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Pascal Rambert at PS21

December 10, 2021 @ 7:00 pm

Jim Fletcher and Michelle Stern in Pollock, PS21 Black Box Theater, October 2019. Press photo courtesy of PS21
Photo by Laurent Schneegans

Celebrated French playwright and director Pascal Rambert will be in residence at PS21 from December 6 to 10, adapting and rehearsing two plays: The Art of Theater, performed by Jim Fletcher, and With My Own Hands, performed by Ismail Ibn Connor.

Nicholas Elliott, who has translated many Rambert works as well as theater pieces by Olivier Py and others, will assist with the English versions. The residency at PS21 proceeds their presentation at the Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival in January 2022.

They will give a public, work-in-progress showcase on December 10 at 7 p.m.

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The Art of Theater

The Art of Theater, composed in 2007, is a manifesto about the nature of dramatic acting, spoken by a single actor (Fletcher) who addresses, not the audience, but his dog, who patiently attends to his master’s voice. The audience, in effect, eavesdrops on the monologue. Fletcher, who co-starred with Kate Moran in Rambert’s two-character Love’s End (Clôture de l’Amour), previously appeared at PS21 in 2019, in the title role of Compagnie l’heliotrope’s Pollock.

With My Own Hands

Rambert wrote the original version of With My Own Hands for Eric Doye in 1993; it premiered on a rooftop at the Université de Dijon. Since then, he has adapted this protean meditation on the human condition, a soliloquy uttered by a wounded psyche on the brink of suicide, for a series of settings and performers, including the American actor Kate Moran in 2007. At the time, he said, “I wrote this text to be played by both men and women, young and old.”

At PS21, Conner, who has performed widely in Centre Dramatique National Orléans’ production of Jean Genet’s Splendid’s and many other theatrical works, will embody the role of protagonist of this searing, enigmatic monologue. A continuous torrent of unrelenting phrases and sentences, without punctuation or defined endings, audience members are coaxed into creating their own meanings from the discernible language. With characters and places being added and alluded to, the work is a puzzle of dark ideas on the nature of the human condition, performed with a somber humor.

Pascal Rambert

The author of more than 20 plays, including the international success, Clôture de l’amour (Love’s End), which has been translated into 23 languages, Rambert (pictured above) founded his own production company, structure production, which now produces all of his dramatic and choreographic work. He is an associate artist of Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris, El Pavón Teatro Kamikaze in Madrid, and Théâtre National de Strasbourg.

In 2019, he was a lead guest artist at the 73rd Festival d’Avignon, where he premiered Architecture. From 2007 to 2016, Rambert served as artistic director of T2G-Théâtre de Gennevilliers, which he transformed into a national dramatic center for contemporary creation. In 2016, he was awarded the Theater Prize by the Académie Française for his entire body of work. His plays have been performed throughout Europe, North America, Asia, Russia, South America and the Middle East.

Jim Fletcher

After its successful run at PS21 in October 2019, Pollock was revived at La Manufacture, Festival d’Avignon,2021, with Jim Fletcher and Michelle Stern. Photo: Laurent Schneegans

For over two decades, Jim Fletcher has performed extensively with a number of the premier experimental theater groups in New York City, where he is most prominently associated with Richard Maxwell’s NYC Players and Elizabeth LeCompte’s Wooster Group. He has also collaborated with the art collective Bernadette Corporation, and is one of the contributors to the group’s novel Reena Spaulings (2005).

Among his many theatrical roles, Fletcher has starred in Rambert’s Love’s End with Kate Moran, as Jim in Elevator Repair Service’s Gatz (his real-life father, Ross Fletcher, a physician, played Henry Gatz, the fictional Jim’s father), Maxwell’s Isolde, and Compagnie l’heliotrope’s Pollock (presented at PS21 in 2019, and in July at the 75th Festival d’Avignon). He performs extensively with The Wooster Group, most recently in their productions of A Pink Chair (In Place of a Fake Antique) and The Mother, by Bertolt Brecht, which in October had its New York premiere at The Performing Garage. In 2012 he received an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence.

Ismail ibn Conner

Throughout a career devoted to performing and producing works by France’s innovative contemporary dramatists and other leading playwrights, Ismail ibn Conner has toured with Theatre National Bretagne’s production of Jean Genet’s Splendid’s, under the direction of long-time collaborator Arthur Nauzyciel, and performed in many works at Atlanta’s 7 Stages, including Black Battles with Dogs by Bernard-Marie Koltès, a role he reprised at the Festival d’Avignon, the Hellenic Festival (Greece), the Playing French Festival (Chicago), and deSingel in Antwerp, Belgium, among others; and in Master Harold and the Boys by Athol Fugard; Skinwalkers by Murray Mednick; and Iphigenia a rave fable by Caridad.

He is the director of Cultured Man Enterprises and founder of the United States Koltès Project, which collaborates with François Koltès on English translations and performances in the U.S. and France of Dans la solitude des champs de coton, Le Jour des meurtres dans l’histoire d’Hamlet, and La Nuit juste avant les forêts (Biennale Koltès 2012). He is also active in The Human Project, a theatre/dance/multimedia exploration of notions of race, and is a member of Konwork (USA) and Tiger Coldboyz (France), professional Krump dance crews.

Nicholas Elliott

Nicholas Elliott is a New York-based translator and writer. In addition to English versions of a number of Pascal Rambert’s plays, his many translations include The Hatred of Literature and The Tomb of Oedipus, by William Marx, Michel Winock’s Flaubert, a biography of the novelist, and Duras/Godard, a collection of conversations, The Young Girl, The Devil, and the Mill, by Olivier Py, and, with Elizabeth Williamson, two plays by Michel Azama, The Life and Death of Pier Paolo Pasolini and Airlock.

Elliott also works as a producer, assistant director, tour manager, surtitler and creative consultant for companies and artists in France and the United States, including Richard Maxwell and New York City Players, The Wooster Group, Daniel Fish, Jeanne Balibar, Théâtre du Phare, and Théâtre de la Ville de Paris.

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Event Details

Details

Date:
December 10, 2021
Time:
7:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Event Location

Performance Space 21
2980 Route 66
Chatham, NY
(518) 392-6121

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