Ubu (Jarry/Richardson)

by  Helen E. Richardson

Full Length Play, Satire/Political Satire  /  8m, 5f

A very loose adaptation of the French absurdist, Alfred Jarry’s infamous UBU Trilogy.

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Ubu (Jarry/Richardson)

by  Helen E. Richardson

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    8m, 5f
  • Duration

    Duration

    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Adaptations (Stage & Screen), Parody / Spoof
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

In this contemporary adaptation, Ma and Pa Ubu are in Greatlandia, and during their rise to power they find themselves riding the big waves of fast food gastronomy and trickledown economics, until all hell breaks loose! 

Remarkably prescient – this adaptation of Jarry’s Ubu Trilogy written in response to the GW Bush administration is even more apt to the Trump years. Now updated to reflect the new “commander in chief,” UBU ® is a play for our times.    

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Reviews

REVIEWS

"A hysterical look at the corruptible nature of wealth and power." 

"Brilliant."

"...over-the- top absurdities..."

"Uproarious"

"Energetic."

Humorous and uplifting."

"A dark Look at American culture today, UBU leads the audience to question almost all aspects of American Society."

-- All quotes are from Tezra White's review of UBU®, Dec. 4, 2006, The Kingsman, Brooklyn.


Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting:

    Greatlandia

  • Additional Features: Physical Comedy, Play w/ Music
  • Features / Contains: Fantasy Costumes

Casting

8m, 5f

PA UBU - Aspiring despot. Captain of the King’s RETROGUARDS and confidant to the good KING WALMARTICUS. UBU covets the Crown of Greatlandia and all the fast food he can eat, which is quite a bit.
MA UBU - Wife to PA UBU, aspirant to power and wealth, ruthless, flirtatious, and the cleverer UBU.
CONSCIENCE - PA UBU’S better half, who he carries around in a trunk that is rarely opened.
CAPTAIN MACNURE - Conspirator with PA and MA UBU, advisor to PA UBU. Object of MA UBU’s desire and ultimately a turncoat, for various good reasons.
KING WALMARTICUS - The not so wise King of Greatlandia.
QUEEN - Wife of WALMARTICUS, besieged by omens.
BOOGERLESS - Prince and rightful heir to the throne of Petrolandia. Earnest; an aspiring hero in quest of justice, but will he find it? Apparently, it’s all in the searching.
W.C. LATRINE a.k.a PISSALE - A television “star,” obsessed with the body, with his own fame, and his “ward” ELEUTHERIA.
ELEUTHERIA - Niece and ward of W.C. Latrine whose parents died in a mysterious accident, in love with CORPORAL PISSOFF and an aspiring hip-hop ballerina.
CORPORAL PISSOFF a.k.a THE EARL OF PINOT GRITIO - In love with ELEUTHRIA and head of a Squad of FREEMEN AVOCADO PIT SOLDIERS. 
JUDGE BETTY - Presiding no-nonsense Judge in the UBU trial, focused on her lunch hour and, secondly, the after-work Happy Hour. 
UBU ROY II - Machiavellian long lost brother of PA UBU. 
Other characters include: NEWSCASTERS, SOLDIERS, JURY, ATTONREYS, STAFF, CHORUS, CONVICTS, CROWD, CAMERA PERSONS, GUARDS.

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Cast Attributes

  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Flexible casting
  • Multicultural casting

Casting Notes

The play encourages casting across gender, age, ethnicity, etc.

Resources

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Authors

Helen E. Richardson

Helen E. Richardson received her training from Ariane Mnouchkine and the Théâtre du Soleil and Peter Brook and Sotigui Kouyaté of the Peter Brook Company. She served as Artistic Director of the Stalhouderij Theatre Company, Amsterdam's English-language theater, an international ensemble of actors creating new works. ...

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Ubu premiered at the George Gershwin Theatre at Brooklyn College in November 2006 under the direction of Helen E. Richardson.

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