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Frances McDormand and Kate Valk to Co-Host Live Zoom Series FRAN & KATE'S DRAMA CLUB

Fran & Kate's Drama Club will reunite two performers for chats with guests and screenings from company archives.

Frances McDormand and Kate Valk to Co-Host Live Zoom Series FRAN & KATE'S DRAMA CLUB

On January 28, Frances McDormand and Kate Valk will host the first installment of Fran & Kate's Drama Club, a live Zoom series about The Wooster Group's storied past, emboldened present, and speculative futures. Proceeds from the event will support The Performing Garage, which has been The Wooster Group's home since the founding of the revered avant-garde theater company in 1975.

McDormand and Valk have collaborated over the past two decades on multiple Wooster Group productions directed by Elizabeth LeCompte.

In addition to conversations between the two collaborators, Fran & Kate's Drama Club will also feature drop-in appearances from special guests and a screening of Juliet Lashinsky's The Archivist, a series of short films that mine The Wooster Group's archives through the imagination and musings of Clay Hapaz, the company's archivist.

McDormand proposed the idea for Fran & Kate's Drama Club as a way to help support operations at The Performing Garage during the pandemic. All ticket sales from the Zoom event will go toward maintaining the space and rehabilitating it for a new year of COVID-sensitive performances.

Tickets for Fran & Kate's Drama Club, which will air live on January 28 at 8 pm EST, are available at www.thewoostergroup.org.

The Performing Garage has been The Wooster Group's cherished home, rehearsal space, and primary performance venue since the company was founded in 1975. All of The Wooster Group's work has been developed there under the direction of Elizabeth LeCompte. The space has also been a landmark incubator and teaching laboratory for a diverse artistic community for over 45 years.

While The Performing Garage has been closed to the public since March, The Wooster Group has been holding COVID-sensitive, in-person rehearsals since August, in adherence to CDC and New York City Health Department mandates. They are currently at work on a full-company production of Bertolt Brecht's The Mother, which at this time is still scheduled to have its world premiere at the Vienna Festival in June.

Development is also underway on a new collaboration with Wooster Group associate Eric Berryman, with whom the company collaborated on the acclaimed 2017 production The B-Side: "Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons," A Record Album Interpretation, directed by Kate Valk. The new piece is based on a collection of narrative poetry from Black oral tradition edited by Bruce Jackson, the folklorist who recorded Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons in 1964.

An audiobook production of Daniel Paul Schreber's classic 1903 book Memoirs of My Nervous Illness has been in remote rehearsals, as well. Originally commissioned by Hauser & Wirth, the production will feature McDormand and fellow Wooster Group associate Maura Tierney alongside longtime company member Ari Fliakos, who was named Audible's Narrator of the Year in 2017.


The company is now completing the editing and sound mixes of two recent productions, The Town Hall Affairand Since I Can Remember, which will be made available to stream at thewoostergroup.org as soon as possible.


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