“MANIFESTO! A Theatrical DaDa Diversion”

Oct. 26

As people alive during what feels like an extreme point in history, we might look to DaDa for how to aesthetically channel our confusion and fear and fuck-it-all state of mind. Born in Zürich out of horror and disgust toward the first World War and the rise of nationalism, DaDa was one of the earliest conceptual art movements that connected and then capsized bourgeois sensibilities surrounding both politics and art. People of the 21st century would do well to read the DaDa manifestos of originators Hugo Ball and Tristan Tzara; perhaps better yet, see them performed in full DaDa absurdism. Happenstance Theater returns to the Theatre Project with its take on Ball’s Cabaret Voltaire, weaving in excerpts from DaDa texts as well as manifestos that came out of futurism, communism, and capitalism—a hot mess of movements. If you don’t leave empowered with a new objective in challenging the Trump era, you might at least find last-minute Halloween inspiration; those DaDaists knew how to costume. Through Nov. 12, Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St., (410) 539-3091, theatreproject.org, $15-$25 (pay-what-you-can on Thursdays). (Maura Callahan)

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