Grand Guignolers: Bienvenue

Amanda Street. Photo by Annie Appel Photography

We want to show you a good time. Really. We aim to revitalize theatre by replacing boring with what theatre can be - liberating, provocative, naughty, scary, moving, absurd, celebratory, ferocious, playful, bloody, elegant, and FUN. We treat theatre as an event, and we invite you to come play with us.

OUR SHOWS AREN'T BORING. Your enjoyment is our priority. Unlike 'tv onstage' or showcase or 'talking heads' theatre, our shows are like a party and .... theatrical. We create original stylized physical performance, drawing from popular theater traditions: Commedia Dell'Arte, melodrama, festival, mask, mime, dance, magic, clown, vaudeville, toy theatre, Grand Guignol, and puppetry.

Our shows are distinct in that we theatricalize the entire experience, immersing you into the world. We encourage you to dress vintage, and guests impress us with creative garb. From the moment you walk in the door, you'll be warmly greeted as you step into our theatrical world. Try 'the green devil' absinthe (the real stuff), beer, wine, popcorn, period, candy cigarettes (left), and other show appropriate treats.

what is grand guignol? and what why it's not what we're doing

We're not trying to recreate Le Theatre du Grand Guignol (1890s-1960s) of Paris, famous for horror plays and bloody special effects. Dubbed the "Theatre of Laughter and Terror," an evening alternated short pieces of farce, horror, and drama. The name also plays on the French children's puppet, Guignol (cousin to Punch & Judy), thus meaning 'big puppet' though puppets were not part of Grand Guignol.

We pay homage to the Grand Guignol by using it as a stepping off point: to evoke its guilty pleasure, a visceral response, sometimes with suspense and blood, but mostly offering an evening of 'hot and cold showers,' of varied pieces, incorporating the puppet theme literally and figuratively. We also perform as a fictitious 1920s Parisian troupe as if from the era of our namesake.