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Why did the chicken cross the road?

ensemble theatre · matthew hennigar · Ages 14+ · 90 mins · United States of America

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‘Why did the chicken cross the road?’ follows each of the words in that joke as a character as they try to figure out their meaning and reach the ‘real world’. A philosophical quest rooted in the politics of Trump’s America, this show had a sold-out, critically-acclaimed run in London last year.

The play has 15 actors total – one for each word in the joke, then the ‘?’ and ‘.’ – and each word can be played by a person of any gender. There is no set: the action takes place on an empty stage, and costumes are simply shirts that the actors wear with their respective character’s word on it: so, for example, the actor playing Why wears a shirt that says ‘Why’ on the front, and the back of the word ‘Why’ on the back of the shirt. Each word has a distinct personality:

Why – an intellectual word who tries to lead the other words in their ultimately misguided quest to find ‘the answer’ and reach ‘the real world’
Did – struggles with their inability to ‘Do’ anything
1st The – an insecure word with a Napoleon complex
Chicken – a word that acts like a chicken during the entire play
Cross – a self-proclaimed ‘word of action’ who inadvertently becomes a Christ figure
2nd The – shows up later than the other words; is paranoid because they spent too much time alone
Road – a difficult word to be with, whose cynicism masks their conflicted romance with Chicken

And as we will see, the words in the answer have unexpected, exciting roles to play, as well!

production team

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