Press

*Adam Szymkowicz interviews Adam R. Burnett: I Interview Playwrights Part 645

ON T.B. SHEETS

“Devoted to vibrant, puzzling, pleasurable stagings of his plays, artistic director and resident playwright Adam Burnett often works in close collaboration with performer Jud Knudsen, designer Nick Kostner, and other founding members. That said, Buran productions pop up wherever kindred collaborators are found: New York, New Mexico, Kansas, California, Lithuania, and perhaps—eventually—on some other planet. Considering Buran’s splendid ambition, I wouldn’t be surprised.”  -Sarah Matusek, The Brooklyn Rail, Read full article

“The play is a turns farcical and deadly serious, with each pivot contributing to the disorienting mood of the evening. The ensemble keeps the show glued together—a true sense of community can be felt even during T.B. SHEETS most chaotic moments. It’s not insignificant, or purely political, that T.B. SHEETS is written and performed without gendered pronouns. The Ones are always in transition, moving from one version of themselves to the next, not out of fear, but human necessity. Identity is fluid: we each contain multitudes and must be willing to move out of one phase and into another, even if the timing doesn’t align with our plans, and especially if it means accepting that we are limited in the physical world, eternally flawed and inevitably sick.” – Nick Anderson, Culturebot, Read full review

ON THE DOLLY DALI SHOW!

Arts Interview: Compassionate Anarchy – by Maggie Grimason, Weekly Alibi

ON POSHLOST SAUDADES!

“This collision between formal critique and wistful exploration, and the resulting dissonance, is a hallmark of Burnett and Buran’s work. And while the narrative here is decidedly more linear than previous outings, the conceit that the evening is being filmed has allowed Burnett to still carve the play up into somewhat disassociated segments.” – Mitch Montgomery, Surreal Time Press Read full review

ON MAMMOTH

I appreciate and am grateful for Adam Burnett’s unwavering instinct as a writer to allow for space and multiplicity.  Mammoth, even more so than Buran’s previous work, with its loose narrative and clean, uncluttered language, leaves the audience plenty of air for cerebral exploration and open emotional investigation.” – Katy Einerson, Culturebot Read full review

“Adam R. Burnett’s trippy paleo fable contains lovely ingredients: an allusive structure that ignores causality, a strong cast adding spice.” – Helen Shaw, Time Out New York

“Writer Adam R. Burnett does not seem concerned with answering questions as much as presenting ideas for us to contemplate. In addition, the ideas of the piece are so abstract and poetic, that the thoughts I present in this review might well be completely different from those of a patron sitting right next to me, let alone from the intentions of the playwright, himself. But that is what the most invigorating artists present to us: an intellectual and emotional canvas for us to ruminate upon and debate, and in this fashion, Burnett has succeeded thoroughly.” – Zach Jacobs, ArtsBeatLA Read full review

“With pitch-perfect and thoughtful humor, this meditation on romance and wreckage was brought to life by eight staggeringly talented actresses. The show traveled all the way from Brooklyn to be reborn in Albuquerque, where I sat in the front row alternately stifling laughter and suppressing puzzlement. This play conjured questions that I’d never broached before that lingered for days.” – Maggie Grimason, Weekly Alibi Read full review

“Like its namesake, Mammoth is epic—larger, perhaps, than our modern imaginations can easily grapple with. For that, Burnett and his creative team deserve our praise.” – Olivia Jane Smith, New York Theater Review

“Burnett’s work bravely devotes its energy to the development of unforgettable performative happenings, with little regard to (or patience for) linear narrative. Instead, Burnett attacks these big ideas – like loss, wellness, hubris, or the sublime – head on; grasping at threads of thought with the franticness of a child attempting to grab at the strings of a bunch of balloons before they float away. The resulting gestalt experience of a Buran performance is something wholly new, eliciting singular impressions and raw emotions that would have surely been inaccessible to mere words.” – Mitch Montgomery, Surreal Time Press Preview of Mammoth   Review of Mammoth

“The surreal, hyper-elusive love story you’ve been (unknowingly) waiting all year to see.” – Lisa Barrow, ABQ Free Press   Read full review

ON ERIK SATIE / IF I TOLD HIM / ERIK SATIE

“Adam R. Burnett’s Erik Satie/If I Told Him/Erik Satie preserves Stein’s opacity by combining disparate texts with New York–based artist Alejandro Guzman’s wooden sculptures, which materialize — without attempting to rationalize — her use of language as building blocks. Why? As Stein would have answered, “For this is so. Because.” – Molly Grogan, The Village Voice

As a super fan of all things Absurd, nothing brings more dynamism to the contemporary stage than a nonsensical song and dance like Burnett’s play.” – Danielle Kalamaras, The Bushwick Daily Read full review

ON MAGIC BULLETS

At the top of Buran Theatre’s Magic Bullets, the cast enters singing in a serene choral processional. It’s a brightly composed number that somewhere down the line probably owes a debt to Stephen Schwartz’s Godspell; it’s all about being the “light of the world.” This pious tone continues for a while. But then the register shifts, the music transitions abruptly, and all of a damn sudden they’re signing Now bring me some figgy pudding from “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Pretty soon it’s nothing more than a squawking circus of entitled hysteria.This startling transition from high-minded piety to wildly regressive narcissism – by way of a random Christmas carol, no less – is kind of a perfect thesis statement for Buran Theatre and the disjointed conversation they want to have about health and wellness in Magic Bullets.”  – Mitch Montgomery, Surreal Time Press – Read full reviews: Part 1….  Part 2…

