Category Archives: Current Affairs

NEW YORK DRAMA CRITICS’ CIRCLE AWARD WINNERS: ‘STEREOPHONIC’ AND ‘DEAD OUTLAW’ WIN TOP HONORS ·

The New York Drama Critics’ Circle has unveiled its annual awards, and this year’s ceremony promises exciting winners. David Adjmi’s “Stereophonic,” a play that premiered at Playwrights Horizons before swiftly transferring to Broadway, won the prize for Best Play. Described as a deep dive into the pressure cooker of a recording studio, “Stereophonic” follows a fictional rock band on the cusp of superstardom as they grapple with creative tensions and the perils of success.

Meanwhile, the musical “Dead Outlaw,” with music and lyrics by the duo of David Yazbek and Erik Della Penna and a book by Itamar Moses, took home Best Musical honors. “Dead Outlaw” is a darkly comedic exploration of the bizarre afterlife of a failed outlaw, whose mummified body becomes a carnival sideshow attraction. With the ever-inventive Yazbek’s involvement, one can expect a captivating and perhaps unconventional musical experience.

The ceremony, to be held on May 21st, will be a night of recognition beyond these two top awards. A joint special citation celebrates the revivals of “Merrily We Roll Along” and “Purlie Victorious,” a testament to the enduring power of classic productions. The ever-illustrious Maryann Plunkett and Jay O. Sanders, both gracing the stage this season, received a joint lifetime achievement award. Writer-composer Heather Christian’s “Terce: A Practical Breviary” also received a special citation, a nod to innovation on the downtown scene.

Mark your calendars, theater aficionados! This year’s Drama Critics’ Circle awards promise a fascinating glimpse into the vibrant tapestry of New York theater.

For more information on the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, please visit www.dramacritics.org. A full breakdown of this year’s voting will be posted tonight on the organization’s website.

Written by Gemini

Press: Don Summa, Richard Kornberg & Associates

TAKE ME TO THE CIRCUS: THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY’S OFFBEAT DOUBLE BILL– “PARTY CLOWN OF THE RICH & FAMOUS AND THE HUNGRY MIND BUFFET” ·

“PARTY CLOWN OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS,” written & performed by Stan Baker. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

The first act, at Theater for the New City, features Stan Baker, a man with a treasure trove of tales from the fringes of fame. Baker’s one-man show, “Party Clown of the Rich & Famous,” delves into his 1980s stint entertaining the city’s elite. Imagine, if you dare, rubbing elbows with Salvador Dali, swapping jokes with Bob Hope, or perhaps even encountering a pre-presidential Donald Trump dispensing dubious financial advice. Baker promises a hilarious, and likely cautionary, tale of the allure and emptiness of easy money amidst the excesses of the privileged few.

Act Two, “The Hungry Mind Buffet,” is a thought-provoking smorgasbord of short plays by a quirky ensemble. Playwright Peter Dizozza takes a comedic operatic swipe at Dante’s Inferno, while Richard West offers a man’s pointed, and no doubt humorous, conversation with a possibly exasperated God. Georgia James explores the darker side of indulgence through a woman whose weapon of choice is a decadent dessert. Finally, Lissa Moira, the production’s director and a known champion of the avant-garde, delivers a stark but powerful commentary on war with “The Colonel and the Woman Take Tea in the Rubble.”

L-R: Violinist Susan Mitchell, Mia Sasson as the food-loving Woman, Alisa Ermolaev as the waitress in “YUM” by Georgia James, directed by Lissa Moira. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

Moira, whose eclectic sensibilities have long graced the downtown theater scene, promises a production that’s both entertaining and intellectually stimulating. Think a theatrical amuse-bouche followed by a philosophical espresso. Those seeking a theatrical adventure, which lingers long after the curtain falls, need apply.

Theater for the New City presents

“Party Clown of the Rich & Famous and The Hungry Mind Buffet,” an evening of cuckoo playlets on subjects from celebrities to the celestial.

