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The Presented

THEATRE


The Presented

The Place

34-38 York Place
The Baird: AUG 1-25 at 13:45 (60 min) - Free

The Presented

A struggling artist working at a movie theater, Chris goes on a surreal adventure into his subconscious while popping popcorn. From childhood moments to famous 19th century actresses, armadillos and fog machines, The Presented is a funny and insightful look at success and rejection in the modern world.

"A strikingly original writer & performer." - The Scotsman

"The Spalding Gray of Philly." - Broad St. Review



News and Reviews for this Show

August 20, 2019    The List

Chris Davis presents an alternative look at the art of fringe performance.

Jaded with the Fringe? Tired of the same old comics, gauche student productions, the usual publicly funded tent-poles? Chris Davis is here to shake all that up. Why should anyone assume that the more money a show costs, the better it is? Pretty much all the production value of Davis's show The Presented is carried in the same fading backpack he's brought to the Edinburgh Fringe for the last ten years.

'I'm holding a space for Geoff Sobelle' announces Davis as his show begins. 'Of course, you're important to me, but it's just that he's more important than you …' Sobelle's expansive production Home, presented at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2018, is name-checked specifically, but it's the cultural assumptions we have about theatre, and art generally, that Davis is targeting. He describes his own agonising experiences at a Fringe brunch for performers and producers, networking opportunities that slip away from him and leave him serving popcorn in a movie theatre to fund his theatrical ventures.

... Click Here For Review


August 20, 2019    The Scotsman

 Click Here For Review


The Presented

August 19, 2019   The List

The Presented

Chris Davis presents an alternative look at the art of fringe performance
Jaded with the Fringe? Tired of the same old comics, gauche student productions, the usual publicly funded tent-poles? Chris Davis is here to shake all that up. Why should anyone assume that the more money a show costs, the better it is? Pretty much all the production value of Davis's show The Presented is carried in the same fading backpack he's brought to the Edinburgh Fringe for the last ten years.

'I'm holding a space for Geoff Sobelle' announces Davis as his show begins. 'Of course, you're important to me, but it's just that he's more important than you …' Sobelle's expansive production Home, presented at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2018, is name-checked specifically, but it's the cultural assumptions we have about theatre, and art generally, that Davis is targeting. He describes his own agonising experiences at a Fringe brunch for performers and producers, networking opportunities that slip away from him and leave him serving popcorn in a movie theatre to fund his theatrical ventures.

Reviews of Chris Davis's shows mention the great raconteur Spalding Gray; that's high praise indeed, because those who knew Gray will remember him as a stage-presence of the highest order. But the comparisons are deserved; Davis is a festival specialist, and without anything in the way of props or lighting changes, he makes his show vibrant and fun; his discussion of how he deals with rejection letters is particularly amusing, as are his pithy interactions with Adah Isaacs Menken, a 19th century actress, once the most recognised in the world.

The Presented is also a dance piece, with Davis throwing some shapes to an electronic groove; this dance is shortened each time it's performed. While offering a deliberately insubstantial quality, Davis's show an invigorating alternative to the usual fare, based as it is on the kind of innovative spirit that the Fringe was originally created to showcase.

Laughing Horse @ The Place, until 25 Aug, 1.45pm, free. Click Here For Article


Review: The Presented at 59E59 Theaters

July 15, 2019    DC Metro Arts

Review: The Presented at 59E59 Theaters

A recurrent favorite at 59E59’s annual “East to Edinburgh” line-up, California native Chris Davis returns to New York with his latest original solo show The Presented, after debuting it last year in Philadelphia, where he is based, and before taking it to Scotland’s iconic Fringe festival in August. In it, he gives an extremely funny, poignant, and personal vision of what it’s like to be a “solo-y theater-y” indie artist, sardonically guaranteed to “make you never want to pursue a career in the arts.” But you’ll be oh-so thankful that he did.

Taking us on a whirlwind journey through his ever-active and brilliantly insightful mind, Davis conveys – in direct address to the audience and with frequent one-on-one interactions – the angst of being a theater artist, while working “a shit job” making popcorn at a movie theater. Under the direction of long-time collaborator Mary Tuomanen, he makes us see what he sees and feel what he feels through candid stream-of-consciousness revelations, visually perceptible descriptions, and expressive movements and mime, while going full circle from enthusiastic and energetic to enervated and disheartened and back again, all within the minimalist space of the black-box theater.

Throughout his wildly surreal imaginings, inventive ideas for his dream play (with high production values!), and nerve-wracking anticipation of auditions and meetings, Davis conjures haunting memories from his childhood and adolescence that foreshadow and parallel the fear and pain of rejection and negative criticism faced in his (and any artist’s) career, considers the pressure of struggling to remain authentic and independent while not earning enough income to pay the bills, and lauds the performers he admires (contemporary fringe artist Geoff Sobelle and 19th-century actress Adah Isaacs Menken – successful, but still largely unknown to the audience) for never selling out, when so many alternative festivals are now going for the big bucks, not the true fringe entertainment on which they were founded.

If there were ever any question that Chris Davis is THE quintessential fringe artist, The Presented proves beyond a doubt that he is. How much this extraordinarily talented, personable, and engaging artist can do with a bare stage, a dirty backpack, a simple voiceover (with an imposing announcement of “The Presented”), and a rightfully responsive audience is nothing short of astonishing and rave-worthy. He gets a rave from me. Click Here For Review