CONSTANT STANISLAVSKI (45) ·

The Chekhov mood is that cave in which are kept all the unseen and hardly palpable treasures of Chekhov’s soul, so often beyond the reach of mere consciousness. The cave is that vessel in which is hidden the great riches of Chekhov. One must know how to find the place where it is hidden. (MLIA)

WHITE LIGHT FESTIVAL THEATER ADVISORY: TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF FESTIVAL INCLUDES TWO U.S. THEATER PRODUCTION PREMIERES ·

White Light Festival

Theater Advisory

 

Tenth Anniversary of Festival

Includes Two U.S. Theater Production Premieres

 

The premiere of Sugimoto Bunraku Sonezaki Shinju: The Love Suicides at Sonezaki

from celebrated artist Hiroshi Sugimoto in a bold, contemporary reinterpretation of the classic Japanese play incorporating bunraku puppet theater, original music, and video

The premiere of DruidShakespeare: Richard III from Ireland’s Druid theater company and Tony Award-winning director Garry Hynes, starring Aaron Monaghan

 

For its tenth anniversary season, the 2019 White Light Festival will feature events presented in eight venues across the city, including U.S. and New York premieres and the return of festival favorites, from October 19 through November 24.

 

“The resonance of the White Light Festival has only deepened during its first decade, as we have moved into far more challenging times here and around the world,” said Jane Moss, Ehrenkranz Artistic Director of Lincoln Center. “The Festival’s central theme, namely the singular capacity of artistic expression to illuminate what is inside ourselves and connect us to others, is more relevant than ever. This 10th anniversary edition spanning disparate countries, cultures, disciplines, and genres emphasizes that the elevation of the spirit the arts inspires uniquely unites us and expands who we are.”

 

The 2019 White Light Festival opens on Saturday, October 19 with Sugimoto Bunraku Sonezaki Shinju: The Love Suicides at Sonezaki told through Japanese bunraku puppet theater in a contemporary interpretation directed by renowned artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. Incorporating music by Seiji Tsurusawa (designated by Japan as a Living National Treasure) and video by Tabaimo and Sugimoto, this U.S. production premiere is a bold staging of Chikamatsu Monzaemon’s classic 18th-century drama. Based upon actual events, the piece is a rare opportunity to experience bunraku in New York City.

 

The darker side of human nature is on display in DruidShakespeare: Richard III, a chilling story of power and ambition in a wickedly comic production from Ireland’s Druid theater company and director Garry Hynes, opening on November 9. The production stars Aaron Monaghan, who appeared as Estragon in Druid’s acclaimed Waiting for Godot in the 2018 White Light Festival.

 

As in prior years, the 2019 White Light Festival will offer opportunities for audiences to delve further into the themes of the festival with pre- and post-performance artist talks, as well as a special panel discussion moderated by John Schaefer. White Light Lounges follow many performances: these receptions are exclusive to White Light Festival ticketholders and provide opportunities to mingle with artists and fellow audience members while enjoying a complimentary glass of wine or sparkling water.

 

Tickets for the 2019 White Light Festival are available online at WhiteLightFestival.org, by calling CenterCharge at 212.721.6500, or at the David Geffen or Alice Tully Hall Box Office (Broadway and 65th Street).

 

The White Light Festival is one of many programs offered by Lincoln Center that annually activates the campus’s indoor and outdoor spaces across a wide range of the performing arts. Additional presentations include the Mostly Mozart Festival, Great Performers, American Songbook, Midsummer Night Swing, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, ongoing free performances at the David Rubenstein Atrium, and Live From Lincoln Center broadcasts that reach beyond the iconic campus. Lincoln Center also presents a myriad of education programs and presentations for families throughout the year.

 

Please click here to download high-resolution images and artist biographies.

Please click here for the 2019 White Light Festival press release.

 

Theater Programs listed in chronological order

Sugimoto Bunraku Sonezaki Shinju: The Love Suicides at Sonezaki

(U.S. production premiere)

Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 7:30 pm                                                                                                

Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Monday, October 21, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall

 

Original text by Chikamatsu Monzaemon
Hiroshi Sugimoto, artistic director
Seiji Tsurusawa, composer and director

Tomogoro Yamamura, choreography
Tabaimo and Hiroshi Sugimoto, video

Cast: Rodayu Toyotake, Seiji Tsurusawa, Tamasuke Yoshida, and others

Performed in Japanese with English supertitles

 

Performance length: Two hours and 30 minutes, including intermission

 

At the turn of 18th-century Japan, a clerk and a courtesan committed suicide in the forest of Tenjin. The Love Suicides at Sonezaki, a tragic play based upon these actual events, was banned after its 1703 premiere for more than two centuries. For this U.S. production premiere, renowned artist Hiroshi Sugimoto presents a bold, contemporary interpretation of the classic drama using bunraku puppet theater with music by Seiji Tsurusawa, who has been designated by Japan as a Living National Treasure, and video by Tabaimo and Sugimoto. The puppets, imbued with life, captivate audiences with their lively movements rivaling the eloquence of actual human beings.

