Fascinating musical theatre proclaiming that destiny still exists and that man, like the ancient gods, belongs to eternity.
In a small town in the middle of the United States, life is constricted by the ancient founding myths of humanity, ever repeated. On an empty stage as vast as the big sky of the Midwest, apparently ordinary people play out episodes of their daily lives. They do not speak, but they sing with the disarming sincerity of the guileless. Then something mysterious slowly unfolds, for under the surface of daily life lies the violence of American history and the still festering wounds of the great heroes of antiquity – Gilgamesh, Ulysses, Aeneas – whose terrible struggles we unconsciously repeat. Ten years after the success of House, Richard Maxwell and the New York City Players are back at the FTA with their fascinating theatre without artifice to let us know that destiny still exists, that man belongs to time as the gods to eternity.
NEW YORK CITY PLAYERS – Before Fiction, Reality
The New York City Players – a company that includes both untrained and professional actors – has staged since 1999 some twenty works by Richard Maxwell, including House(presented at the FTA in 2001), Drummer Wanted (2002), Good Samaritans (2004), The End of Reality (2006), Ode to Man Who Kneels (2007), and People Without History (2009). While favouring the narrative form, the company bases its work on the concrete reality of the actor onstage – an unpredictable and ever-changing reality – in an approach that puts into perspective yet also magnifies the fictitious universe played out onstage.
PRODUCED BY NEW YORK CITY PLAYERS
WRITTEN, DIRECTED AND COMPOSED BY RICHARD MAXWELL WITH LAKPA BHUTIA + JANET COLEMAN + KEITH CONNOLLY + ALEX DELINOIS + BOB FELDMAN + JEAN ANN GARRISH + ROSIE GOLDENSOHN + PAIGE MARTIN + JAMES MOORE + PHILIP MOORE + ANDIE SPRINGER + ANDREW WEISELLSET AND LIGHT DESIGN SASCHA VAN RIEL COSTUME DESIGNKAYE VOYCE DRAMATURGY TOM KING
PRODUCTIONKUNSTENFESTIVALDESARTS (BRUXELLES) COPRODUCTIONFESTIVAL TRANSAMÉRIQUES + WIENER FESTWOCHEN + FESTIVAL D’AUTOMNE (PARIS) + LES SPECTACLES VIVANTS – CENTRE POMPIDOU (PARIS) + KAMPNAGEL (HAMBOURG) + HEBBEL AM UFER/HAU (BERLIN) + THÉÂTRE DE L’AGORA + SCÈNE NATIONALE D’EVRY ET DE L’ESSONNE + DE INTERNATIONALE KEUZE VAN DE ROTTERDAMSE SCHOUWBURG + LA BÂTIE – FESTIVAL DE GENÈVE + THÉÂTRE GARONNE (TOULOUSE) SUPPORTED BY THE GREENWALL FOUNDATION
PREMIERED AT KUNSTENFESTIVALDESARTS, BRUXELLES, MAY 2011
WRITTEN BY PAUL LEFEBVRETRANSLATED BY NEIL KROETSCH
RICHARD MAXWELL (NEW YORK)
The Discreet Renegade
The playwright and director Richard Maxwell, one of the most remarkable artists in the contemporary theatre, undermines from within the conventions of American theatrical realism in order to create a theatre of the real.
Born in 1967 in Fargo, North Dakota he studied acting at Illinois State University before undertaking an Artistic Fellowship with the renowned Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, where he was a co-founder of the Cook County Theater Department. He founded the New York City Players in 1999, leading the company to become one of the few in the United States to rethink the very foundations of the actor’s work.