It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…insane!

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These plays, plays by Axelrod, Mark, the other Axelrod, not the one who worked for Obama, Obamaless, the other Axelrod, his plays, are. And are the plays of Axelrod, no
t the one who worked for Obama, Obamaless, and are the plays of Axelrod, Axelrodian.  Yes, in all manner of speaking, speaking high or low, they are and you, the Reader, Reader of Axelrod, not the one who worked for Obama, Obamaless, the other Axelrod, should read these plays with relish. For without relish, they would not be as absurd.
—Samuel Beckett


Can Superman avoid deportation?

Will Van Gogh survive an IRS audit?

Does Donald Trump talk to himself?

Has the world gone mad?

This outrageous and timely collection confronts our contemporary nightmares with devastating wit and insight. In the provocative title play, Superman stands trial as an illegal alien. In “A Colloquy of Birds,” Axelrod takes aim at a flock of notorious Republican women — the “politically effete.” And just when you thought it was safe to applaud, experience the maniacal monologues of Chairman Trump.

Here are eight rousing absurdist dramas destined to be modern classics.

SUPERMAN IN AMERICA & OTHER ABSURD PLAYS
by Mark Axelrod
Trade paperback, 354 pp.,  $16

CLICK HERE TO ORDER ON AMAZON

 


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Monsieur Godeau, party of one, your table is waiting…

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“It is upon this one comedy that Balzac can lay any claims as a dramatic artist.”
—The New York Times

If you missed the limited edition published in 2013, the wait is over. Mark Axelrod’s translation of this obscure comedy by Balzac is now available worldwide on Amazon in a handsome paperback edition.

Originally presented under the title Mercadet or The Good Businessman, this play in three acts appears to have inspired the creation of the unseen character in Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. Indeed, 102 years before Godot ‘s debut, Mercadet opened at the Theatre du Gymnase-Dramatique in Paris and—curiously enough—featured a character named “Godeau” who never appears on stage.

A comic coincidence? One of life’s little absurdities?

The translator met and corresponded with Beckett, and in WAITING FOR GODEAU we present an unpublished letter from Beckett in which the burning question is answered.

Or is it?

You be the judge.

WAITING FOR GODEAU
by Honore de Balzac
Translated from the French by Mark Axelrod
5.06″ x 7.81″ (12.852 x 19.837 cm)
trade paperback; 154 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0692738108
$12.95

CLICK HERE TO ORDER ON AMAZON

The play’s the thing….

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We proudly raise the curtain on this new collection by Eckhard Gerdes—three plays in a variety of styles which challenge preconceptions and subvert complacency.

Who knew that novelist Eckhard Gerdes was also a playwright? Members of the audience who saw the absurdist play ’S a Bird first performed at the Chopin Theatre in Chicago in 1994 did, and they almost died laughing in the process. The children of King-Edison Elementary School in Macon, Georgia, did when they argued about who would get to play which character in Clockwise in their school production in 2000. And a few dozen close friends of Eckhard Gerdes did when they read the script of The Death of Anton Webern, a play that has until now never been published or performed. These three plays offered here are very different from one another, but all show that distinctive voice and personality for which the writing of Eckhard Gerdes has become known. Enjoy these glimpses into the mind of one of America’s most innovative novelists as he depicts the drama and absurdity of human relationships.

“A writer clearly impatient with the currently devalued conventions of modern writing. His work is a fresh wind!” —Michael Moorcock

THREE PLAYS BY ECKHARD GERDES
5.06″ x 7.81″ (12.852 x 19.837 cm)
trade paperback; 132 pages
$12.95

CLICK HERE TO ORDER ON AMAZON

 

Three Plays by D. Harlan Wilson

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Black Scat Books is proud to add D. Harlan Wilson to its list of luminaries. This is the renegade author’s first collection of plays, and it’s guaranteed to provoke  standing ovations — or perhaps we should say “fistfights in the orchestra” as Jarry’s Ubu Roi did so long, long ago.

