Robert Murphy and Jean Randich are looking at the city’s cultural landscape through a uniquely perceptive lens. Their brand new theater company, Collider Theater, is dedicated to telling stories that explore conflicts of cultures. “There are many art institutions that look at the cultural aspects, but we wanted to emphasize not how they connect with each other, but rather how they collide,” Murphy said. Although it sounds bleak, The Yale Drama school grad elaborated. “I feel if there is a focus on the company, it would be on objective observation because I’m more attracted to plays where questions get asked but are not easily answered. The idea is to bring up uncomfortable questions about how people get along with each other and then hand it to an audience to see how they handle it.”
This weekend , the fledgling theater group launches their inaugural production with the world premiere of Murphy’s play, Love, Sex and Death in the Amazon, setting the tone for the company’s theme of cultural miscommunication. The play, directed by Randich, tells the story of Marcos, a young man who has just passed away from leukemia. His partner, Walter, and Walter’s mother-in-law are forced to take a trip to the amazon to participate in a religious Afro-Brazilian ritual for dead spirits. “I have been telling people that the play is half true,” Murphy said. “My partner passed away from leukemia in March 2011 and there were some challenges with his mother during his illness. In October 2011, I took a solo trip to the amazon, so those experiences are basically where the impulses of the play came from.” The eight person play opens on October 10th and runs through October 31st in the East Village’s Paradise Factory.
Murphy is hoping that his new theater company will be able to produce at least one show per year. “We did a few Kickstarter campaigns which were very helpful and also raised some money from private donors. In the future, we may look to do a gala as well,” he added. For now, he’s pouring his energy and effort into opening weekend. “With so much theater happening in this city at once, it’s a little scary, but we’re hopeful—and it’s a lot of fun,” he concluded.
Love, Sex and Death in the Amazon opens October 10 and plays Thursdays – Mondays at 7:30pm through October 31 at The Paradise Factory at 64E4 (64 East 4th Street New York, NY 10003). Tickets are $18 and are on sale now via Brown Paper Tickets: lsda.brownpapertickets.com