Supporting creative work by women
I love site-specific theater. I am particularly fond of work that engages an unsuspecting audience. The Highline, the beautiful new park a couple stories in the air, was the perfect place to take in performances on Monday afternoon. Five modern dancers created a piece near the southernmost tip of The Highline. The Asphalt Orchestra played wildly as it wound its way through the curvy stretches of the park.
And, Daniel Talbott’s Primary Stages ESPA Site Specific Directing Class will not be forgotten as five directors presented scenes from Sarah Kane’s Cleansed on the stairs to the 18th Street entrance and various locales throughout the park. It was refreshing to see Kane’s work, which is normally confined to a darkened stage, out in the sunlight. Somehow, the humor and humanity of her plays shone through; it was as if her words were finally free to breathe amidst the black eyed susans and other wildflowers. Of course, the stage directions of this play do read “a sunflower pushes through the floor and grows above their heads” and “the rat begins to eat Carl’s hand.”
Crowds gathered around the actors to hear the words and catch a glimpse of the action. For some, it was the first time they had heard or seen Sarah Kane’s work. The directors did an outstanding job shaping the play to the space. Clearly Daniel Talbott’s prowess and enthusiasm for theater has been imparted to his students. [The photo above is from the scene Rose Ginsberg directed.]
Shakespeare is routinely performed outdoors. I would love to see more works by women join the outdoor performance canon. Perhaps next summer would be the perfect time to launch such a project. In the meantime, enjoy the photos from yesterday’s Highline fun.
The photos below represent the work of Anna Capunay and Hilary Krishnan.