Program includes works by Stan Baker, Peter Dizzoza, Richard West, Georgia James and Lissa Moira, all directed by Lissa Moira.

May 30 to June 16, 2024

Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave.

Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 3:00 PM

$18 general admission; $15 students & seniors

Box office www.theaterforthenewcity.net, (212) 254-1109

runs 2:05 with intermission

Press: Jonathan Slaff

CATHERINE FILLOUX AT LA MAMA: ‘HOW TO EAT AN ORANGE’–5/30-6/16, 2024 ·

FOR THE PAST THREE DECADES FRENCH ALGERIAN AMERICAN AWARD-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT, LIBRETTIST AND ACTIVIST CATHERINE FILLOUX HAS BEEN TRAVELING TO CONFLICT AREAS WRITING PLAYS THAT ADDRESS HUMAN RIGHTS . . .

HOW TO EAT AN ORANGE

A one-person play about the visual artist and activist Claudia Bernardi, who grows up in Argentina under the military junta, and her subsequent work digging up the past . . .

The sensuous braiding of desaparecidos’ stories through the lens of a survivor . . .

A kaleidoscopic play of histories woven together, which depicts how both families and justice may be reconfigured . . . 

Time travel, subverting and countering realities . . . 

The fight for excavation, the archeology of a lifetime–of lifetimes . . . 

Filloux’s narrative of Bernardi in “How to Eat an Orange,” directed by Elena Araoz, accentuates justice and hope, the subterranean world, and Argentina’s Dirty War.

Above (l to r), Paula Pizzi (the actor in How to Eat an Orange) and playwright Catherine Filloux at La MaMa. Photo credit Karen Oughtred.

FILLOUX: What will inspire you in my new play is how justice and hope are won. The military junta during Argentina’s Dirty War were not held accountable for their crimes but our protagonist displays a stunning new solution with “juicio politico.” This visual artist and her family time travel in a lush, colorful theatrical symphony where new ways of seeing abound. Claudia shows you a subterranean world, where ants are as interesting as flowers–and her epistolary spans generations. Unexpected action heroes change our landscape, when letters are mailed and show up decades later.

Filloux’s most recent play reunites her with Suttirat Larlarb, James Bond No Time to Die costume designer, who also designed her plays Selma ’65 and Eyes of the Heart, and Elena Araoz, the director of her play Kidnap Road about the hostage Ingrid Betancourt

WHERE: the Downstairs Theater at La MaMa (66 East 4th Street New York, NY 10003), May 30-June 16, 2024. Tickets ($30) are available for advance purchase at www.lamama.org/shows/how-to-eat-an-orange-2024How to Eat an Orange is a New Georges Supported Production. 

La MaMa ETC. will present the World Premiere of How to Eat an Orange, written by Catherine Filloux (Kidnap Road at La MaMa; Turning Your Body Into a Compass with CultureHub), directed by Elena Araoz (Alligator with New Georges/The Sol Project; Architecture of Becoming with WP Theatre), and performed by Paula Pizzi (underneathmybed at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater; Where’s My Money? with Manhattan Theatre Club/LAByrinth Theater Company).

Press: Emily Owens

OUT OF THE DARK: REVISITING COMPOSERS SUPPRESSED BY THE NAZIS ·

(Alex Ross’s article appeared in the New Yorker, 5/13; Zemlinsky, once regarded as a weak-willed eclecticist, is attracting modern admirers. Illustration by Romy Blümel.)

The Musica Non Grata series, in Prague, explores the glittering, elusive world of Alexander Zemlinsky.

