Wooster Group's CRY, TROJANS! (TROILUS & CRESSIDA) Opens Tonight
The Wooster Group is currently developing its work CRY, TROJANS! (Troilus & Cressida) in preview performances at The Performing Garage (33 Wooster Street). The Group will celebrate the official premiere tonight, February 27, with the show running through March 9 at REDCAT in Los Angeles. The Wooster Group often develops its highly collaborative work through various presentations over extended periods of time. The Group is planning a New York premiere; the current preview performances are not open for review.
Tickets for The Performing Garage start at $25 and are available at thewoostergroup.org or 212.966.3651. Tickets for the premiere at REDCAT are $50 ($25 for CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff, $40 for REDCAT members) and can be purchased at www.redcat.org or 213.237.2800. CRY, TROJANS! runstwo hours and 15 minutes including one intermission.
Directed by Elizabeth LeCompte, CRY, TROJANS! translates Troilus and Cressida, one of William Shakespeare's most enigmatic plays, into a distinctly American idiom. The production features performances by Ari Fliakos, Jennifer Lim, Greg Mehrten, Suzzy Roche, Andrew Schneider, Scott Shepherd, Casey Spooner, Kate Valk, and Gary Wilmes. Set elements, props and costumes: Folkert de Jong. Assistant for Costumes: Enver Chakartash. Sound: Bruce Odland with Bobby McElver and Max Bernstein. Lighting: Jennifer Tipton.Video and projections: Andrew Schneider.Stage Manager: Teresa Hartmann. Production Manager: Emily Rea.
CRY, TROJANS! originated as a coproduction with the Royal Shakespeare Company of Troilus and Cressida at the World Shakespeare Festival in conjunction with the London 2012 Olympics. In that collaboration, the two companies took opposite sides in the Trojan War: the Wooster Group staged the Trojan scenes while the RSC staged the Greek ones. Scenes with both Greeks and Trojans were staged by both, each side developing its own version. The companies worked separately until they met a few weeks before performing the piece to sew its two halves together. The seam was intentionally left rough so that the contrast of artistic approaches remained a foreground feature of the production, accenting the face-off of warring cultures in the play.
Seeking a decidedly American angle from which to encounter the RSC and the language of Shakespeare, the Wooster Group turned to the powerfully suggestive and contradictory figure of the American "Indian." Drawing imagery, speech cadences, and movement from many sources including Zacharias Kunuk's Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner and Chris Eyres' Smoke Signals, the Group reimagined the Trojans as a pastiche fictional tribe of early Americans struggling to assert its dignity as doom closes in.
Following the special engagement with the RSC, the Wooster Group returned to New York and converted the collaboration into an independent piece. The spirit of the absent collaborator/enemy still manifests in various ways, but CRY, TROJANS! concentrates on the Trojan side of the story: the corruption of sincere love and the downfall of a noble hero.
About The Wooster Group: Founded in 1975, The Wooster Group has made more than 30 works for theater, dance, film and video under the direction of Elizabeth LeCompte. These works include RUMSTICK ROAD (1977), L.S.D. (...JUST THE HIGH POINTS...) (1984), FRANK DELL'S THE TEMPTATION OF ST. ANTONY (1988), BRACE UP! (1991), THE EMPEROR JONES (1993), HOUSE/LIGHTS (1999), TO YOU, THE BIRDIE! (Phèdre) (2002), HAMLET (2007), THERE IS STILL TIME, BROTHER (2007), LA DIDONE (2009), and VIEUX CARRÉ (2011). Historical and contemporary arts exert a strong influence on the Group's work, and dance, video, music, and architecture are all important organizing principles. Based at The Performing Garage at 33 Wooster Street in lower Manhattan, the company regularly tours worldwide, including North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The Performing Garage is part of the Grand Street Artists Co-op, a 1960s project of the Fluxus art movement.
The Wooster Group receives support from the National Endowment for Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Non-Profit Finance Fund/Leading for the Future Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/New York Theater Program, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Shubert Foundation and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.
Additional generous support has been received from the TROILUS & CRESSIDA Producers Circle: George Ahl, Francesca Connolly, Wendy vanden Heuvel, Jennifer and Kristopher John, Diane and Adam Max, and Michael Tracy.
All activities at The Performing Garage receive major support from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is funded through Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Booth Ferris Foundation.