As there is no linear plot to speak of, doing justice to Adam R. Burnett’s script is difficult – but hopefully that’s all the more reason for you to see it! Let’s say that it’s a brilliant mélange of provocative, deconstructive, idiot savant and/or just plain funny lines/ideas that create a tapestry of the imagination of a mentally/physically ill individual(s). … I have never seen anything quite like Magic Bullets.” – Julie Congress, NYTheater Now Read full review

“Buran Theatre takes large risks and creates bold, theatrically charged stories. Their latest ensemble-driven piece, Magic Bullets, rejects linear narrative for a series of impressions, ebbing and flowing between moments of clarity, confusion and chaos. … Buran Theatre consistently excels at bringing together a strong ensemble of actors who can slip seamlessly from the supporting cast to the spotlight. … Mr. Burnett and co-director Jud Knudson juggle a staggering number of elements to support the piece; Burnett also collaborates with Casey Mraz on lyrics for Mraz’s music. Burnett explores much with his script and his ensemble executes the ideas beautifully.” – Gina Femia, New York Theatre Review Read full review

“Wellness and health are the focus of Buran Theatre’s Magic Bullets.” – Eliza Bent, American Theatre Magazine Read feature here

Magic Bullets in New York Magazine‘s Approval Matrix

ON NIGHTMARES

“Buran Theatre’s Nightmares: A Demonstration in the Sublime is a manic meditation on what it means to create art in the 21st century.  The theatrical collective is helmed by Adam R. Burnett and Jud Knudsen, both of who give outstanding performances.  […] It’s one of the most successful ensemble theatre pieces I’ve seen in a while, one that is completely accessible without talking down to its audience or becoming completely isolating.  It is a true theatrical conversation about art; witty, humorous and startling in its honesty.” – Gina Femia, New York Theatre Review Read full review

“The Buran aesthetic is all about process, you see: the joy — the point — of creation for these artists is…creation. So rather than be satisfied with some excellent notices and sold-out houses, Buran followed up the New York run of Nightmares with a national tour during which they completely took apart the show, re-cast and re-mounted it three different times in three different cities, and then put it all back together for a new (but I won’t say final) version.” – Martin Denton, The Villager Read Full review

“It’s easy to get lost in the disparate components of the show’s irreverent gloom… Still, Burnett, Knudsen, and company twitch and blather on splendidly. It’s only in retrospect, when one is attempting to recall specific details—Percy Bysshe Shelley was wearing hip holsters for his cans of beer, wasn’t he?—that the tremendous scope of this expressionistic critical mass becomes apparent. Vehemently defying categorization, Nightmares: a demonstration of the Sublime is, in a word, overwhelming.” – Mitch Montgomery, Backstage Read full review

“We are soon thrown off (or on) course by a series of absurd vignettes ranging from interviews with Ray Kurzweil; to dreams, indigestion and interior decorating with Fuseli; to falling in love in comments sections; to a lonely-hearts monster mash soft-shoe. Every time we are introduced to a place or character it seems to change or disappear and, like peek-a-boo, reappear. Or. Not. When it looks to be a duet between Knudsen and Burnett it is suddenly overrun with Marx brothers. The cascade of lazzis eludes whatever narrative impulses we still have, leaving us in a dream-like free fall.” – Max Cramer, Culturebot Read full review

“The real magic is that the play’s plagiarist, also its writer and co-director, is our hero, our theatrical stand-in, and a damned good metaphor. We are all plagiarists when it comes down to it, but it shouldn’t destroy the singularity of experience…Nightmares is the delicious domain of the Gen X’er, the middle-aged ruckenfigur in crisis… Like a good lover, Nightmares brings you along for the good time but maintains its boundaries, leaving a few frontiers yet unexplored.  Pushing the audience to lift the veil of dogma, it presents the world just a little anew, ripe for examination.” – Cheryl Castjohn,  NOLA Defender Read full review

“…a wild fragmented rumination on “authorial intention,” the power of the imagination (or maybe the dwindling of the power of the imagination in the modern world), and the “anxiety of influence” (as Bloom would term it) embedded in and around a series of unhinged set-pieces and songs.” – Larryville Chronicles Read full review 

“Have Show Will Tour” – American Theatre feature on the Nightmares national tour Read here

ON THE HOUSE OF FITZCARRALDO

“Anyone planning to see Buran Theatre Company’s exceptional touring production of The House of Fitzcarraldo while it’s at the Brick should take note: The infamous German film auteur Werner Herzog may challenge you to a game of tug of war. It’s not likely you’ll be a match for Herzog—or the company’s bounding, solipsistic performance, for that matter—so brace yourself.” – Mitch Montgomery, Backstage Read full review

“Distinctions between audience and performer, self and other, speaker and spoken, here and there, past and future, dreams and reality, native and foreign, us and them, you and I—these dichotomies are all called into question by the imaginative form and content of this work, and the result is fantastically titillating.” – Catrin Lloyd-Bollard, New York Arts Review Read full review

“… this wildly diverting show—my first experience of Buran—definitely needs to be on your “must-see” list if, like me, you’re interested in theater that’s inventive, challenging, and fun.” – Martin Denton, NYtheatre.com Read full review 

“What I especially enjoyed, in addition to the superb performances, was that it demonstrated how unconventional a play can be. The set was a white canvas, helped along with projections and shadows and punctuated by a cutout of a steamship that seemed to be climbing up a ladder (I suspect Herzog would have hated that kind of simplicity). After many absurd and funny outbursts, the ladder falls, the ship is destroyed, and the characters react by smearing their heads with peanut butter sandwiches. How can you not love it?” – Anthony Del Valle, Las Vegas Review Journal Read full review

“…cerebral, audacious… Embraces a mile-wide stream of absurdism… This show is so full of unexpected pivots and clever concepts that it keeps the audience laughing.” – Robert Trussell, KC Star

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