July 6, 2007

Purposeful Theater that Matters

Filed under: Favorite Show Titles,Listings,Press Releases — offoffbway @ 3:52 pm

Well, that’s what the title says. And we’re suckers for titles. This one isn’t an all time great but it definitely makes you think IMPORTANT, even if its ironic. You know what? We have no idea what the show is about, we haven’t seen it. BUT with a title like that… how can you not???

Read on…

One Man Tries to Combat his Fears and Anxieties on a Road Trip of Self-Discovery


 A Multi-Media Geography of a Nervous Breakdown

Part of the Eighth Annual Midtown International Theatre Festival


Attempting to understand one’s place in the world can be a terrifying prospect, as Joe Hutcheson demonstrates in his multi-media autobiographical one-man show THE PURPOSE OF MATTER

IN THE UNIVERSE. Written and performed by Hutcheson (and subtitled “the geography of a

nervous breakdown”) the show will be presented as part of the Eighth Annual Midtown International Theatre Festival, and be performed at Stage Left Studio, located at 438 West 37th Street on the

5th Floor. Directed by DB Levin, performances will begin on July 27th.


How can a person face a new life when he can’t get rid of the baggage from the old – especially

while paralyzed by obsessiveness, crippling fears of failure, death, loss, inadequacy and just not

fitting in? Such is the situation Joe finds himself in as he prepares to uproot his comfortable (if not altogether happy) existence in California for a new life in Florida. Eschewing a plane ride, he takes

a road trip cross-country, but finds himself suffering an emotional meltdown almost before he gets started. Seeing a long and endless road with nothing but emptiness and despair stretched out before

him, he must look deep inside himself to learn perhaps the one true axiom when it comes to life: sometimes you wonder and other times you just don’t know – and all we can do every day is the

best we can. Along the way, Joe is joined by several travel mates, including his born-again mother,

his pill-popping step-mother, some old classmates, and his lesbian soul mate. His adventure

culminates in a rather interesting encounter in a techno gay bar in Nashville, Tennessee.


More than a monologue, THE PURPOSE OF MATTER IN THE UNIVERSE is a multi-media

event, combining video and film projection, a slide show, music and other audio elements to take

the audience along on this literal and emotional journey.


Joe Hutcheson developed THE PURPOSE OF MATTER IN THE UNIVERSE while completing

his Master of Fine Arts at the University of Florida. He also holds a BFA from Cal State Fullerton. Regional credits include Into the Woods (The Baker), Romeo & Juliet (Mercutio), Noises Off,

Search and Destroy, Taking Sides, and Forever Plaid. Joe was honored at the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival for best classical performance and was awarded a

full scholarship for a summer of study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. In

New York, Joe has appeared in I Hate Music: The Music and Songs of Glen Roven-featuring

Douglas Sills, Donna McKechnie and Sandy Duncan; and the Monday Nights, New Voices

Second Anniversary Concert at the Duplex. Most recently, Hutcheson sat alongside

Eric McCormack (of TV’s Will and Grace) and Broadway’s Kerry Butler at New World

Stages for a reading of Glen Roven’s The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. To read more of his writing,

find his monthly column at www.shiftdrink.com.


Director DB Levin has a long history in theatre, film and television. Most recently, his comedy

Meet Me at the Purple Orchid was read at the Atlantic Theatre Company and his dramatic

play One Step Over received an extended-run world premiere in Los Angeles. Before that, he

co-wrote the feature documentary Bitter Jester (executive produced by Richard Belzer and

winner at the New York Independent Film Festival) and co-scripted a film adaptation of Ibsen’s

A Doll’s House with Janet McTeer. In addition, he wrote and directed the short film

The Garden Path (Zola Productions) as well several television pilots. As a director, he has

helmed many off-Broadway works, including versions of Tina Howe’s The Art of Dining,

Tom Stoppard’s On the Razzle, and David Mamet’s American Buffalo.  In 1998, he served

as a visiting artist at the Royal National Theatre in London.


THE PURPOSE OF MATTER IN THE UNIVERSE will be performed at the intimate

Stage Left Studio, located at 438 West 37th Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues) in Suite 5A.

Show times are Friday, July 27th at 6pm, Sunday, July 29th at 4:15pm, Thursday, August 2nd

at 8:45pm and Saturday, August 4th at 6pm. Running time is approximately 75 Minutes.

Tickets: $18.00, $15.00 for students and seniors.

Reservations: 212-868-4444 or www.smarttix.com.

Information:  www.purposeofmatter.com/.

Complete information on the Eighth Annual Midtown International Theatre Festival can be found at: www.midtownfestival.org.


The Press is invited to all performances.


                                    *                                  *                                  *





The Purpose of Matter in the Universe (the geography of a nervous breakdown)

Written and performed by Joe Hutcheson

Directed by DB Levin


Joe Hutcheson’s auto-biographical tale of a man at a crossroads in life suffering an emotional

breakdown while driving from California to Florida. Desperately looking for answers to the

emptiness and fear which have become his constant companions, he seeks out his family, old

high school friends, his lesbian soul mate and several others, hoping they can help him find the

answers to life’s greatest questions somewhere across the U.S. Part of the Eighth Annual

Midtown International Theatre Festival.

Stage Left Studio

438 West 37th Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues)

Suite 5A



July 27th – August 4th

Friday, July 27th at 6pm                                              

Sunday, July 29th at 4:15pm                                        

Thursday, August 2nd at 8:45pm

Saturday, August 4th at 6:15pm


$18.00, $15.00 for students and seniors



212-868-4444 or www.smarttix.com





Take the A, C, E, 1, 2, 3 Train to 34th Street

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