by Berolt Brecht
in a new translation by Jennifer Wise
U.S. Premiere produced by Lyra Theater
The Olmsted Salon at St.George's Church
October 20 - November 5, 2016
*** Featured in The New York Times: "New York Theater Artists' Latest Muse: Donald Trump" ***


director - Noam Shapiro
producer - Hope Chavez
stage manager - Grace S. Penaranda
dramaturg - Noam Shapiro
scenic designer - Brendan Boston
lighting designer - Katy Atwell
associate lighting designer - Adam Carpenter
sound designer - Adrian Bridges
costume designer - Alana Roecker
properties master - Brett Warnke
press representative - Paul Siebold/Off Off PR
assistant producer - Amanda Milone
assistant stage manager - Haley Turner
assistant stage manager - Kayla Kirkman
assistant costume designer - Kaylee Long
photo credits - Leigh Honigman & Brendan Boston


Matt Biagini (Butcher/Actor/James Greenwool/Fish)
Adam Hardin (U.S. Roma/Doctor/Roma Ghost/Davey/Crocket)
Aurora Heimbach (Clark/Young Dogsborough/Defense Counsel/Inna)
Alexander Rafala (Givola/Goodwill/Bowl/Jones)
Amanda Thickpenny (Dogsborough/Ragg/Prosecution/Shorty/Mulberry)
Matthew Van Gessel (Arturo Ui/Judge)
Malka Wallick (Giri/Gaffles/Sheet/Hook)
Brittany N. Williams (Betty/Flake/Dockdaisy/O'Casey)
Kyle Michael Yoder (Roma/Doctor/Roma Ghost/Davey/Crocket)



Days before a major election, a low-level campaign worker opens a mysterious envelope. What he discovers transforms his perspective on power and politics in America. Donning a red clown nose, the volunteer transforms into Arturo Ui, an outsider businessman who decides to get into politics. As we dive deeper into the play, the other office workers take on the characters called for by the play and the lines between truth and fiction blur. Soon, Ui takes over a political party, hypnotizes the public, and rises to power. In this volatile moment, our relocated production of The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui asks what happens when democracy becomes a circus and a nation's imagination runs wild.

Written in 1941, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui was Bertolt Brecht's attempt to explain to Americans how tyranny could come to a democratic state. In Jennifer Wise's modernized translation, eight actors play over forty roles, transform a stage into sixteen locations, and take audiences on a theatrical roller coaster that rivals the best that CNN can offer. 


This was not a real Trump campaign office, but a church basement, and the campaign volunteers were actors in Lyra Theater’s production of a 1941 play written in German with no script modifications but infused with modern touches culled from Mr. Trump’s campaign.... The company see[s] the Arturo Ui character — a mobster and populist demagogue in Prohibition-era Chicago — as strikingly similar to Mr. Trump and call[s] their productions warnings against the prospect of a Trump presidency... The Trump campaign declined to discuss its role as creative inspiration.
— The New York Times

"New York Theater Artists’ Latest Muse: Donald Trump," by Corey Klingannon for The New York Times, October 28, 2016
A version of this article appeared in print on October 29, 2016, on page A20 of the New York edition with the headline: "New York Dramatists, Staging Revivals in a Year of Trump, Get Their Muse."

THEATRE IS EASY BEST BET: Lyra Theater’s superbly relevant production of Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui through the lens of the Trump Campaign is a cautionary warning against the evil clown... Lyra Theater exploits to its full extent the similarity between the rise of Hitler before WWII and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. The company has inherited the play’s legacy, showing its relevance and making the piece an important theatrical examination of morality. It is a true testament to what theatre-makers can, and should, do... Director Noam Shapiro makes excellent choices to illuminate the complex story. The eight-person ensemble portrays over forty characters with astonishing clarity... Lyra Theater has created a wildly entertaining production that does the Brecht classic proud. It is superbly original and immediate, and exactly the right way to tackle the societal issues we all face today.
— Theatre is Easy

"The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui," review by Ran Xia for "Theatre is Easy", October 29, 2016

I love it when new theatre companies invite sprawling, rarely produced texts into their season. I like it even more when they do it brilliantly, with dead-on spoofs, like the Lyra Theatre Company and its production of Bertolt Brecht’s “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui”... This production is off off-Broadway at its best... The staging by director Noam Shapiro set up a nice flow between the two tables at either end of the traverse stage and in the center for group dynamics. Shapiro and the Lyra Theatre Company worked within a small budget yet remained true to Brecht’s vision. They allowed the imaginative and the talented cast room to create. They are a group to watch and support.
— New York Theatre Wire

"The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui," review by Glenda Frank for "New York Theatre Wire," November 1, 2016

“The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui,” [has] resonated with Trump-allergic audiences in recent weeks... Whether reviving “The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui” or creating new productions, American Jews (think Jon Stewart) are at the forefront of satirizing Trump.
— Times of Israel

"On elections eve, Israeli composer to stage ‘Drumf’ opera in NY," by Matt Lebovic for The Times of Israel, November 6, 2016

The presidential election has a way of bringing drama to everyday life... Small wonder, then, that Election Day can imbue certain plays with greater urgency. This year, that certainly rings true for Bertolt Brecht’s 1941 parable, “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.”
— TDF Stages

"Why Are Three Theatres Producing the Same Brecht Play This Month?" by Gavin Whitehead for TDF Stages, October 4 2016

Wise’s translation becomes more than an allegory about Hitler. Rather, the translation serves as cautionary tale about the conditions under which fascism and populism can triumph anywhere, even in democracies with legal institutions.
— Theatre in the Now

"Spotlight On...Noam Shapiro," by Michael Block for Theater in the Now, October 26, 2016