(New York)
by The Wooster Group
Based on the film »Town Bloody Hall« by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker
Direction: Elizabeth LeCompte 

Guest performance during FIND 2019

In »THE TOWN HALL AFFAIR«, legendary New York art collective The Wooster Group retrace »Town Bloody Hall«, a film by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker that documents a debate on women’s liberation that took place at »Town Hall« in New York City in 1971. The evening’s host was, of all people, the paradoxical novelist Norman Mailer, known for his macho writing and liberal activism. He got into a fierce and furious intellectual sparring match with his guests who included cultural critic Diana Trilling, feminist writer Germaine Greer and radical lesbian journalist Jill Johnston. In »THE TOWN HALL AFFAIR«, directed by The Wooster Group founder Elizabeth LeCompte, excerpts of the film are played and overwritten with virtuosity via the simultaneous re-enactment on stage of its words and actions. But »THE TOWN HALL AFFAIR« is not merely a re-performance of the film; it is also its continuation. The play effectively illustrates that the discussions still prevalent today were already outlined in the early 1970s and have been carried forward as a discourse.

Learn more about »THE TOWN HALL AFFAIR« here.

The Wooster Group, which combines video, film, sound and space in their productions in masterful ways, is recognised as one of the most influential theatre companies since the 1970s and as forerunners of post-dramatic theatre and the theatre of deconstruction. The company was founded in 1975 and made its international breakthrough with the projects »Route 1 & 9« (1981) and »L.S.D. (… Just The High Points …)« in 1984. With »THE TOWN HALL AFFAIR«, they returned to Berlin in 2019 after a ten year hiatus and appeared at FIND for the first time. The following credits are from that live stage presentation.

Direction: Elizabeth LeCompte
Lighting: Jennifer Tipton, Ryan Seelig, David Sexton
Sound: Eric Sluyter, Gareth Hobbs
Video and Projections: Robert Wuss, Wladimiro Woyno
Additional Video: Zbigniew Bzymek
Costumes: Enver Chakartash
Dramaturgy: Matthew Dipple
Stage Manager: Erin Mullin
Technical Director: Jacob Bigelow
Production Manager: Bona Lee

With: Enver Chakartash, Ari Fliakos, Greg Mehrten, Erin Mullin, Scott Shepherd, Maura Tierney, Kate Valk

The recording of »THE TOWN HALL AFFAIR« available for streaming from May 21-24, 2021, is a work-in-progress theatro-film made from footage shot in 2017 at the Group’s home theater, The Performing Garage, and on tour. It was filmed and edited by Ken Kobland.

Duration: ca. 60 minutes

The film »Town Bloody Hall«, on which »THE TOWN HALL AFFAIR« is based, is now available through the Criterion Collection.


Duration: ca. 75 minutes

Funded by piece by piece productions

Supported by the Freunde der Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz e. V.