Ubu Rex (Copelin)

by  Alfred Jarry, David Copelin

Full Length Play, Satire/Political Satire  /  14m, 2f, 4boy(s)

NOTICE: Please be advised, this title is from the Samuel French Vault and is made from a scan of an archived manuscript. We hope you’ll treasure this glimpse into theatre history.

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License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    14m, 2f, 4boy(s)
  • Duration

    Duration

    90 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Farce, Adaptations (Literature), Period, Parody / Spoof
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

Ubu Rex, David Copelin's translation of the world's first absurdist play, Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi, unmasks the savagery just below the surface of "normal" human behavior. The play's premiere in Paris in 1896 caused a riot. Set in "Poland – that is to say, nowhere", the play satirizes governments, philosophies, Shakespeare, and the greed and vanity of ordinary human beings. It is also very funny.

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Reviews

"Ubu Rex is the best Polish joke in world drama since Hamlet. David Copelin's translation, in gritty Northamericanese, is my favorite." - Michael Feingold, The Village Voice

"After us, the savage God." -- William Butler Yeats, at the play's premiere in 1896

"David Copelin's tough, vernacular translation gives the play contemporaneity and bite." -- Malcolm Johnson, The Hartford Courant

"The translation by David Copelin is fresh and uninhibited." -- Allan Lewis, The New Haven Register

 

 

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Professional Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Present Day, The Future, 19th Century
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting:

    An imaginary Poland and Russia. Sets and costumes, whether simple or complex, should be provocative and resonant.

  • Additional Features: Physical Comedy, Play w/ Music, Puppetry, Stage Combat
  • Features / Contains: Elaborate / High Volume Costumes, Fantasy Costumes, Period Costumes

Casting

14m, 2f, 4boy(s)

PA UBU
MA UBU
CAPTAIN SEXCREMENT
KING WENCESLAS
QUEEN ROSAMUND
Their Sons: BOLESLAS, LADISLAS, BUGGERLAS
GENERAL LASKI
STANISLAS LECZINSKI
JAN SOBIESKI
NICHOLAS RENSKY
CZAR ALEXIS
Frigadiers: PILE, COOTIE, CROTCH
CONSPIRATORS & SOLDIERS
PEOPLE
MICHAEL FEDEROVITCH
NOBLES
MAGISTRATES
COUNSELLORS
FINANCIERS
TAX COLLECTORS
PEASANTS
THE WHOLE RUSSIAN ARMY
THE WHOLE POLISH ARMY
MA UBU'S GUARDS
A CAPTAIN
THE BEAR
THE PHYNANCIAL HORSE
THE DISEMBRAINING MACHINE
THE SHIP'S MASTER
THE SHIP'S CREW

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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Cross gender casting
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Drag performance
  • Expandable casting
  • Flexible casting
  • Roles for Children
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Parts for Senior Actors

Casting Notes

Casting can be extremely imaginative. Whether your acting pool is large or small, the play can accommodate inventive ways to expand or contract the company.

Resources

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Authors

Alfred Jarry

Alfred Jarry

David Copelin

David Copelin

1980, Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, Connecticut

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