SHAKESPEARE'S SISTER (OR LA VIE MATERIELLE) to Play La MaMa, 9/20-10/6
Irina Brook continues her father Peter's tradition at La MaMa with Shakespeare's Sister (or La Vie Matérielle), which adapts Virginia Woolf's A Room Of One's Own and Marguerite Duras' La Vie Matérielle. Adapted and directed by the younger Brook, the work is set at a fantasy dinner party, where five women prepare the cuisine while singing, dancing and discussing their place in the world. La MaMa will present the New York Premiere September 20 - October 6 at the Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 East 4th Street). The production will feature a diverse ensemble including OBIE-winner Winsome Brown as Virginia Woolf, novelist and former French Vogue editor Joan Juliet Buck (Julie and Julia) as Maugerite Duras, actress Nicole Ansari ("Deadwood," Broadway and West End productions of Tom Stoppard's Rock and Roll, Théâtre du Soleil), concert violin soloist Yibin Li and British singer/songwriter Sadie Jemmett.
Performances will take place September 20-21, 26-28 and October 3-5 at 7:30pm; and September 22, 29, and October 6 at 5:00pm. Critics are welcome as of September 21 at 7:30pm for an official opening on September 23.
Tickets, $25 ($20 for students and seniors) can be purchased at www.lamama.org, 212-475-7710, or in person at the box office. Through La MaMa's new 10@$10 initiative, ten $10 tickets will be available to every performance on a first-come, first-served basis. In continuing tough economic times, La MaMa wants to make it possible for anyone to see live shows for less than the price of a movie ticket. Specifically, La MaMa aims to ensure artists can see each other's work, and to foster young audiences experiencing daring performances.
The creative team includes assistant director Geoffrey Carey, set designer Noëlle Ginefri-Corbel and lighting designer Thibault Ducros.
This New York premiere of Shakespeare's Sister (or La Vie Matérielle) marks Irina Brook's first time directing a fully produced play in New York. She has directed numerous works to acclaim worldwide. In Paris (where she was born and is based), Lausanne, Tokyo, Belgium, Holland and Italy, among other places, she has directed The Glass Menagerie, Romeo & Juliet, The Good Person of Szechwan, Dancing at Lughnasa, All's Well that Ends Well, Midsummer Night's Dream, Homer's Odyssey, Morphic Resonance and The Island of Slave, in addition to several operas. Brook was the director in residence at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts from 2008-2009. There she created The Canterville Ghost, Toad of Toad Hall and Cindy Bella. In January, Brook re-mounted the fourth reprise of her much-lauded Cenerentola of Rossini at the Théâtre des Champs Élysées, Paris. She also mounted a new version of The Tempest with La Compagnie Irina Brook. In 2002, The French government awarded her the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.
La Compagnie Irina Brook, established in 2003, is currently touring Europe with four different productions. This year she re-imagined her company under the new name of Irina's DreamTheatre in collaboration with Parisian producer and literary agent, Marie Cecile Renauld.
La MaMa and the French Institute Alliance Francais (FIAF) presented a workshop production of Shakespeare's Sister (or La Vie Matérielle) in March 2010. Brook further developed the work at the Maison de la Culture in Nevers and the Théâtre de La Presle in Romans, in December 2012 and January 2013, respectively.
La MaMa is a remarkable arts institution with a worldwide reputation for producing daring work in theater, dance, performance art, and music. Founded in 1961 by theater pioneer Ellen Stewart, La MaMa has produced and presented more than 3,300 theatrical productions to date and is a vital part of the fabric of cultural life in New York City and around the world.
La MaMa provides a supportive home for artists and takes risks on unknown work. Artists such as Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson, Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, Harvey Fierstein, Blue Man Group, David and Amy Sedaris and other luminaries began their careers at La MaMa. International Artists introduced to America by La MaMa include Tadeusz Kantor, Andrei Serban, Kazuo Ohno and, more recently, the acclaimed Belarus Free Theatre. La MaMa has been honored with more than 30 OBIE Awards, dozens of Drama Desk and Bessie Awards, and, in 2006, Ellen Stewart was recognized with a special TONY Award for Excellence in the Theater.