Alexander Zemlinsky, who composed several of the most subtly entrancing operas of the early twentieth century, embodied the cosmopolitan chaos of the old Austrian Empire. His father came from a Slovakian Catholic family; his mother was a Sarajevo native of Sephardic Jewish and Muslim descent. Born in Vienna in 1871, Zemlinsky apprenticed there under Gustav Mahler; had an illustrious stint conducting at the New German Theatre, in Prague; and later landed at the radical-minded Kroll Opera, in Berlin. His mature works draw, variously, on Charles Baudelaire, Oscar Wilde, Rabindranath Tagore, and Langston Hughes. To what nation or tradition does such a polymorphous figure belong? A sorcerer of orchestration, Zemlinsky wrote music that glimmers ambiguously in the air, and his life seemed to do the same.

In April, I went to Prague for the final installment of a four-year series called Musica Non Grata, which focussed on German-speaking Jewish composers who thrived in the First Czechoslovak Republic, between 1918 and 1938. The principal venue was the Prague State Opera, as the New German Theatre is now known. The German government provided support, memorializing the Germanophone culture that once flourished in Czech lands. Two of Zemlinsky’s operas, “A Florentine Tragedy” and “Kleider Machen Leute” (“Clothes Make the Man”), were presented on the final Musica Non Grata weekend. As it happens, I had recently seen Zemlinsky’s “Der Zwerg” (“The Dwarf”) at L.A. Opera, whose music director, James Conlon, is a tireless advocate of composers who lost their careers—and sometimes their lives—to the Nazis.

Efforts to recuperate artists who were victims of prejudice might be seen as special pleading. Would the music of the historically oppressed—whether the composers are Jewish, Black, or female—compel our attention if we knew nothing of their struggles? Aren’t we rewriting history to compensate for past misdeeds? Such questions suffer from the dubious assumption that the core repertory has emerged from a purely organic process unaffected by sentimental factors. Consider how the cult of Mozart dwells on his early death, or how that of Beethoven emphasizes his deafness. In any case, no revival of a forgotten composer can be rooted in anything but love, and Zemlinsky’s circle of devotees, while not exactly vast, is steadily expanding.

His musical gifts were never in doubt. Recordings of his work as a conductor are meagre, but his contemporaries praised him as an expert, elegant interpreter of modern and classic repertory alike. Igor Stravinsky, not one to hand out compliments freely, recalled a Zemlinsky-led performance of “The Marriage of Figaro” as the “most satisfying operatic experience of my life.” In Prague, Zemlinsky selflessly promoted not only his fellow-Viennese, like his brother-in-law Arnold Schoenberg and members of the Schoenberg school, but also Stravinsky, Bartók, Hindemith, and Weill. Having begun as an acolyte of Brahms, Zemlinsky brushed against atonality, neoclassicism, and popular song. His openness to myriad influences caused him to be perceived as a weak-willed eclecticist. But Theodor W. Adorno, in a beautiful defense of Zemlinsky’s music, questioned the belief that “force is an integral part of greatness,” arguing that there is genius in sensitivity, empathy, and reticence.

“Der Zwerg” (1919-21), an adaptation of Wilde’s story “The Birthday of the Infanta,” has long been the most often performed of Zemlinsky’s eight operas. I had previously seen productions at the Spoleto Festival, in 1993, and at the Komische Oper, in Berlin, in 2002. The story, in which a dwarf falls in love with a cruelly teasing princess, has autobiographical dimensions: throughout his life, Zemlinsky felt like a freakish outsider. In 1900, he became smitten with the composer Alma Schindler, who found him at once “horribly ugly” and “touchingly sweet.” (She dropped him in favor of Mahler, who was neither.) The omnipresence of antisemitism in Vienna must have shadowed the opera’s conception.

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“GRENFELL: IN THE WORDS OF SURVIVORS” ON DEMOCRACY NOW!: SURVIVOR RECOUNTS DEADLY 2017 LONDON FIRE THAT INSPIRED PLAY—ONLY THROUGH SUN., 5/12 AT ST. ANN’S WAREHOUSE, NYC ·

(On Democracy Now!, 5/10.)

