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UBU TRUMP
A tragi-comic play by Rainer Ganahl, after Alfred Jarry

press: vice magazine

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STARRING
Whitney Alexander
Nickolas Calabrese
Rainer Ganahl

December 2, 2017
7 pm
Daniel Wilhelmina Funeral Home
110 West 131st Street, New York City

Presented in collaboration with White Columns

UBU TRUMP

Alfred Jarry first presented his absurdist, expletive-filled play King Ubu in Paris in 1896, and instantly ignited a literary scandal.

King Ubu not only influenced artistic movements such as Dada, Surrealism, and the Absurd Theater of Jean Genet and Samuel

Beckett, but it anticipated, with frightening perspicacity, the catastrophic political madness of the 21st century.

Written in a rudimentary and comically nonsensical way—it even incorporates some of Jarry’s high-school stunts—the play

lends itself to updating with contemporary slang and subjects. About 10 years ago, Rainer Ganahl rewrote Jarry’s text as Ubu

Lenin, with Vladimir Lenin and his wife Nadezhda Krupskaya as the protagonists. Now, the advent of Donald Trump has

presented an even more appropriately divisive, madcap, narcissistic stand-in for King Ubu.

Ganahl's Ubu Trump will take place in Harlem, a neighborhood filled with many of the very people Trump supporters would

like to see deported, banned, or put behind “big, beautiful walls.” Just like Jarry’s King Ubu, Trump and his cronies run their

administration like a mafia family business, with barely fig-leafed personal enrichment schemes layered upon corrupt policies

and, in all likelihood, treason. In Ubu Trump, the father, King Ubu, has been replaced with Ubu Trump, while Mama Ubu is

reincarnated as Ubu Ivanka. Originally set in Poland and Russia, the new play blends Warsaw with Washington, and Poland

with the USA, alluding to Trump's special dealings with Putin and the new right-wing government in Poland.

The actors perform behind three simple graphic panels based on Jarry's own sketches of King Ubu, and overlapped with

renderings of the ruling Trump family: Donald, Ivanka, Jared, and their Russian guest, Putin.

This theatrical performance will be staged at a morgue in Harlem, the neighborhood where Ganahl has been living for more

than 20 years.

the actual play:

see PDF of actula text.

see the actual piece ON YOUTUBE

photos by Emily Clayton