenberg.
The Huffington Post said the show was “spellbinding…almost as if Kafka himself willed it into being.”
“A Hunger Artist” is more than a one-man show behind the scenes. Aside from Levin, the performer, and Gelb, who directs, a team of designers, producers, and artists are also part of its success and travels throughout the Northeast.
New York City performances run between January 6 and 18 at The Connelly. General admission ranges between $35 and $50, and tickets can be sought with a call to 800-838-3006.
Trailers and tickets are available at www.sinkingshipproductions.com
Note: Co-artistic director Josh Luxenberg’s named was misspelled in an earlier version as Luxemberg.