NU Classic Theatre

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Review: by Richard Hinojosa

Replikas of Apocalypsis Cum Figuris and The Constant Prince

Written by:: Calderon de la Barca, Ramon Lull, T.S.Eliot, St. John, Buddha, Barryman, C.S.Lewis, F.Kafka, Rumi, and Lou Reed
Directed by: Niky Wolcz
Performed by: Laura Butler, Sanam Erfani, Susan Hyon, Jon Froehlich, Kyle Knauf, Daniel Irizarry, David Skeist, Isaac Woofter.
Assistant Director: Brooke Leigh-Barefoot Bell

2009 marks the 50th anniversary since Jerzy Grotowski became the director of the Theatre of 13 Rows in Opole, and the 10th since his death.  In commemoration, NU Classic Theatre is presenting, a program of two fragments inspired by and leaning on the work of Grotowski and his actors.  Drawing on the print series by Albrecht Durer of the same name, Apocalypsis cum Figuris was Grotowski and his company’s final professional production.  A collage of biblical, poetic, and other texts, our homage to this piece depicts seven monks and nuns who in a state of crisis enter into dialogue with seven angels.  Grotowski’s production of Calderon de la Barca’s The Constant Prince, which starred Ryszard Cieslak, was one of his most famous productions.  Here we present a fragment of Calderon’s play, performed in a combination of English and the original Spanish, with an etude from Meyerhold’s biomechanics called “The Fool”.

NU Classic Theater is based on the deep conviction that out of studying theatrical practices and traditions arises the potential for revelation in the present – by looking back, we look forward. We choose texts that are in some way impossible; impossible because their meaning is obscure or their form is archaic. Our method is to solve these texts through the work of the actor. NU Classic Theater applies the techniques of Grotowski, Commedia dell’Arte, Meyerhold’s Biomechanics, Artaud, Delsartre, etc., to canonical texts in the hope of generating a unique and contemporary theatre rooted in the past.