Third Annual Gorilla Theater Festival

Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which a small group of combatants such as armed civilians or irregulars use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, raids, petty warfare, hit-and-run tactics, and mobility to fight a larger and less-mobile traditional military.

  • As defined by Wikipedia

Gorilla Theater is a form of irregular theater in which small groups of participants from all over Northern New Mexico employ all of the tactics related above to make theater not war on an unsuspecting audience all within the span of 32 hours.

  • As defined by Teatro Serpiente

This Saturday, June 6th at Taos Mesa Brewing, Teatro Serpiente is extremely proud to present the most spontaneous, raucous, nerve-wracking, emotionally-explosive theater event of the year — our third annual Gorilla Theater Festival. This 32-hour theater festival brings together writers and actors from around the region to bring you a show chock-full of brand-spanking-new theatrical pieces!

Participants in the 2014 Gorilla Theater Festival

Participants in the 2014 Gorilla Theater Festival

Here’s how it all happens. For the past two weeks we’ve been actively recruiting our friends, colleagues, comrades in arms, strangers we see on the street that happen to have a twinkle of mischief in their eye, to write and/or act in this down and dirty theatrical undertaking.

We know they’re busy, who isn’t? So, we sell them on the fact that it’s only one day of their lives. We encourage them with the knowledge that in order for this show to be a success we need their unique talents as a human being. We prey on their unbridled desire to claim their fifteen minutes of fame in front of their friends and familylt photo 2 and finally get their ass on stage.

And if all of this cajoling and pleading still falls short we hit them with the indisputable fact that there will be delicious Taos Mesa Brewing beer.

When that’s all said and done, we typically end up with a motley but enthusiastic band of about 30 individuals from the community, ranging from ages 14-70, from all different walks of life, who are crazy enough to live our dream of writing and acting original theater solely because we can.

lt photo 3As with most good things in life, the festival begins with the writers. On Friday morning June 5th, the clock starts ticking!  The dedicated souls who signed up to write receive a theme and one prop. Thrown to the wolves or sent on their merry way (depending on whether you’re a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty kind of person), the writers then have 24 hours to produce a final short one act, between 3-10 minutes in length. Stage One: complete!

Stage Two: theater madness ensues. Saturday morning June 6th, the adrenaline junkies of the theater world assemble at Taos Mesa Brewing to brave sun, wind, and a full day of frantic memorizing to receive their scripts. They have eight hours to turn the writers’ 24-hour opuses into something stage worthy.

Stage Three: showtime. 7 p.m. on Saturday June 6th you, the willing victim of our theater maelstrom, arrive at Taos Mesa Brewing, settle in with a frosty beer or three, and witness some seriously raw untamed theater.LT photo

And maybe you’re asking so what? What’s the big deal, what’s the point? Unfortunately my answer can only be effectively conveyed through Vulcan mind-meld, as it’s a medley of colors, whispered scents of emotion, soul-stirring poetry, and puppies. But here’s a stab at it: theater is a conversation where there’s an unspoken agreement to listen. Audience and actors both suspend their disbelief and immerse themselves in a reality outside of themselves to talk about what it means to be human. Distilling that experience into 32 hours leaves no time for doubts or polished arguments about ossified opinion. It does, however, offer an opportunity to find out what lies beneath.

Interested in playing? Sign-ups for actors and writers are open until midnight on Wednesday June 3 — find the sign-up sheet and the full schedule here.

For those of you who wish to come witness this event in all its original chaos and glory, doors open at 6 p.m. at Taos Mesa Brewing on Saturday June 6. Cover $7. Theater, mayhem, good food and beer! See you there.