Dave Dalton Combines Professional Wrestling and Wagner in The Ring Cycle

Dave Dalton Combines Professional Wrestling and Wagner in The Ring Cycle

Neighbor Dave Dalton’s play The Ring Cycle (Parts 1-4) is running through April 29 at Incubator Arts Project in Manhattan. With Performance Lab 115, Dave directed and co-wrote the play, which adapts Wagner’s operas into the no-holds-barred world of professional wrestling. Of Parts 1&2, the Times said that there’s plenty of “sweaty, smelly grappling,” but that it “transcends cheeky parody to achieve a genuinely haunting potency.”

Before you check out the performance (tickets are available here), get to know a little about Dave in our Q&A.

DPC: What inspired you to adapt Wagner to the world of professional wrestling? Were you a fan of Wagner, of wrestling, or both?
Dave Dalton: I’m not a Wagner fan, but I was totally into wrestling as a kid. I thought of wrestling for the adaptation because I wanted to tell the story of the Ring Cycle in a distinctly American world. The power and grandstanding of wrestling just seemed perfect for the gods in Wagner’s story.

Who’s your favorite professional wrestler?
I was always split between Macho Man and Hulk Hogan. I think wrestling fans in the ’80s were kind of required to like Hulk, but Macho Man had the attitude, and he had Miss Elizabeth in his corner. They were a great combination.

Your wife, Deirdre O’Connor, is a playwright–have you two ever worked together?
Yeah, my wife and I have worked together on several plays, and we’re always helping each other think through ideas for our work. Our current “project” is our 20-month-old son, Dashiell.

Where’s your favorite spot in the neighborhood to sit down and get to work?
I end up doing a lot of writing and brainstorming on my porch on Rugby Road. It’s a really great place to work when the weather cooperates.

What is one of Ditmas Park’s best kept secrets?
I’ll never tell.


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