Caborca's Adaptation of Roberto Bolano's DISTANT STAR to Premiere at Abrons Arts Center
Abrons Arts Center will present the world premiere of Caborca's adaptation of Roberto Bolaño's ground-breaking novel Distant Star, a harrowing tale of fascism and its aftermath. Running September 14 - October 1, this eerily relevant drama weaves Bolaño's memories of life (and death) under Pinochet's American-backed dictatorship into a perverse, seductive noir of urgent political necessity.
Adapted by Caborca's Artistic Director Javier Antonio González with approval from the Bolaño estate and directed by Shira Milikowsky, Distant Star is at once a memory play and an archive of terror.
The year is 1973. In Chile, a group of young poets meet to write, argue, critique and flirt. Days later, the government collapses and the president is shot. Amidst the brutality, one poet rises to fame as a skywriting daredevil-and, possibly, as a killer.
Infused with Bolan?o's perverse humor and mastery of suspense, Distant Star draws the audience, almost without their noticing, into the vortex of its terrifying world, making a political story personal and vice versa. The play is staged throughout the bunker-like environment of the Underground Theater at Abrons Arts Center with both the actors and audience occupying every inch of physical space.
Hailing from Puerto Rico, the United States, and beyond, Caborca makes sprawling, adventurous works in theatre and film. Distant Star has been a passion project for the ensemble, who steals its name from the Bolaño's The Savage Detectives, in which a magazine of the same name is the official organ of visceral realism. Work on Distant Star began in 2007, while many of Caborca's members were graduate students at Columbia University. A decade later and not even a year into the Trump presidency, the authoritarian setting of Distant Star feels timelier now than ever.
The ensemble cast includes David Skeist (Richard Foreman's Old-Fashioned Prostitutes, David Gordon's Beginning of the End of the...), Anne Gridley (Nature Theatre of Oklahoma's Life and Times, Caborca's Hamlet), Luis Moreno (Red Bull's The Government Inspector), Laura Butler Rivera (One-Eighth's The Maids by Jose Rivera), Jon Froehlich (Stolen Chair's The Man Who Laughed), and Caborca veterans Tania Molina (Hamlet; Zoetrope) and Yaremis Félix (Zoetrope).
The creative team includes Jian Jung (sets), Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (lights), Sarah Cubbage (costumes), Bozkurt "Bozzy" Karasu (sound), Kyoung H. Park (dramaturgy), Sarah Devon Ford (production stage manager), and Madeleine Bersin (producer).
Performances of Distant Star will take place September 14-October 1 (see above schedule) at Abrons Arts Center, located at 466 Grant Street in Manhattan. Critics are welcome as of Friday, September 15 for an official opening on Wednesday, September 20 at 7:30pm. Tickets, priced at $25, can be purchased by visiting abronsartscenter.org or by calling 212-352-3101.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Javier Antonio Gonzalez (Playwright, Artistic Director - Caborca) Javier is the author of multiple plays produced by Caborca, among them: Zoetrope (Pregones, NYC-LATC, LA), Open up, Hadrian (Magic Futurebox), FLORIDITA, My Love (Teatro LATEA /IATI Theater), Barceloneta, de noche (Union Theatre, London/IATI Theater, NY), and Las minutas de Marti? (Repertorio Espan?ol). His work has also appeared in New York at Classic Stage Company, chashama, The Living Theater, Art Pond, La MaMa, Dance New Amsterdam, The West End Theatre, 3LD, as well as in Puerto Rico and London. Most recently, he directed his original translation of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Puerto Rico, produced by the City of San Juan. He is a recipient of the Van Lier Directing Fellowship, and was a member of the Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater. His first film, The Entitlement is now in post- production.
