Theater Du Jour to Present Joseph White's SANDRA & SALVADOR ROSA, Begin. 9/20
Theatre Du Jour Presents Sandra and Salvador Rosa, two short Absurd plays by painter Joseph White, although he prefers to call them "oxy-moronic." A renowned painter since the 1960's (his first inclusion in the Whiney Biennial was 1964), White also danced and wrote poetry while living on the lower East Side in New York in the 1970's and 80's. He participated in readings at St. Mark's Place and his book, Oriental Palace, was published during that time by Adventures in poetry. These two bizarre plays were written between 1970 and 1980 in the absurdist tradition and highlight his image-rich poetry; fantastic vision and practically Dadaist take on society. InSandra, two bus benches observe the behavior of the proletariat who wait for and ride the bus, hiding angst and displeasure under a mantel of civility. Says White, "Bus benches don't usually get to talk, and when they do it's pretty important." Salvador Rosa is a series of short vignettes that range from movement poems to a tirade by the rebellious and influential but mostly obscure 17thcentury painter and poet. The themes may be far reaching and at times critical of society, but the plays themselves are funny, entertaining and sometimes downright silly. As one of the actors quipped to White during rehearsal, "What on earth was going through your mind in 1980?"
Theatre Du Jour, under the direction of veteran theater practitioner B. Stanley, has been presenting alternative and experimental theater since 1982. In taking on Sandra and Salvador Rosa, the group has brought in nine extra performers and worked directly with White during rehearsals. Says Stanley, "It's very unusual for us to have the playwright at hand off which to bounce crazy ideas, especially when the piece was written almost 30 year ago." Stanley's training in the theater of the absurd and movement-based theater heavily informs this production and keeps it true to the minimalist tendencies of the genre. Well-known local pet Buck Downs makes his acting debut in a cameo role as "The Storyteller."
Theatre Du Jour Presents Sandra and Salvador Rosa. Written by Joseph White, directed by B. Stanley. September 20 -29: Fridays through Sundays at 7:30 PM at DC Arts Center; 2438 18thStreet NW. $20, $15 for DCAC members at the door. Tickets are available at theatredujour.org ordcartscenter.org. Info at 202-462-7833.