Custom Made Theatre Co. presents 

Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade

adapted by Eric Simonson

directed by Brian Katz

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“A hit … adroitly and powerfully staged by Brian Katz, one of the Bay Area’s best directors… It is a true ensemble production with each actor adding a quality performance to the whole doing justice to Vonnegut’s most popular work.”  Kedar Adour, For All Events

“Dazzlingly mounted…”is a challenging evening of theatre and Brian Katz and company pull this off with a grand style.” -Richard Connema, Talkin’ Broadway

“Collectively, the cast paints a compelling picture that reflects Vonnegut’s creation: a fusion of war story, bizarre science-fiction adventure and a quirky portrait of Americana”  Leo Stutzin, The Huffington Post

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It’s not too late to subscribe!  See Slaughterhouse for up to 60% off, receive reserved seating, unlimited changes, and free concessions.  It’s the best small theatre deal in town, and who couldn’t use a few extra shekels these days?  Learn more by clicking here!

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Slaughterhouse Five or The Children’s Crusade runs approximately 100 minutes, with no intermission.

Slaughterhouse Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes ‘unstuck in time.’ Billy says this happened after being abducted by aliens at his daughter’s wedding. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who, like Vonnegut, witnesses the Allies’ firebombing of Dresden.

A satirical and horrifying anti-war story, Slaughterhouse Five, carries a unique poignancy — and humor. A best seller when released, the novel brought Vonnegut to prominence as a major voice in American fiction.It has been adapted for the stage by Tony-nominated and Oscar-winning Eric Simonson and is directed byCustom Made Theatre’s Artistic Director Brian Katz.

With eleven actors playing dozens of characters, dynamic multimedia, and creative staging, Custom Made’s “Slaughterhouse” is sure to an unforgettable theatrical event.

Slaughterhouse Five plays September 12 through October 12 at the Gough Street Playhouse, 1620 Gough Street in San Francisco.

 

Tickets at: www.custommade.org/tickets

Preview Sept 12 &13, 8:00 pm; Sept.14, 7:00 pm
Opens Sept 16, 8:00 pm
NOW EXTENDED until Oct 26!  Thurs-Sat 8:00 pm, Sun 7:00 pm
Sunday matinees Oct 5, 12, 19, 26  3:00 pm. (You asked for them, you got them!)

Tickets $20-$50

Getting to Gough Street Playhouse

Visit our directions page to plan a route via Google Maps.  Save the planet, take public transportation!

Parking

Last minute parking on-the-street is not recommended, but is possible with some planning.

On weekday evenings a good approach is to park at 7:00pm between Bush and Pine on Franklin Street, just when it stops being a tow-away zone. At that time there are plenty of spaces, and plenty of restaurants to grab some dinner pre-show!

There are also plenty of parking lots between Geary/Van Ness and the Theatre.

Tickets at: www.custommade.org/tickets

Bios coming soon.

Cast

Ryan Hayes- Billy Pilgrim

Brian Martin- Young Billy Pilgrim

Dave Sikula* – Man

Alun Anderman /Myles Cence – Billy Boy (alternating performances)

Stephanie Ann Foster -Valencia/Derby/Ensemble

Sal Mattos -Weary/Rosewater/Ensemble

Chris Morrell – Chetwynde/Campbell/Ensemble

Jessica Jade Rudholm* – Barbara/Tralafamadorian/Ensemble

Carina Lastimosa Salazar – Montana Wildhack/Dotty/Ensemble

Paul Stout* -Kilgore Trout/Reggie/Ensemble

Sam Tillis – Lazzaro/Rumfoord/Ensemble

Production Crew

Brian Katz*, Director
Cat Howser, Stage Manager
Christine Keating, Asst. Director
Sarah Phykitt*, Scenic Designer
Maxx Kurzunski*, Lighting Design
Karina Chavarin, Costume Design
Rebecca Longworth, Video Design
Liz Ryder*, Sound Design
Daunielle Rasmussen*, Movement
Stewart Lyle*, Technical Director
Perry Aliado*, Dramaturge

*Member, Custom Made Theatre Co.

Reviews are coming in!  Click on the link to read full reviews (where appropriate):

“A hit … adroitly and powerfully staged by Brian Katz, one of the Bay Area’s best directors… It is a true ensemble production with each actor adding a quality performance to the whole doing justice to Vonnegut’s most popular work.”  Kedar Adour, For All Events

“Dazzlingly mounted…”is a challenging evening of theatre and Brian Katz and company pull this off with a grand style.” -Richard Connema, Talkin’ Broadway

“Collectively, the cast paints a compelling picture that reflects Vonnegut’s creation: a fusion of war story, bizarre science-fiction adventure and a quirky portrait of Americana”  Leo Stutzin, The Huffington Post

“(This) version scores high with fans with the book since it focuses on some points the screen play missed. This is a windy fast play, 90-minute romp without intermission through Vonnegut’s nonlinear narrative. The cast is great … all the moments hit right on. All 3 Pilgrims – and the narrator “Man” make this a moving night of theatre.” -Vince Mediaa, Mediaa Film & Theatre Reviews

“It has many fine moments, and some excellent performances, especially in the work of Sam Tillis as a crazed soldier intent on vengeance.” – Charles Kruger, TheatreStorm

 

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and Slaughterhouse Five

The New York Times has called Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.  “the novelist of the counterculture.” His works like Cat’s Cradle (1963), Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), and Breakfast of Champions (1973) blend satire, gallows humor, and science fiction. As a citizen he was a lifelong supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union and a critical pacifist intellectual. He was born in Indianapolis, in 1922, served in the U.S. Army in Europe, and died in New York City in 2007.

Central to his later writing were his war experiences.  He was assigned to the European front after Normandy and was captured during the Battle of the Bulge. Imprisoned in Dresden, he was chosen as a leader of the POWs because he spoke some German. After telling some German guards “what [he] was going to do to them when the Russians came,” he was beaten and had his position as leader revoked. He witnessed the Allied firebombing of Dresden in February 1945, which destroyed most of the historic city.  The firebombing of Dresden was the largest massacre of civilians in World War II.  More civilians died than in Hiroshima or Nagasaki.  It was a “safe city” bombed by the Allies, then covered up after the war

Vonnegut was part of a group of American prisoners of war who survived the bombing in an underground slaughterhouse meat locker used as an ad hoc detention facility. The German guards called the building Schlachthof Fünf (“Slaughterhouse Five”), and the POWs adopted that name. Vonnegut said that the aftermath of the attack on the defenseless city was “utter destruction” and “carnage unfathomable”. The experience was the inspiration for his famous novel Slaughterhouse-Five, and is a central theme in at least six of his other books.  (Source: Wikipedia)

If the novel Slaughterhouse Five has to be classified, it would be as an anti-war book. But Vonnegut writes that he might as well have made an anti-glacier novel. “ And even if we could stop wars (or glaciers) there would be just plain old death.”  Both novel and play have a unique combination of fatalism and humanity.

The Simonson adaptation of the play debuted at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater in 1996, then was rewritten in 2008 for Godlight Theatre in New York.

“We are doing the latest version which calls for an ensemble of actors, a minimum number of props, and a lot of imagination,” Brian Katz says.

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