Theatre Dojo performs at Pit Park
Jesse Moya, Deming Headlight
Photo by Matt Robinson
DEMING — Voiers Pit Park Theatre will host an upcoming play featuring southern New Mexico actors and musicians, Algernon D’Ammassa and Randy Granger. The duo, who make up Theatre Dojo, will be performing their new play "Killing Buddha" at 2 p.m. Saturday. April 16.
D’Ammassa and Granger are a two-man show with Granger providing the musical score and D’Ammassa acting the characters and scenes. Currently the team works with two plays, "An Iliad" and their latest "Killing Buddha."
“The idea of this originally was very entrepreneurial,” said D’Ammassa. “The idea was I need a show I can pack into my car and just drive around and perform. With Randy, it’s the same principle, we pack some musical instruments up, and we just show up indoors-outdoors, anywhere.”
D’Ammassa teaches at the Creative Media Institute at New Mexico State University while not performing and touring with Granger. The two have been working together since 2014 and have been performing "Killing Buddha" for the last year, only making the play’s New Mexico debut in March.
"Killing Buddha," written by D’Ammassa, is done in the group’s “homeless storyteller” style with Granger playing improvised music during the play. Granger is a musician who has gathered a mastery of many different types of instruments and tours the country when not working with Theatre Dojo.
“Killing Buddha is just a lot of fun because we came up with it ourselves” said Granger. “I love storytelling, and I really consider music to also be a form of storytelling too.”
Granger is using different types of instruments for "Killing Buddha" as opposed to Theatre Dojo’s other works including Tibetan singing bowls and a Japanese flute. Other instruments used in their plays include a plastic bucket, tequila bottles and different types of string instruments.
“I feel really proud of the work we do” Granger said. “We really try to have fun, but we also work really hard.”
Their new play is a take on an Asian legend where a serial killer meets Buddha and is in search of repentence while taking on modern-day themes such as the prison industrial complex, rehabilitation and capital punishment.
“All of these questions come up in the telling of our story and we tell it in a way that opens up those questions without telling people what to think but inviting people to sort of ask the question,” said D’Ammassa.
There is an audience participation section of the play which is completely voluntary for those in attendance. The show, despite touching on highly-debated topics, is family friendly and children are encouraged to join their parents to attend.
Advanced tickets for the show can be bought at Readers’ Cove Used Books and Gallery at 200 S. Copper St. and are $8 for general admission.
Theatre Dojo has been performing around the southwest with both of their plays reaching as far as northern California to Texas and have several shows booked for New Mexico including Silver City at 7 p.m. April 15 at the Curious Kumquat.
If you go:
Who: Theatre Dojo
What: Performance of Killing Buddha
When: 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: Voiers "Pit" Park 300 N. Country Club Road.
Pre-sale tickets $8 available at Readers' Cove Used Books and Gallery, 200 S. Copper St.
Jesse Moya can be reached at 546-2611 (ext 2608) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.