HE WHO GETS SLAPPED Opens May 18th at Live Arts Theater in Downtown Charlottesville, VA

Share Article

When a mysterious gentleman arrives at the circus demanding to be made a clown, he disrupts a world as delicately balanced as a tightrope act.

Dreaming is dangerous.

Live Arts closes its season with a classic Russian melodrama about circus and regret. It's a giant production filled with musical jokesters, lovesick lion tamers, death-defying aerialists, and a handful of scam-artists, all falling under the spell of an anonymous gentleman who arrives one day and demands to be made into a clown. HE WHO GETS SLAPPED is a tragicomic masterpiece where philosophy meets physicality and the stirrings of laughter and longing come to a boil under the big top.

Much of the action of the play takes us behind the scenes of the circus, as performers and patrons alike struggle to maintain a delicate balance between the strictures of society and the freedoms of circus life. But there will also be trapeze artists. There will also be stilt walkers. And yes, there will be many, many clowns.

HE WHO GETS SLAPPED by Leonid Andreyev
A Tragical Comical Carnival
Directed & adapted by Sara Holdren

A note from the director:
HE WHO GETS SLAPPED is a play about a circus, so you might be asking yourself, “Should I bring my children?” Here’s what I’d say to you: While HE WHO GETS SLAPPED has almost no profanity (I believe there’s a “damn” and a “hell” in there) and no obvious on-stage physical violence, it’s a dark story with some very adult themes. If it were a movie, it would probably be the upper side of PG-13. I would recommend the show for ages 13 and up. For mature, intelligent young people, the play offers a great deal to think and talk about — as with Shakespeare’s tragedies, there is betrayal, jealousy, and untimely death. There are also great moments of comedy, beautiful language, and fascinating, compelling characters and ideas. This isn’t a light comedy — we’re not talking Bozo the Clown and Ringling Brothers here — but it is a great play for mature audiences of many ages.


The Live Arts cast includes: Elisabeth Burkhalter, Austin Carpenter, Ali Cheff, Geoffrey Culbertson, Emma Duncan, Javier Figueroa-Ray, Nick Heiderstadt, John Holdren, Richard Jones, Will Luckett, Yulia Klenova, Stewart Moneymaker, Dan Sterlace, Josephine Stewart, Kate Tooley, and Danny Wagner.

Press photos can be found online:

Tickets available on our website:

He Who Gets Slapped will perform:

Friday, May 18 at 8:00pm
Saturday, May 19 at 8:00pm

Wednesday, May 23 at 8:00pm
Thursday, May 24 at 7:30pm
Friday, May 25 at 8:00pm
Saturday, May 26 at 8:00pm
Sunday, May 27 at 2pm (There will be a talkback following this performance)

Wednesday, May 30 at 8:00pm
Thursday, May 31 at 7:30pm
Friday, June 1 at 8:00pm
Saturday, June 2 at 8:00pm
Sunday, June 3 at 2:00pm

Wednesday, June 6 at 8:00pm
Thursday, June 7 at 7:30pm
Friday, June 8 at 8:00pm
Saturday, June 9 at 8:00pm

Tickets are $14-$24.50. Friends of Live Arts get 10% off. Wednesday performances are Pay-What-You-Can. Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.livearts.org or by calling the Live Arts Box Office at 434-977-4177 x108.

# # #

To request additional information, please contact (434) 977-4177 x103, or email jigsaw(at)livearts(dot)org.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jigsaw Jones

434-977-4177 x103
Email >