 

Presented in association with The Japan Foundation and Odawara Art Foundation. Sugimoto Bunraku Sonezaki Shinju: The Love Suicides at Sonezaki is part of Japan 2019, a series of events highlighting Japanese arts and culture in the United States throughout 2019.

 

In cooperation with National Bunraku Theatre, BUNRAKU KYOKAI and Setagaya Arts Foundation/Setagaya Public Theatre.

 

Corporate support is provided by Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc., Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, J.C.C. Fund, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal U.S.A., Inc.

Additional support is made possible in part by The Jim Henson Foundation.

DruidShakespeare: Richard III (U.S. production premiere)

Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 7:00 pm (preview performance)

Friday, November 8, 2019 at 7:00 pm (preview performance)

Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Friday, November 15, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 2:00 and 7:00 pm

Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Friday, November 22, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College

 

Directed by Garry Hynes

Produced by Druid

Starring Aaron Monaghan as Richard III

Francis O’Connor, set and costume design

James F. Ingalls, lighting design

Gregory Clarke, sound design

Conor Linehan, music             

David Bolger, movement and fight choreography

Doreen McKenna, co-costume design

 

Performance length: Three hours, including intermission

 

Shakespeare depicts one of the world’s greatest villains in Richard III, a chilling and darkly comic story of power and ambition. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, portrayed by Aaron Monaghan, sets about bending the world to his own desires, vanquishing his better angels in pursuit of the crown. The Bard’s ruthless monarch resonates through the ages in this award-winning production from Ireland’s Druid theater company and Tony Award-winning director Garry Hynes. A continuation of the company’s exploration of Shakespeare’s kings, the production reunites the creative team and members of the Druid ensemble behind the celebrated DruidShakespeare: Richard II, Henry IV (Pts. 1 & 2) and Henry V, which played Lincoln Center in 2015. Druid’s acclaimed run of Waiting for Godot, also directed by Hynes and starring Monaghan as Estragon, was featured in the 2018 White Light Festival.

 

There will be a pre-performance discussion with Garry Hynes and Robert Marx on Sunday, November 10 at 1:45 pm in the John Jay College Lecture Hall.

 

 

***

 

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA)serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community engagement, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of thousands of free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers a variety of festivals and programs, including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Career Grants and Artist Program, David Rubenstein Atrium programming, Great Performers, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project, LC Kids, Midsummer Night Swing, Mostly Mozart Festival, White Light Festival, the Emmy Award-winningLive From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS, and Lincoln Center Education, which is celebrating more than four decades enriching the lives of students, educators, and lifelong learners. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and the 11 resident organizations: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Film at Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, School of American Ballet, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. 

 

Lincoln Center is committed to providing and improving accessibility for people with disabilities. For information, contact Accessibility at Lincoln Center at access@lincolncenter.org or 212.875.5375. 

 

***

 

The White Light Festival 2019 is made possible by The Shubert Foundation, The Katzenberger Foundation, Inc., Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc., Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater, The Joelson Foundation, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, J.C.C. Fund, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Great Performers Circle, Chairman’s Council and Friends of Lincoln Center.

 

Endowment support is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Blavatnik Family Foundation Fund for Dance.

 

Public support is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature

 

NewYork-Presbyterian is the Official Hospital of Lincoln Center

Press: Michelle Tabnick

Photos–Love Suicides : Hajime Watanabe; Richard III: Robbie Jack

PETER HANDKE: AN ADVERSARIAL TALENT AND CONTROVERSIAL NOBEL LAUREATE ·

(Hugo Hamilton’s article appeared in the Guardian, 10/10.)

Since his 1966 debut The Hornets, the Austrian playwright and author has tested, inspired and shocked audienceshares

It was, undoubtedly, Peter Handke’s years as a law student in Graz that made him such an adversarial talent. Instead of pursuing those petty courtroom battles, he broke off his legal studies and began a literary career full of confrontation. His generation had so much to argue with. Unlike German language authors before him, such as Günther Grass and Heinrich Böll – the latter Handke vehemently spoke out against when he burst onto the scene with his 1966 debut novel The Hornets – Handke seemed to pick a fight with language itself. For him, and his contemporaries Elfriede Jelinek and Thomas Bernhard, the entire German language bore the stain of Nazi abuse and needed to be recovered, word by word.

