A PINK CHAIR (In Place of a Fake Antique)
by The Wooster Group
Director: Elizabeth LeCompte
»A PINK CHAIR (In Place of a Fake Antique)« undertakes a theatrical reconstruction of Tadeusz Kantor’s penultimate play »I Shall Never Return«. In 1988, shortly before his death, the Polish theatre maker and artist, whose ground-breaking work repeatedly pushed the boundaries between visual arts and theatre, staged the play and also performed in it himself. With the help of his daughter Dorota Krakowska as a guide and videos of the original production rehearsals, The Wooster Group is embarking on an expedition into the past of the European theatrical avantgarde and a search for a lost era — which is precisely what Kantor and his fellow actors undertook with such virtuosity in »I Shall Never Return«. Set somewhere between Ithaca and a Polish inn, this production feels like a bequest from Kantor in which he revisits earlier plays including his first work, »The Return of Odysseus«, in which everything revolves around the central motif of the farewell. In visually stunning and surreal scenes, revenants of past characters appear. Via the story of these characters, who seem to have tumbled out of a silent film, fragments of Kantor’s own biography are repeatedly pieced together — a biography shaped by loss, war and the constant awareness of transience and death. It is a visionary spectacle, half nightmare, half grotesque, and an impressive example of what Kantor himself called his »Theatre of Death«. A theatre of death that The Wooster Group and its performers are now bringing back to life by attempting the reconstruction of the reconstruction.
With: Zbigniew Bzymek, Enver Chakartash, Hai-Ting Chinn, Jim Fletcher, Ari Fliakos, Dorota Krakowska (on video), Andrew Maillet, Erin Mullin, Suzzy Roche, Danusia Trevino and Kate Valk
Dramaturgy: Dorota Krakowska
Sound and Original Music: Eric Sluyter, Omar Zubair
Lighting: Jennifer Tipton, Ryan Seelig, David Sexton
Set: Elizabeth LeCompte
Video: Robert Wuss, Zbigniew Bzymek
Additional Video: Yudam Hyung-Seok Jeon, Andrew Maillet, Irfan Brkovic, Wladimiro Woyno
Multimedia Cueing System Engineering: Wladimiro Woyno, Andrew Maillet
Costumes: Enver Chakartash
Stage Manager: Erin Mullin
Assistant Director: Michaela Murphy, Matthew Dipple
Choir Music Director: Hai-Ting Chinn
Set Construction and Tour Technical Director: Joseph Silovsky
Production Manager: Bona Lee
General Manager: Monika Wunderer
Producer: Cynthia Hedstrom
English translations and musical arrangements: The Wooster Group
Duration: ca. 70 minutes
Excerpts from the film of »I Shall Never Return« courtesy of the filmmaker Andrzej Sapija. »A PINK CHAIR (In Place of a Fake Antique)« was co-commissioned by Instytut Adama Mickiewicza, Poland, and the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, where it premiered at the Bard SummerScape Festival in 2017.
Performed at the FIND with support from Polnisches Institut Berlin.