The play Grenfell: In the Words of Survivors, which is being staged this week in Brooklyn, tells the story of the 2017 apartment fire at Grenfell Tower in London that killed 72 people. It was the worst fire in Britain since World War II, and survivors blamed the government for mismanaging the public housing block and neglecting maintenance. The play tells the story of how the residents of Grenfell Tower, from the Caribbean, Portugal, Syria, Morocco, Ethiopia and Britain, created a thriving community even as their homes fell into disrepair in the years before the fire. Playwright Gillian Slovo says she was moved to create the play after watching “in absolute horror as that building burned,” wondering how such a tragedy could happen in one of the richest neighborhoods of London. We also hear from Grenfell survivor Ed Daffarn, who barely escaped the inferno with his life. “I’m here. It’s like a million-to-one chance,” Daffarn says. Democracy Now! is an independent global news hour that airs on over 1,500 TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch our livestream at democracynow.org Mondays to Fridays 8-9 a.m. ET.  Support our work: https://www.democracynow.org/donate?c…

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Interview with playwright Gillian Slovo below:

 

‘THEY’RE TEACHING ME’: GREG DORAN ON STAGING SHAKESPEARE’S UNLOVED TWO GENTS WITH STUDENTS ·

(Michael Billington’s article appeared in the Guardian, 5/10;  Photograph: Geraint Lewis.

The theatre director, now teaching at Oxford after years running the RSC, thinks The Two Gentlemen of Verona is perfect for a young cast to argue over. We go into rehearsals

Which is Shakespeare’s least loved play? The Two Gentlemen of Verona would come high on many people’s lists. It is clearly apprentice-work. It has had few significant revivals. And it also raises problematic issues since the treacherous Proteus threatens at one point to rape Silvia who is betrothed to his best friend, Valentine. For these and other reasons it is no one’s favourite play.

This could, however, be about to change. Greg Doran – now officially Sir Gregory – is staging a production at the Oxford Playhouse with student actors. After 35 years as an actor and then director with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Doran is this year’s Cameron Mackintosh visiting professor of contemporary theatre at St Catherine’s College. It is a seductive post – whose previous occupants include Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Miller, Deborah Warner and Adjoa Andoh – which involves giving lectures and workshops. But Doran has had the bright idea of using his tenure to direct the one play in the First Folio that has so far eluded him: The Two Gents. After spending time watching him at work, I have a hunch that he may have cracked some of the problems posed by one of Shakespeare’s early works.

“It is an ideal play,” says Doran, “to do with students. It is about young people leaving home, falling in love, discovering their identities. It even brings back memories of my own experience of leaving Preston to study at Bristol just as Shakespeare’s characters quit Verona to go to Milan. But working on the play has been genuinely collaborative. It’s been a funny old couple of years since the death of my husband [Sir Antony Sher]. I’ve filled it with various displacement activities such as going round the world studying existing copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio. What this production enables me to do is get back into a rehearsal room and to pass on what I have learned to the next generation. They are also teaching me. There’s a scene where Launce and Speed, two comic servants, discuss the attributes of a milkmaid. One of the actors said to me that it was exactly like a Hinge profile. I hadn’t a clue what he was talking about until he explained that it was a dating app.”

How, though, do you cast a play when you are unfamiliar with the students’ work? “Well,” says Doran, “80 initially sent in videos. I saw 40 of them in person and cast 20. What is extraordinary is the range of experience. Half the cast are undergraduates: the other half are doing DPhils or master’s degrees in subjects that include neuroscience, the history of art and professional theatre in the Soviet gulags. Three of the cast I’ve discovered also do drag acts.”

