An encounter with visionary theater artist Tadeusz Kantor
by The Wooster Group
Director: Elizabeth LeCompte
Play is part of the FIND – Festival International New Drama program
More about the festival: KLICK
Dates (in English with German subtitles):
20/04/2023, 20.00 – 21.10
21/04/2023, 20.30 – 21.40
22/04/2023, 18.00 – 19.10
Tickets & Info: KLICK
»A PINK CHAIR (In Place of a Fake Antique)« undertakes a theatrical reconstruction of Tadeusz Kantor’s penultimate play »I Shall Never Return«. In 1988, shortly before his death, the Polish theatre maker and artist, whose ground-breaking work repeatedly pushed the boundaries between visual arts and theatre, staged the play and also performed in it himself. With the help of his daughter Dorota Krakowska as a guide and videos of the original production rehearsals, The Wooster Group is embarking on an expedition into the past of the European theatrical avantgarde and a search for a lost era — which is precisely what Kantor and his fellow actors undertook with such virtuosity in »I Shall Never Return«. Set somewhere between Ithaca and a Polish inn, this production feels like a bequest from Kantor in which he revisits earlier plays including his first work, »The Return of Odysseus«, in which everything revolves around the central motif of the farewell. In visually stunning and surreal scenes, revenants of past characters appear. Via the story of these characters, who seem to have tumbled out of a silent film, fragments of Kantor’s own biography are repeatedly pieced together — a biography shaped by loss, war and the constant awareness of transience and death. It is a visionary spectacle, half nightmare, half grotesque, and an impressive example of what Kantor himself called his »Theatre of Death«. A theatre of death that The Wooster Group and its performers are now bringing back to life by attempting the reconstruction of the reconstruction.
Excerpts from the film of »I Shall Never Return« courtesy of the filmmaker Andrzej Sapija. »A PINK CHAIR (In Place of a Fake Antique)« was co-commissioned by Instytut Adama Mickiewicza, Poland, and the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, where it premiered at the Bard SummerScape Festival in 2017.
Performed at the FIND with support from Polnisches Institut Berlin.