Over the last two decades, D. Harlan Wilson has established himself as a writer of avant-garde fiction that has been called many names, ranging from speculative, literary and postmodern to irreal, bizarro, absurdist and “splatter-schtick.” Some say he defies categorization and is a genre unto himself. In THREE PLAYS, Wilson subverts traditional forms of stagecraft, unmans the helm of narrative, and exposes the nightmares that distinguish everyday life in urban and suburban America. Channeling Samuel Beckett and Jon Fosse in one scene, Russell Edson and Alfred Jarry in the next, he subjects actors as much as audiences and readers to mindless violence and torrid irrationality under the auspices of literary theory, psychoanalysis, philosophy and science. These plays belong more to an ultramodern zoo than a modern-day theater. In “The Triangulated Diner,” a Camero fishtails across the stage and runs over actors as jungle animals attack the audience. An elephant is hung onstage by a crane for stomping on the head of an abusive handler in “The Dark Hypotenuse.” “Primacy” finds a husband and wife struggling to write the perfect obituary, ideally one that includes wuxia death matches and flying holy men . . . This collection describes a microcosm that is at once uncanny and familiar, weird and ordinary, comedic and horrific. Wilson puts the human condition on trial and challenges us to view theatrics in a different light.

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The official publication date is March 15th, but ADVANCE COPIES ARE AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon. CLICK HERE to order.

THREE PLAYS BY D. HARLAN WILSON
Trade paperback; 160 pages; $12.95
ISBN-13: 978-0692631539

Cover photograph by Lodiza LePore / DESIGN BY NORMAN CONQUEST

Alphonse Allais—LIVE!—On Stage!

OK, that’s hyperbole, but here’s the next best thing to Allais’s reincarnation.

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Please take your seats…STANDING ROOM ONLY.

This long awaited collection of rare theatrical texts includes original translations—never before published in English—of ten monologues, three one-act plays, and twelve shorter dialogues, skits and burlesques drawn from Allais’s columns in such publications as Le Chat Noir  and L’Hydropathe.

In addition to Doug Skinner’s fascinating notes on the texts, you’ll find an appendix of scarce photographs from the Paris production of “Le Pauvre Bougre et Le Bon Génie.”

Here’s a peek at the Playbill…

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This unique collection of absurdist gems is proto-Dada at its most delicious!

Available in a trade paperback edition; 124 pp. Illustrated. $12.95

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Move over, Jarry!

Doppelgängbangers—Live on Stage!

BIRD

If you thought the Theatre of the Absurd was dead, think again—it’s alive & kicking in ‘S A BIRD by Eckhard Gerdes. This crazy, Patchenesque drama subverts expectations at every turn. It flips words upside down, turns them inside-out, and serves them up like waffles of Dada.

There’s a madcap cast of characters, too—complete with dead ringers—a sax player, pianist, a soprano and You (#’s 1, 2, 3).

We invite you to enjoy this jazzy, gender-bending battle of the saxes.

‘S A BIRD
A play by Eckhard Gerdes
Black Scat Classic Interim Edition No. 06
Perfect-bound, 68 pp., Limited to 100 copies.
$14

CLICK HERE to order.

The Wait is Over!

“It is upon this one comedy that Balzac can lay any claims as a dramatic artist.”
The New York Times

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The literary event of the season has arrived—Mark Axelrod’s sublime translation of this obscure (but highly influential) comedy by Honoré de Balzac.

Originally presented under the title Mercodet or The Good Businessman, this play in three acts was perhaps the inspiration for the unseen character in Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett.

102 years before Godot ‘s debut, Mercodet opened at the Theatre du Gymnase-Dramatique in Paris on August 24, 1851. Curiously enough, it featured a character named “Godeau” who never appears.

A comic coincidence? One of life’s little absurdities? Translator Mark Axelrod was determined to find out.

He met and corresponded with Beckett. And in Waiting for Godeau we present a rare, unpublished letter from Beckett  in which the burning question is answered.

Or is it?

You be the judge.

Waiting for Godeau
by Honoré de Balzac
Translated from the French by Mark Axelrod

Absurdist Texts & Documents – No. 22
138 pp. Edition limited to 250 copies
$25.00

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Black Scat Does Balzac

Samuel Beckett’s classic absurdist play Waiting for Godot  was first presented in Paris on January 5, 1953.

Flashback: Paris, 102 years earlier, where Honoré de Balzac ‘s comedy Mercadet  had its inaugural  performance at the Theatre du Gymnase-Dramatique on August 24, 1851.

Mercadet features a character named “Godeau” who never appears.

Hmm.

Beckett claimed he never read Balzac’s play.

We think not. Thus, next month, Black Scat Books is publishing Balzac’s three-act comedytranslated from the French by Mark Axelrod. This unique limited edition includes an unpublished letter from Samuel Beckett to the translator.

On October 15, 2013, you be the judge.

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