Shira Milikowsky (Director) recently returned to New York City after five years at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA. Projects there included The Lily's Revenge, by Taylor Mac, listed by The Boston Globe as one of the top ten theater events of 2012. Other productions in the Boston area included Bride*Widow*Hag by Kim Rosenstock (A.R.T. Institute) and She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen (CompanyOne). Milikowsky specializes in new plays and radical re-imaginings of musicals and classic texts. She also develops original work, bringing together outstanding groups of actors and designers to create collectively devised projects. Her recent, gender-bending production of Jules Feiffer's 1967 dark comedy Little Murders was presented as a "pop-up show" and performed in an empty restaurant space in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Shira is a Drama League Fellow, a recipient of Williamstown Theatre Festival's Boris Sagal Fellowship, and a Henry Luce Scholar, through which she lived in Seoul, South Korea as a visiting artist at the Seoul Metropolitan Theatre. A Lecturer in Theater, Dance & Media at Harvard University, Milikowsky holds an MFA in directing from Columbia and a BA in Theater Studies from Yale.
Sarah Cubbage (Costume Designer). Recent projects include: Crazy for You, David Geffen Hall (dir. Susan Stroman); Beauty & The Beast, Disney Creative Entertainment/Disney Cruise Lines; Off-Broadway: Soho Rep, Theatre for the New City, Aquila Theatre Company, Urban Stages, Ohio Theatre, Atlantic Stage 2. Regional: Studio Theatre, Everyman Theatre, Center Stage, Rep Stage, Syracuse Stage, American Repertory Theatre, Hangar Theatre, Northern Stage, Premiere Stages, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey. Associate/Assistant Broadway design work includes: Fish in the Dark, A Delicate Balance, It's Only a Play, This is Our Youth, Bullets Over Broadway, Big Fish. Film: A Clerk's Tale (dir. James Franco), So Over You (dir. Karen Odyniec), Half the Perfect World (dir. Cynthia Arzaga Fredette. Dance: Dark Lark (BAM, Kate Weare Company); The Radio Show (Bessie Award, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion). MFA: NYU. Member USA 829.
Jian Jung (Set Designer) designs sets for opera and theater. Her work in opera ranges from popular masterpieces such as Le Nozze di Figaro (Juilliard, 2009) to rare gems such as Moskva, Cheremushki (Long Beach Opera, 2011), and from large venues to the extremely intimate, Apollo e Daphne in a night club setting (Galapagos Art Space, 2012), among many others. Jung's designs for theater have been in many downtown New York Theaters including Classic Stage Company, Incubator Arts Project, The Living Theater, TBG Theatre, and educational institutions including Columbia University, Hofstra University, and The New School. Her collaborations with Javier Antonio Gonza?lez and Caborca have appeared in New York City theaters including INTAR, Repertorio Espan?ol, Teatro IATI, and Pregones Theater, as well as regionally in Los Angeles (LATC) and Cambridge (A.R.T.). Jung designed the set for Crimen Y Castigo in Caracas, Venezuela in 2014. Ludic Proxy, a devised theater piece she has worked on for years was performed at Soho Rep. in the Spring 2015. Jung received a 2015 Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Award for Ludic Proxy. She received an MFA in Theater Design from New York University. She also received an MFA in Environmental Design and a BA in Philosophy from Ewha Women's University in Korea, where she grew up. Jung teaches Theater Design at SUNY Stony Brook. jianjung.com.
Bozkurt "Bozzy" Karasu (Sound Designer) began working on stage in 1991 in Istanbul, Turkey. He moved to NYC in 2003 to join The Wooster Group as a company member and production manager, joined MIT Theater Arts in Cambridge, MA in 2012 as a technical instructor and later in 2015 Center for the Art of Performance UCLA in Los Angeles, CA as a production manager where he currently works and reside. In his career besides The Wooster Group he collaborated with and designed for a wide array of artists and ensembles within last decade such as Wesley Savick, Findlay//Sandsmark, Armitage Gone! Dance, The Watermill Center, Richard Maxwell and The New York City Players, acted as a technical consultant for Koc Contemporary Art Museum and Beykoz Kundura in Istanbul.
