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Showing posts from May, 2013

Richard Foreman: Old-Fashioned Prostitutes

Old-Fashioned Prostitutes (a true romance)
written, directed and designed by Richard Foreman
produced by the Public Theater in association with the Ontological-Hysteric Theater
Richard Foreman, perennial the emperor of the off-off-Broadway OOB-downtown avant-garde, has been producing his Ontological-Hysteric Theater for 45 years – over 50 productions. Kooky and cryptic, they’re no more to be rationally interpreted than that weirdo company name. They leave the audience with a remarkably refreshed feeling, like a meditation.

His latest work, Old-Fashioned Prostitutes makes it clear that he’s as idiosyncratic, as brilliant as ever. Non-narrative, with singular, stylized acting, it’s a perplexing dream. In its way it’s as far from verisimilitude as Everyman.

The immensely cluttered set has papers on the back wall, the designer's signature strings over the audience, pillows, a chandelier… There are lights on the audience, bright flashes, loud crashes… a phone ringing, jazz… The central ch…

Theater of the Oppressed

Theatre of the Oppressed: Save the Drama A Festival of Forum and Legislative Theatre Addressing Issues Faced by LGBTQ Homeless Youth in NYC.
Performances created by ensembles from The Hetrick-Martin Institute, The Ali Forney Center, and The Door.

Augusto Boal, a Brazilian director/playwright and Marxist, developed the Theatre of the Oppressed as revolutionary art. Theatre of the Oppressed New York recently staged scenes from three gay organizations, collectively called Save the Drama. They were conceived and performed by gay and lesbian youth, illustrating the real-life problems they faced. The situations they presented were very disturbing indeed, particularly one in which a young boy was honest and told his parents he's gay. After each sketch the audience was invited to suggest behaviors that would have helped the subject individual to cope. Then after certain scenes we made proposals for legislation that would respond to, for example, police harassment. As a group, we voted our su…

Stunning, Hermetic and Erudite

Fragments
five pieces Samuel Beckett:
Rough for Theatre I
Rockaby
Act Without Words II

Neither
Come and Go
directed by Peter Brook and Marie-Helene Estienne
produced by C.I.C.T. (Centre international des creations theatrales ) and Theatre des Bouffes du Nord (Paris)
presented by Theatre for a New Audience, New York Samuel Beckett was one of the giant icons of 20th-century theatre. Of the important playwrights of those hundred years, he represents the century’s unique contribution to dramatic literature, the combination of absurdism and minimalism. Of the directors who created what we think of as modern theatre, the age of the director, Peter Brook is one of the two still alive (the other is Judith Malina). His contribution has been a stage minimalism that’s been enormously influential. Marie-Helene Estienne has been Brook’s assistant, dramaturge and producer. Brook was born in London, Beckett in Dublin, but both spent much of their careers in Paris. In its compulsive sparceness, Fragments, short …