(Read more)

8TH BIENNIAL SEGAL CENTER FILM FESTIVAL ON THEATRE & PERFORMANCE MAY 16-20 WILL FEATURE MORE THAN 30 FILMS BY INTERNATIONAL THEATER ARTISTS PLUS DOCUMENTARIES ON THEATER AND PERFORMANCE. ·

ALL FREE

WHERE AND WHEN:

May 16 to 20, 2024

The Segal Theatre Center,

The Graduate Center, City University of New York,

365 Fifth Avenue, at 34th Street

FREE – First Come, First Served

Some screenings are in-person, some are online only (for three weeks beginning May 16), and some are both.  For all info including screening schedules, descriptions and trailers, visit the festval’s website, https://www.thesegalcenter.org/film-festival.

NEW YORK — The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center of CUNY, 365 Fifth Ave. (at 34th Street) will hold its eighth international Segal Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP) Thursday, May 16, Friday, May 17, Saturday, May 18 and Monday, May 20, 2024, at The Segal Theatre Center, The Graduate Center, CUNY in New York City.  This year’s Festival program features films, short films, performance art and documentaries, including several US and world premieres. Screenings are afternoons and evenings–see the complete schedule at https://www.thesegalcenter.org/film-festival.

FTP presents films that deal directly with the themes of theater and performance. Its mission is to invite experimental and established theater makers to present work created for the screen – not filmed archival recordings – to audiences and industry professionals from around the world.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Segal Film Festival had evolved into the premier US event for new film and video work focusing on theatre and performance. After a brief hiatus during the pandemic, the 2022 FTP Film Festival presented over 100 screenings from over 60 countries, where many theatre artists engaged in Zoom and DIY projects created from home or outside theatres.

Now, it is once again time to share an overview of some of the most compelling works created for the screen by theatre artists during the last two years – in person.

 

The festival is co-curated and co-produced by Frank Hentschker & Tomek Smolarski of the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center.

Some screenings are in-person, some are online only (for three weeks beginning May 16), and some are both.  For all info including screening schedules, descriptions and trailers, visit the festval’s website, https://www.thesegalcenter.org/film-festival.

The FTP 2024 will present the following works: Juggle & Hide by Wichaya (Japan)Genocide And Movements by Andreia Beatriz (Brazil), Hamilton Borges dos Santos and Luis Carlos de AlencarSchlingensief: A Voice That Shook the Silence by Bettina Böhler (Germany)Talk to Us by Kirsten BurgenThe Making of Pinocchio by Rosana Cade and Ivor MacAskill (Scotland, UK)Nightshades – Veronica Viper by Ellen Callaghan (USA); Chinoiserie Redux by Ping Chong, Kristina Varshavskaya (Canada)Die Kinder der Toten by Kelly Copper & Pavol Liska / Nature Theater of Oklahome (Germany)Film mon corps virtuel et mon double by Bruno Deville Simon Senn (Switzerland)Queendom by Agniia Galdanova (USA/France)Book of Jacob by Krzysztof Garbaczewski (USA/Poland)Snow White by Dr.GoraParasit (Lithuania)Next… II (Mali/Iceland) by Janne Gregor (Island, Mali, Germany); Making of the Money Opera by Amitesh Grover (India)Dancing Pina by Florian Heinzen-Ziob (Germany)Maria Klassenerg by Magda Hueckel i Tomek Sliwinski (Poland) ; The End Is Not What I Thought It Would Be by Andrea Kleine (USA)The Utopians by Michael Klien & En Dynamei (Greece)I am not Ok by Gabrielle Lansner (USA) ; Aeschylus’ Oresteia by Carolin Mader (Germany)Roll Call: The Roots to Strange Fruit by Jonathan McCrory/National Black Theatre (USA)Elfriede Jelinek – Language Unleashed by Claudia Muller (Germany/Austria)The Hamlet Syndrome by Elwira Niewiera, Piotr Rosolowski (Poland/Syndrome)Muse by Pete O’Hare USA)Swing and Sway by Fernanda Pessoa and Chica Barbosa (Brazil)Revolution 21 by Martyna Peszko (Poland) ; Conference of the Absent by Rimini Protocol (Haug/Kaegi/Wetzel) & Expander Film (Lilli Kuschel, Stefan Korsinsky) (Germany)Who is Eugenio Barba by Magdalene Remoundou (Greece)Living Hans-Thies Lehmann by Christoph Rüter (Germany)Women of Theatre, New York by Juney Smith USA)Interstate by Jennie Mary Tei Liu (USA)Red Day by Besim Ugzmajli (Kosovo)Objects in Black by Jacqueline Wade (USA)Wo by Jiemin YangNewcomer “H” Sokerissa by Aoki YuukiLove by Alexander Zeldin – Schaubühne Berlin (Germany)