Kyoung H. Park (dramaturg) was born in Santiago, Chile and is the first Korean playwright from Latin America to be produced and published in the United States. He is author of Sex and Hunger, disOriented, Walkabout Yeolha, Tala, Pillowtalk and many short plays including Mina, which is published in Seven Contemporary Plays from the Korean Diaspora in the Americas by Duke University Press. Kyoung writes and directs his own work as Artistic Director of Kyoung's Pacific Beat, a peacemaking theater company, based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a member of the Ma-Yi Writer's Lab, NYTW Usual Suspect, co-founder of The Sol Project, and serves in the Dramatist Guild's Devised Theater Committee. Fellowships: Creative Mellon Fellowship, Field Leadership Fund, Edward Albee Foundation, Theater of the Oppressed (Brazil), Target Margin Theater Inst. for Collaborative Theater-Making; grants: Arvon Foundation (UK), GK Foundation (South Korea), Foundation for Contemporary Arts, TCG Global Connections, Princess Grace Special Projects; 2010 UNESCO Aschberg-Laureate. Kyoung has been a grant panelist for the NEA, TCG, and ART/NY. MFA: Playwriting (Columbia University). www.kyoungspacificbeat.org
David Skeist (Cast, Producing Director - Caborca) has appeared in nearly all the company's productions, including Hamlet; Zoetrope; Open up, Hadrian (dir. Meiyin Wang); Barceloneta, de noche; and FLORIDITA, my Love. Other appearances include Richard Foreman's Old-Fashioned Prostitutes (Public); David Gordon's Beginning of the End of the...(Joyce Soho), Uncivil Wars (Peak Performances), and Shlemiel the First (TFANA/Skirball); Dangerous Ground's S., Paris Belongs to Us, and L'Amour Fou; Stolen Chair's Kinderspiel, Kill Me Like you Mean It, and Potion, Liz Swados's Political Subversities (Joe's Pub) and Atonement; and Niky Wolcz's production of Dr. Faustus Lights the Lights (HAU 3, Berlin). Film and Television work includes: The Entitlement (dir. Javier Antonio González), Memorial Day (dir. Josh Fox), Law and Order: SVU, Law and Order, and All My Children. David has taught acting and movement at Columbia and New York Academy for Dramatic Arts as well as in workshops in New York and abroad. He is also composer of theatrical choral music. MFA Columbia.
Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (lighting designer) is a lighting and video designer for opera, theater, dance, and installation. Her designs were at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Academy Of Music (BAM), Baryshnikov Arts Center, St. Ann's Warehouse, La Mama ETC, The Kitchen, Manhattan School of Music, and internationally at Havana, Prague, Lima, Edinburgh, Graz Austria and South Africa. Recent: Mysterium Novum with The Nouveau Classical Project, Tom Lee's Shank's Mare, Aya Ogawa's Ludic Proxy (Bel Geddes Design Enhancement award), Caborca's Zoetrope (Encuentro 2014), Company XIV's Rococo Rogue and Nutcracker Rogue (both Drama Desk nominations), Matthew Paul Olmos' So Go the Ghosts of Mexico Part One (Best Lighting Design nomination) and Erik Ehn's Soulographie: Our Genocides.
Roberto Bolano (1953 - 2003) was born in Santiago, Chile. He grew up in Chile and Mexico City, where he was a founder of the Infrarealist poetry movement. His first full-length novel, Los detectives salvajes (The Savage Detectives), received the Premio Herralde when it appeared in 1998 and the Premio Rómulo Gallegos in 1999. Bolaño died in Blanes, Spain, at the age of 50. His novel 2666 won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in 2009.
The Abrons Arts Center is the OBIE Award-winning performing and visual arts program of Henry Street Settlement. Abrons supports the creation and presentation of innovative, multi-disciplinary work; cultivates artists in all stages of their practice with educational programs, mentorships, residencies and commissions; and serves as an intersection of engagement for local, national and international audiences and arts-workers.
Each year the Abrons offers over 250 performances, 12 gallery exhibitions and 30 residencies for performing and studio artists, and 100 different classes in dance, music, theater, and visual art. The Abrons also provides New York City public schools with teaching artists, introducing more than 3,000 students to the arts. For more information, go to www.abronsartscenter.org.