Olga Tokarczuk and Peter Handke win Nobel prizes in literature

I still remember the experience of seeing his 1966 play Publikumsbeschimpfung, in Berlin in the seventies. In English translation it was called Offending the Audience – though the word “berating” seems more appropriate for a play made up of actors doing nothing but shouting at shocked and inspired audiences. He followed it up with Kaspar, a 1967 play based on the legend of Kaspar Hauser, the man who stumbled onto the streets of Nuremberg without any grasp of language. Handke’s characters attempt to speak, but their fight with words make them even more mute; it is as though they have become part of a post-Holocaust condition in which the world must rebuild everything, even linguistics, from scratch.

His striking titles have always pointed inwards at his own tumultuous, hugely original, and fearless literary force, like his more recent play, 2010’s Immer noch Sturm (Storm Still). His characters are often brought into the psychological laboratory to be tested for emotional inhibitors: like the central figure in 1972’s The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, who descends into a traumatised moral vacuum to coldly murder a cinema cashier. (The novel was later filmed by Wim Wenders in 1975; Handke’s own film career would begin in three years after that, when he directed an adaptation of his own novel The Left-Handed Woman.)

(Read more)

REVIEW: ‘CAESAR & CLEOPATRA,’ DRESSED DOWN YET WISED UP (SV PICK, NY) ·

(Laura Collins-Hughes’s article appeared in The New York Times, 10/3; via Pam Green.)

George Bernard Shaw gets sensitively streamlined in a briskly entertaining production with winning performers at its center.

At first glance, Cleopatra seems every inch an ordinary teenager. In a ponytail and sneakers, her white pants rolled up below her knees, she’s hiding from Caesar’s approaching army. A stranger appears, and she urges him to save himself.

“Climb up here,” she says, “or the Romans’ll come and eat you.”

She has no inkling that the mild man before her is Caesar himself. In George Bernard Shaw’s “Caesar & Cleopatra,” adapted and directed by David Staller in a briskly entertaining, winningly down-to-earth revival for Gingold Theatrical Group, the young queen of Egypt is charming in her naïveté.

Of course she is, right? Much like Eliza Doolittle in Shaw’s later play “Pygmalion,” she’s raw female material, ready for molding by an expert male hand. Shaw liked that dynamic. But he also genuinely liked women as human beings, intellectual sparring partners and actors. The parts he wrote for them have real substance.

Teresa Avia Lim digs into this role with a vengeance, delivering a smartly calibrated comic performance. A blustering, artless kid as the play begins, Cleopatra is amused by her new mystery acquaintance, who stays mum about his identity as she mulls how to get the upper hand with the Romans.

(Read more)

Photo credit: Carol Rosegg

A BLACK ACTOR’S UNREQUITED LOVE FOR SHAKESPEARE ·

 

(Patricia Storace’s article appeared in The New York Review of Books, 10/5.)

Keith Hamilton Cobb in American Moor

The first recorded African-American theater troupe, the African Company, was founded in New York City in 1821, a company that the white theater establishment was determined to crush. A contemporary report describes the police shutting down a performance, hustling the actors off to jail, “whereupon they were released by the magistrate only after they pledged never again to act Shakespeare.”

The works of Shakespeare were a contested possession in the United States, often used by white America to reassure itself of the country’s Anglo-Saxonness, assuaging its fear of being a creole nation, a mulatto people. In 1835, for example, former President John Quincy Adams wrote: “the great moral lesson of the tragedy of ‘Othello’ is, that black and white blood cannot be intermingled in marriage without a gross outrage upon the Law of Nature.” Nearly a century later, in 1932, his descendant Joseph Quincy Adams, the first director of the Folger Shakespeare Library, remarked in his inaugural address, “Shakespeare and America,” that Shakespeare’s works functioned, as they had during previous challenges, “during the period of foreign immigration, when the ethnic texture of our people was seriously altered,” to maintain the United States “in bonds of a common Anglo-Saxon culture.”

In the nineteenth century, Othello was a role played by white men, with only rare exceptions. An African-American actor named Ira Aldridge, who had made his debut with the African Company, emigrated to England in 1824 as the backstage assistant to an English actor. There, he not only practiced his craft, but won lasting acclaim and recognition as one of the great Shakespearean actors of the period, celebrated throughout Europe as the first black actor to play Othello, along with other leading roles in Shakespeare he couldn’t dream of playing in the United States. You can see one of the many portraits painted of Aldridge as Othello in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. He is described as having changed the very declamatory style—stylized and operatic—in which Othello had been played. Aldridge seemed to live the character rather than perform him.

(Read more)

Photo: OnBostonStages