For all info, trailers, times, details and RSVP for the entire festival, including the complete schedule of in-person screenings, please visit: https://www.thesegalcenter.org/film-festival.

DAY-BY-DAY SCHEDULE OF IN-PERSON SCREENINGS

Thursday, May 16:

Queendom by Agniia Galdanova (6:00-7:00 PM)

Maria Klassenberg by Tomasz Sliwinski and Magda Hueckel (World Premiere) (7:50-8:50 PM)

Friday, May 17

Genocide and Movements by Andreia Beatriz, Hamilton Borges dos Santos and Luis Carlos de Alencar (6:00 – 7:00 PM)

Swing & Sway by Fernanda Pessoa and Chica Barbosa (7:00 – 8:00 PM)

Making of Pinocchio by Cade & MacAskill (8:00 -9:30 PM)

Saturday, May 18

Who is Eugenio Barba by Magdalene Remoundou (10:00 – 11:00 AM)

Love (Schausbuhne) (11:05 AM -12:05 PM)

Schlingensief: A Voice That Shook the Silence by Frieder Schlaich (12:10 – 2:15 PM)

ELFRIEDE JELINEK – LANGUAGE UNLEASHED by Claudia Muller (2:20 – 3:50 PM)

Dancing Pina by Florian Heinzen-Ziob (4:00 – 5:51 PM)

Monday, May 20

Die Kinder der Toten Kelly Copper & Pavol Liška – Nature Theater of Oklahoma (2:00 – 3:30 PM)

Viewing of selected short films from the festival lineup (3:35 – 5:15 PM)

Chinoiserie Redux by Ping Chong, Kristina Varshavskaya (5:20 – 6:40)

Revolution 21 by Martyna Peszko (6:45 – 7:45 PM)

The Hamlet Syndrome by Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosolowski (7:50 – 9:30 PM)

Some of these can be streamed online as well.  See https://www.thesegalcenter.org/film-festival for full info.

 

ONLINE ONLY SCREENINGS

Thirteen other films are screening online only.  For info & links to these, see:  https://www.thesegalcenter.org/film-festival

 

ABOUT THE CURATORS:

Tomek Smolarski is Film and Performing Arts Curator at the Polish Cultural Institute New York, with over 20 years of experience in production of international cultural events and extensive knowledge in cultural diplomacy. He has initiated and executed projects with partners all over the US such as BAM, MoMA, Film at Lincoln Center, Museum of the Moving Image, Anthology Film Archives, NYU Skirball, Abrons Arts Center, Martin E. Segal Theater Center, La Mama Theater, Joe’s Pub, RedCat, Odyssey Theater, Berkley Arts Museum and Pacific Film Archives, Chicago Cultural Center and many others.

Dr. Frank Hentschker (Executive Director, The Segal Center) holds a PhD in theater from the now legendary Institute for Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen, Germany. He came to the Graduate Center in 2001 as program director for the Graduate Center’s Martin E. Segal Theatre Center and was appointed to the central doctoral faculty in theater in 2009.

The festival’s web presence is by Gaurav Singh.

