Written and Performed by Zack Mast; Directed by Bryan Duff
Part of the 2018 New York International Fringe Festival
Off Off Broadway, Solo Show
Runs through 10.22.18
FringeHUB, 685 Washington Street
by Charlotte Arnoux on 10.24.18
Zack Mast in American Carnage. Photo by Jeremy Kanne
BOTTOM LINE: American Carnage gets up close and personal with Steve Bannon as he travels through his life with a screenplay in his hand and a dream in his heart.
Fresh back from his revoked invitation at the New Yorker Festival, Steve Bannon is alive and well (just kidding, he’s as disheveled as ever) at the New York International Fringe Festival. His voice booms through the echoing space as he takes us through the ever-changing landscape of his life. One thing hasn't changed for Bannon, however. Whether in his acceptance speech as the president of the Student Council of Virginia Tech, or at a board meeting at Goldman Sachs or, of course, at a National Security Council meeting, Bannon cannot hide his hidden agenda…to produce American Carnage, his beloved screenplay.
Performed with true ingenuity by Chicagoan Zack Mast, American Carnage is a one-person play about the shady public figure that liberal America loves to hate. Mast—who also wrote the piece—uses actual samples from Bannon’s cringey, self-aggrandizing oeuvre. Directed by Bryan Duff, Mast transitions from wide-eyed Virginia Tech Bannon to downtrodden Today Bannon with ease, artistry, and shamelessness.
The true accomplishment with American Carnage is in its execution, from script to performance. Mast manages to take this idea beyond simple impersonation and create a well-rounded play with a striking end. We follow Bannon on this journey from money-making scheme to money-making scheme with scorn and superiority. Yet, are we not entertained? Mast makes this point deftly in the final scene, and it hits home.
(American Carnage: A Solo Staged Reading of Select Screenplays by Stephen K. Bannon plays at FringeHUB, 685 Washington Street at Charles Street, through October 22, 2018. Meet at the PINK FringeNYC flag. The running time is 45 minutes. Performances are Sun 10/14 at 7, Wed 10/17 at 5:30, Fri 10/19 at 8:30, Sun 10/21 at 5:30, and Mon 10/22 at 7. There is no late seating at FringeNYC. Tickets are $22 (plus $3.69 ticketing fee), $16 (plus $3.51) for seniors, and are ONLY available online at fringenyc.org. For more information visit zackmast.com.)
American Carnage: A Solo Staged Reading of Select Screenplays by Stephen K. Bannon is written and performed by Zack Mast. Directed by Bryan Duff.