Know Theatre partners with Pyramid Hill to bring ‘Mongrel’ to the outdoor stage

Know Theatre has partnered with Pyramid Hill to bring the premiere of “Mongrel” to an outdoor stage at Pyramid Hill. “Mongrel,” written and performed by Adam Tran is a one-man solo performance about Genghis Khan. CONTRIBUTED
Caption
Know Theatre has partnered with Pyramid Hill to bring the premiere of “Mongrel” to an outdoor stage at Pyramid Hill. “Mongrel,” written and performed by Adam Tran is a one-man solo performance about Genghis Khan. CONTRIBUTED

Legend of Genghis Khan explored in outdoor performance offered 14 times through Sept. 12.

Know Theatre has partnered with Pyramid Hill to present the premiere solo performance of “Mongrel,” which will be featured on an outdoor stage at Pyramid Hill beginning today. There will be 14 live, outdoor shows offered through Sept. 12. The production will also be made available digitally.

Written and performed by Adam Tran, “Mongrel,” is a one-man premiere about the story of Genghis Khan. Tran is an Indianapolis-based actor and playwright. He has also starred in previous productions at Know Theatre, including “Whisper House” (2018) and “The Girl in the Red Corner” (2019). This is the second show in Know Theatre’s twenty-fourth Mainstage season, themed as “Myth-Breakers and Story-Makers.”

The 70-minute show is directed by Rebecca Wear. The design/production crew is comprised of Andrew Hungerford (scenic and lighting designer,) Noelle Wedig-Johnston (resident costume designer), Alix Frisch (costume designer), Douglas Borntrager (sound designer), Emi Suarez (stage manager), Henry Bateman (technical director), Kayla Williams (props), and Christopher Tin and Alex Williamson (composers).

“ ‘Mongrel’ is about the legend of Genghis Khan. Obviously, that took place in the 12th and 13th Century … So, what we think now is, perhaps, based off scholarship, and, perhaps, based on myth or legend,” said Rebecca Wear, the show’s director.

She said “Mongrel” invites the audience into the experience of being a town that’s under siege and it casts the audience as key adversaries from that town. As the immersive story unfolds, the audience is invited to meet with the servant of Genghis Khan. Ultimately, the site-specific production sheds light on who Genghis Khan is and how he came to be.

“This is a new play, and as a director, I gravitate toward new works,” said Wear. “It’s always a delight to work on a new piece, because you are really crafting it with the playwright. It’s extremely collaborative.”

After the last year-and-a-half where a lot of collaborations have had to be remote or, even sometimes, placed on pause, she said it’s been a lot of fun to be able to work with someone again and to work with someone in the same space.

“You feel that special theatrical magic that only happens when you get people in a room, or in an open-air setting, when you get them physically close,” Wear said.

She said this is a story about an Asian legend. It also grapples with issues such as race and masculinity. At the same time, it’s a show that’s a lot of fun to bring to the stage.

“Adam and I have a show that is going to be really delicious to watch, particularly in the summer. There’s something about summertime, where people just want to get together, laugh, play, and have a good time, and working on this show has really been a reflection of that. It’s been just really theatrical and playful throughout the whole process,” Wear said.

HOW TO GO

What: “Mongrel” by Adam Tran

Where: Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum, 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Hamilton

When: Today through Sept. 12. Performances will begin with a preview today and continue through the weekend with shows at 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Doors open at 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays shows will begin Sept. 1. The show will run through Sept. 12. Each performance will begin at 8 p.m.

Cost: Tickets for the in-person performance range from $15 to $35 (plus online ticketing fees.) A video-on-demand option will also be available.

More info: Visit www.knowtheatre.com and www.pyramidhill.org. Masks are required for in-person attendance. The show is Rated R for adult language and situations, including graphic descriptions of violence.