ABOUT THE MARTIN E. SEGAL CENTER

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center (MESTC), The Graduate Center, CUNY, is a non-profit Center for theater, affiliated with CUNY’s Ph.D. Program in Theater. The Center’s primary focus is to bridge the gap between the academic and professional performing arts communities by providing an open environment for the development of educational, community-driven, and professional projects in the performing arts. www.theSegalCenter.org

(Via Jonathan Slaff)

LEBANESE PLAYWRIGHT CHRYSTÈLE KHODR’S DRAMATIC ‘TRIAL BY ORDEAL’ ON STAGE IN PARIS ·

(Solene Clausse’s Olivia Salazar-Winspear’s, Jennifer Ben Brahim’s Marion Chaval’s, Magali Faure’s and Clemence Delfaure’s article  appeared on France24, 5/7. Photo: arts24 © FRANCE 24)

Her powerful performances give voice to some uncomfortable truths. Lebanese playwright and director Chrystèle Khodr wades through the ruins of a society in her latest play “Ordalie”, exploring the social, political and physical wreckage of her homeland and its history. She tells us more about the quest for justice in contemporary Lebanon, why 19th-century playwright Henrik Ibsen is a fitting contemporary inspiration and how making theatre in a crisis-ridden country is a constant endeavour of creativity and solidarity among artists.

 

***** THE CHERRY ORCHARD REVIEW – BENEDICT ANDREWS BRINGS CHEKHOV BANG UP TO DATE ·

(Arifa Akbar’s article appeared in the Guardian, 5/3; Photo: The party’s over … Nina Hoss in The Cherry Orchard. Photograph: Johan Persson.)

Donmar Warehouse, London
Nina Hoss stars in a kookily immersive production but the devastating hammer blow of the Russian tragicomedy is not lost in translation

It is initially hard to fathom where Benedict Andrews’ conspicuously kooky  take on Anton Chekhov’s final drama is going. Actors come on looking like modern-day eccentrics and festivalgoers rather than Russian aristocrats of an ancient regime giving way to the new.

They swear, vape and address us directly as they play out the fate of a bored, profligate landed family led by a glamorous matriarch, Ranevskaya (Nina Hoss), who returns home from her Parisian misadventures to continue the party, despite growing debt and the prospective sale of her centuries-old estate.

We stand in for props, too, on Magda Willi’s otherwise empty stage. One audience member is referred to as a side table, another a bookcase. It is supremely off-the-wall, not least because a garish carpet is wrapped all around the auditorium, making it look like a Russian drawing room that has been put through a surreal, Alice in Wonderland blender. Is this weird, immersive, audience-participation Chekhov?

Kind of, but rather than careering into an almighty misfire, Andrews’ production gradually builds to reveal its grand, devastating vision. An auditorium that never goes dark implicates us in the drama: we might be the family’s observing guests or the impoverished peasant interlopers who have taken up home in their estate.

(Read more)

DIVE DEEP INTO JON FOSSE’S PLAYS: A THEATRICAL MARATHON IN NEW YORK (NEXT MONDAY, MAY 6, 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM) ·

INTO THE EVERYDAY AND EXISTENTIAL

Nobel Laureate Jon Fosse’s

Texts for Performance in New York

2004 to the present

NEXT MONDAY, MAY 6

11:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Ongoing engagement and experiments throughout the day.

Come and go as you please.

LIVE / IN PERSON

Free + Open to the public

Live stream on Howlround here

Segal Theatre, 365 Fifth Ave @ 34 St.

RSVP here

Next Monday, May 6th, promises a unique experience for theatergoers in New York City – an entire day dedicated to exploring the works of Nobel laureate Jon Fosse. This isn’t your typical production; it’s a captivating event spearheaded by Oslo Elsewhere, a visionary force reintroducing Fosse’s brilliance to American audiences.

Imagine the Segal Theatre Center transformed into a living, breathing text. Throughout the day (11 AM to 9 PM), you’re invited to delve into five of Fosse’s plays, all translated into American English. The schedule is flexible, allowing you to come and go as you please.

Fosse, lauded for his innovative plays and prose, has captivated audiences worldwide. While his prose may be familiar to American readers, his theatrical works, the bedrock of his career, remain a hidden gem. This event seeks to rectify that, offering a chance to experience the raw power of his words translated for the American stage.

