Twitter feeds from a foulmouthed fictional Rahm Emanuel are chuckleworthy, but they can’t compare to the political pranks Abbie Hoffman pulled off. Whether tossing dollar bills onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, running a pig for President, or levitating the Pentagon, Hoffman showed the world that protest could be creatively mischievous, provocative, and impassioned. Now in its 23rd year, Mary-Arrchie Theatre’s Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins Festival is a 58-hour celebration of Hoffman’s legacy—and of another arts marathon that unfolded over an August weekend, the 1969 Woodstock festival.
The AHDFOSF kicks off Friday, 2 PM, at Daley Plaza. Participants will gather there and march to the Angel Island theater space in Lakeview, where, at 7 PM, Hoffman (aka Mary-Arrchie artistic director Richard Cotovsky) will lead the festival’s opening ceremonies. Then about 50 artists give nearly continuous performances until Cotovsky/Hoffman calls a formal end to the festivities Sunday at midnight. In the wide-ranging chaos of the thing, look for contributions from Practical Theatre vet Rush Pearson (Diary of a Madman, Fri 8 PM), the Factory Theater (The Factory Presents, Fri 10:30 PM), A Red Orchid Theatre (Shop Talk, Sat and Sun 5 AM), Abraham Werewolf (Not Art, Sun 1:15 AM), comic cock-rock band Lola Balatro (Sun 3:05 AM), Steep Theatre (Kathleen Turner’s Ear, Sun 8 PM), and various hands representing Mary-Arrchie itself. Theatre o th Absurd offers an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Sat 9:15 PM) and there will be readings from Hoffman’s autobiography, Run Run Run (Sun noon).