By Talene Monahon
Directed by Jaki Bradley
With Carolyn Braver, Adam Chanler-Berat, David J. Cork, Ryan Spahn, Andy Taylor, Lucy Taylor, Richard Topol, and Nicole Villamil
Every year, across the country, thousands of historical reenactors stage the bloodiest, most divisive battles fought on American soil. Pursuing total authenticity, they fire muskets, chew hardtack, and wear handmade period clothing in brutal weather.
Drawing on a series of interviews begun by playwright Talene Monahon in 2015, the play weaves together verbatim conversations with Revolutionary and Civil War reeanactors. How to Load a Musket offers a unique look at this all-consuming hobby and the people who practice it as they find themselves caught in the crosshairs of a national battle over how history is told.
Less Than Rent creates dynamic and dangerous theater where the energy is explosive and the volume is turned all the way up. Whether it’s with a new work from a fresh voice, a remix of a classic, or a devised piece by their ensemble, their goal is to skew the canon, exploring universal themes and familiar ideas in a way that’s jolting and in-your-face. They’re a big company that makes big plays, driven by their signature combination of passion, curiosity, and swagger.
Since 2010, LTR has produced twelve full-length plays, as well as numerous readings and workshops. Their work has been seen at the New Ohio, HERE Arts Center, La MaMa, Walkerspace, Wild Project, and Horse Trade Theater Group. In addition to multiple FringeNYC and United Solo awards and NYIT nominations, they were named Indie Theater Now’s “People of the Year” in 2013.
Read more at: http://www.lessthanrent.org/
"A complex portrait of a darkly peculiar American pastime." – The New Yorker
"Playful, occasionally mocking, and the intercutting sly." –New York Times
"Simultaneously entertaining, informative, and sleekly produced by Less Than Rent Theatre, MUSKET hits the bullseye."
"MUSKET bursts with competing ideas, and director Jaki Bradley impressively keeps them from becoming muddled in a production that feels fully realized without ever getting in the way the consistently excellent performances." –Theatermania
"The cast are all first-rate"
"Talene Monahon has done a most impressive job with HOW TO LOAD A MUSKET." –TheaterPizzazz
"Sometimes comic, sometimes serious, and always compelling"
"The excellent cast under Jaki Bradley's direction provices a wonderful ensemble feel to the entire evening."
"For Talene Monahon, the playwright, this is an auspicious premiere event." –TalkingBroadway
"Bang-up ensemble" – Time Out
"It also uses the words of hobbyists whom it portrays in artfully interwoven snapshots as a way into some of the thorniest issues in the sociopolitiral landscape of America today."
"It sometimes feels like one is watching a live documentary, which is a testament to the cast's protean and uniformly rich performances."
"As entertaining as it is thought-provoking, there is no reason not to pull the trigger on seeing HOW TO LOAD A MUSKET." – Thinking Theater
"Smartly done in nearly every aspect, HOW TO LOAD A MUSKET is an absorbing study in American mindsets that deserves a longer life in a larger theater than the little third floor space at 59E59." –NY Stage Review
"Fun, fast and often hilarious."
"Her interviews are rich, fascinating and human" –Exuent
"Thoroughly engaging" –Woman Around Town
"They (the cast) are all terrific"
"A worthwhile piece"
"A really impressive first play" –Broadway Radio
"A compact pistol of a play"
"Smart, funny and packed with a terrific troops of actors doing double and triple duty or more"
"The play, presented by Less Than Rent Theatre, aims, fires and hits the mark" – Theater News Online