Our survey of the most intriguing theater happening around town this fall took us to Folger Theatre this past Thursday night to take in a 12th Century poem turned modern-classic theater piece. The Conference of the Birds became a signature ensemble piece for Peter Brook and his new International Centre for Theatre Research. The play production originated from a new year research process that took Brook and writer Jane-Claude Carrière to Africa in 1979, where its cast—including a young Helen Mirren—they hoped to reinvent theater by presenting their unfolding interpretation of the poem to audiences who had never seen theater and had no preconceptions of what it should be.
Here’s a link to The Folger Theatre study guide for the show. We’ll let our students tell you what it was all about, and how they both make sense of the poem turned performance play, and how it resonates with what we’ve been seeing on area stages already this fall.
Theater J announces its 2014-2015 season of Epic Expressions, an ambitious line-up of socially relevant drama and cultural celebration. Featuring a broad canvass collection of big plays, big casts and big ideas, the season will offer six life-changing journeys intertwining the political, the personal, the poignant and the provocative.
With a blend of searing drama, acid hilarity and unshakeable passion, Theater J takes on feminist aspirations within a traditional religious community, interracial adoption, and the ethics of assisted suicide in the wake of political despair, alongside timeless questions of love, envy, and spiritual longing.
Performing in the Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater
1529 Sixteenth Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
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