Oslo Elsewhere, led by the formidable duo of Anna Gutto and Sarah Cameron Sunde, holds a special place in Fosse’s American journey. Over two decades ago, they pioneered the U.S. debut of his work. Now, they reunite, bringing their artistic evolution to bear on this event.

Here’s a glimpse into the five performances scheduled for the day:

Schedule (subject to radical change):

11:00 am

Night Sings Its Songs

1:00 pm

Sa Ka La

2:30 PM

A Summer Day

4:30 pm

Dream of Autumn

6:30 PM Panel Discussion

With Anna Gutto, Sarah Cameron Sunde and collaborators. Moderated by Merve Emre (The New Yorker). Welcome by Frank Hentschker.

7:30 pm (immediately following the panel)

deathvariations

followed by a reception

The evening culminates with a reading of “deathvariations,” followed by a reception. Imagine the electricity in the air – a day steeped in Fosse, culminating in this final, potent performance.

This is a rare chance to delve into Fosse’s translated works. It’s a celebration of artistic collaboration, bringing together seasoned actors like Raymond McAnally and rising stars like Xavier Scott Evans.

Can’t make it to New York? No problem! The event will be live streamed Live stream on Howlround here.

Attendance is free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis. The Segal Theatre Center is located at 365 Fifth Avenue, at 34th Street. For those attending in person, you can  RSVP here.

This event is conceptualized and directed by Sarah Cameron Sunde and Anna Gutto; curated by Frank Hentschker; and presented by The Martin E. Segal Theater Center in collaboration with Oslo Elsewhere, with support from The Royal Norwegian Consulate General.

The cast will be an ensemble of actors, including some original cast members alongside other leading New York performers (see bios below): 

Arlene Chico-Lugo, Diane Ciesla, Xavier Scott Evans, Anna Gutto, Frank Harts, Birgit Huppuch, Deb Knox, Natalia Payne, James Martinez, Raymond McAnally, Lizan Mitchell, and David L. Townsend. Audio visual workshop and support team: Christopher Bisram, Gretchen Burger, Adriana Guiman, Lauren Helpern, Paul HudsonMarie-Louise Miller, Stephen Powell, and Erick Stoll.

Throughout the month of May, we are encouraging theater practitioners around the U.S. to read through these five plays translated into American-English. Send an email to info@colombine.se and osloelsewhere@gmail.com to request the translations and sign up to participate.

All performing rights for texts by Jon Fosse are handled by Colombine Theatre Agency: info@colombine.se

JON FOSSE was born in 1959 in the Norwegian coastal town of Haugesund in Western Norway and made his debut as a fiction writer in 1983 with the novel Raudt, Svart. In 1985 came the novel Stängd Gitar. The first collection of poems Engel med Vatn i Augene was published in 1986. Fosse made his debut as a playwright in 1993 with the play And We Shall Never Be Separated, a commission from Den Nationale Scene in Bergen where it was first performed in 1994. The big breakthrough as a playwright came with the play Someone is Going to Come in 1996 and then followed with a series of plays such as A Summer’s Day, Night Sings Its Songs, Dream of Autumn and Deathvariations. Jon Fosse soon became one of Europe’s most performed playwrights, translated into more than forty languages, and his plays have been staged nearly 900 times worldwide. Although today Fosse is best known as a playwright, he has always continued to write fiction, such as The Septology, Fosse’s most extensive work to date. Jon Fosse was awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Literature. He resides in Oslo, Norway. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to embark on a theatrical odyssey. Immerse yourself in the world of Jon Fosse – a day unlike any other on the New York stage.

Events are FREE and open to the public on a first come, first served basis at The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, 365 Fifth Avenue, at 34th Street.

Subway: Herald Square, lines B/D/F/M/N/Q/R/W

(via Frank Hentschker)