The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity Comes to the Firehouse Theater
Photo Credit Adam Ewing Photography
The Firehouse Theater will be premiering the ground-breaking, Pulitzer Prize finalist play The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity this Thursday, February 6th.
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity is a play which explores the inner-workings of a nationwide form of entertainment loved by all kinds of folks: professional wrestling. The story revolves around the life of one man who grew up buying into the industry, and how being a part of it disillusioned him to all that he loved as a child.
Kerry McGee, director of the Firehouse Theater’s production, said, “It’s an event: you go to the playhouse, everyone is involved, it’s action packed, and it’s full of all these other exciting things. But, in addition to that storyline, there’s this really honest look at attitudes about racism, what is the American dream as it is, how it applies to different cultures… It’s a really heartwarming look at these things, combined with huge, over the top wrestling moves.”
However, this show is much more than one man’s exploration of his own identity. “It’s a show about faith, race, religion, and politics in 21st century America,” said Jase Smith, Artistic Director at the Firehouse Theater. “It’s set in a WWE style wrestling ring. It kinda explores the social, political, economic constructs of America in this wrestling ring.”
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity was chosen by Smith to be presented as a part of the Acts of Faith Festival. Smith chose this show because it has many “groundbreaking” elements, including the fact that the piece itself is a combination of contrasting entertainment forms. “This play is so novel because, when you think about it, there probably couldn’t be two more different entertainment forms than theatre and wrestling. When people think of theatre, they think of a kinda highbrow art form, and wrestling is just the opposite. It appeals to the average Joe,” he said.
“The main character is this guy who has been watching and worshiping wrestling since he was a child. It was his church,” said McGee while elaborating on why this play had been chosen for the festival. “…And he loves it, but during the course of the show, he starts to realize that the things that he holds up high about wrestling are not the things that this world respect, and that this world that he worships and these people that he looks up to don’t love him in the same way. It’s up to find his own sense of self, and for him to put that faith in love that he has had for years, take it out of this machine that is broken, and putting it into himself.”
McGee and Smith agreed that the most difficult and the most exciting part of the show was transforming the stage in to an authentic WWE wrestling ring. “It has been insane, walking into the Firehouse Theatre and seeing a wrestling ring where our stage should be,” remarked McGee.
Meanwhile, Smith jokingly said, “We will be working upstairs in the office and we will be hearing these loud bangs, and we’ll look to each other and say, ‘Whoops, looks like they’re practicing.’ It’s so loud– I was thinking, ‘Gosh, the liability insurance is going to go way up!’”
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity will be a spectacle that RVA will not be accustomed to, but will enjoy thoroughly. For more information about the show and ticket pricing, visit www.firehousetheatre.org .
Antony Shipman is a student at Bennington College, and is interning with GayRVA/RVA Mag for the months of January and February. Antony, who is relatively new to the world of journalism, is hoping to learn more about the business by working closely with the staff of GayRVA/RVA Mag. When not at work, Antony is likely to be found giving affection to a cat or sitting in his apartment with a book in his hands.
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