After a long-winded chain of events, Michael Burgos gained a strong impulse to study theater in Paris, where he turned the universal subject of death into a dark comedy titled “The Eulogy.”
Since its creation, the “The Eulogy” has toured internationally. Its next stop? The Moonlight Theater Company in Athens.
“The Eulogy,” written, directed and performed by Burgos, is a one-man show in which a variety of characters deliver a funeral speech for a fictitious person.
“It starts out normal enough … and then the speeches quickly devolve into a sort of dutiful madness,” Burgos said.
Before writing “The Eulogy,” Burgos attended a five-day workshop in Chicago taught by Philippe Gaulier, a French master clown and founder of prestigious theater school, the Ecole Philippe Gaulier. The workshop gave Burgos the impulse to study theater, so he moved to Paris and spent two years at the school.
After earning his diploma in France, Burgos said it struck him that he had to write a play, so he created “The Eulogy.”
“After I finished school ... I thought I might as well just try and give this a go,” Burgos said.
Burgos applied to a variety of theater festivals and from 2015–2018, he took “The Eulogy” on tour, performing in Australia, Germany, Canada and across the United States. Awards won along the way include the Critics’ Choice Award at the 2016 Atlanta Fringe Festival, Critics’ Choice Awards at the 2017 Portfringe Festival and Outstanding Performance Award at the 2018 San Diego Fringe Festival.
“It’s always humbling and I think it’s an honor for any performer,” Burgos said. “I’ve been doing this for years and I like to keep it fresh for the audience seeing it for the first time.”
Burgos was contacted by Chase Brantley, the founder of the Moonlight Theater Company, for an opportunity to perform in Athens this month. Brantley also attended the Ecole Philippe Gaulier several years after Burgos and was convinced by a friend to ask him to bring “The Eulogy” to Athens.
Brantley said this type of comedy is rare and would encourage the Athens community to attend.
“It’s unlike anything I’ve seen on Netflix or in live theater in America,” Brantley said. “It’s physical, subtle, bizarre, silent, loud and charming. He’s truly a gift to theater and I am very grateful that he could come to Athens.”
Correction: In a previous version of this article, the name of the theater, Moonlight Theater Company, was misspelled. This has since been corrected and the Red & Black regrets this error.