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THE (NEW) TRIAL to Run 9/1-6 at Theater for the New City

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After the huge success of Marat/Sade, an experimental play by the celebrated German playwright Peter Weiss (Tony Award and New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Broadway production in 1965), a newly formed international theatre ensemble, directed and led by Dennis Yueh-Yeh Li, Artistic Associate of The Living Theatre, will bring Weiss's last play The New Trial to life. With an original adaptation, titled The (New) Trial, the production is intended as an homage that celebrates Weiss's 100th birthday and his theatrical legacy. The adaptation will be presented in the genre of experimental theatre in English and German, attempting to re-introduce Weiss's aesthetics and German post-war theatre to American audiences. The (New) Trial is partially funded by the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan, and made possible by Label Gray and The Living Theatre.

With Weiss's partisan plays as a magnet, this eclectic ensemble, comprised of actors from across the globe, including Germany, Israel, Spain, Argentina, Singapore, Italy, and Taiwan, is brought together by the belief in the power of avant-garde political theatre. Throughout the production the artists will comment on the sociopolitical structure of contemporary society from the perspective of their own cultural and political background.

The (New) Trial presents a surreal look at the life of Joseph K, an attorney at an international corporation, by exploring K's obsessive idealism and his self-destructive addiction to help others. Confined to his docile body, K is manipulated to function as a public mask by the corporation he works for to win the "war" of the global market expansion, and is eventually abandoned by once the victory is obtained.

Continuing the legacy and the belief of The Living Theatre, in The (New) Trial, director Dennis Yueh-Yeh Li attempts to deconstruct societal compliancy and the hierarchical power relations among the characters in the play, hoping to stimulate critical thoughts. To manifest this essential concept, actors will explore the dynamics between the different characters and break through the fourth wall to share personal experiences of their lives as actors on/off stage. A giant mirror will cover up the stage floor for actors to be fully aware of the power relations to the self.

The ensemble of The (New) Trial includes Leah Bachar (United States), Brad Burgess (United States), Jody Doo (Singapore), Serena Gregorio (Italy),Maria Hoffmann (Germany), Samantha Hoefer (Germany), Omri Kadim (Israel), and Maite Uzal (Spain). The production team includes Maria Hoffmann (Producer/Germany), Miriam Ibrahim (Producer/Germany), Leonie Ettinger (Production Manager/Germany), Dennis Yueh-Yeh Li (Director/Taiwan), Laura Virginia Sa?ndez (Stage Manager/Argentina), You-Shin Chen (Stage Designer/Taiwan), Yi-Chung Chen (Lighting Designer/Taiwan), and Yung-Chin Chang (Sound Designer/Taiwan).

Director Dennis Yueh-Yeh Li earned his Master's degree in Performance Studies at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. As a director, playwright, performer, and performance artist, Dennis has devised productions that address sexuality, literature, philosophy, and politics. His work offers unique perspectives on time, space, identity, and power-relations. Dennis endeavors to make powerful and transcendental performances to stimulate compelling reactions in audience. He is currently Associate Artistic Director of The Living Theatre. His directing credits include Freud Out Loud-Civilization and Its Discontents (Judson Memorial Church), To Defend Freedom (The Secret Theatre), Upcoming Train/Stopped Clock/Untitled Waiting (Theater for the New City), Marat/Sade (Taipei, Taiwan), and others.

The (New) Trial will be presented at Theater for the New City, September 1-6, as part of Dream Up Festival. Details of the time and dates are as follows: September 1st -3rd at 6:30pm, September 4th at 9pm, September 5th at 8pm, and September 6th at 5pm.


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