Category: Performance Design

  • Caribbean Carnival Artist Peter Minshall

    Designing carnivals: Trinidad’s foremost Caribbean carnival artist lectures at Yale Rep, March 23

    NEW HAVEN, CONN.:  The Caribbean‘s leading Carnival artist will lecture on how “to play mas.” On Friday, March 25, 2:30 to 5pm, the Caribbean artist Peter Minshall will give a talk, entitled “Blue Devils, Bats and Fancy Sailors,” in which he will detail the “mas,” a form of creative expression in the Trinidad Carnival. The talk, organized by the Yale School of Drama, will take place at Yale Repertory Theatre‘s lounge, at the corner of Chapel and York Streets in New Haven. Mas is based on the practice of masquerade, but it has long transcended mere costume.  It is a performance art, a form of street theatre, the enactment of adornment, a dance of the cloth, Minshall states. In sharing his personal creative journey, Minshall will describe the carnival foundations upon which he has drawn, and the contemporary works of art and theatre that he has created, over the course of three decades, in this arena of chaos and catharsis. Minshall trained in Carnival design in the streets of Port of Spain and in theatre design in London. Since the 1970’s he has pioneered the “living art” of the masman, transforming the notion of puppetry into gigantic sculptural characters that move …

  • Movie Review: Theatre Svoboda, a documentary film by Jakub Hejna

    THEATRE SVOBODA (DIVADLO SVOBODA) Czech Republic, 2011 98 Min, Color DIRECTOR: Jakub Hejna PRODUCER: Jiří Konečný SCREENPLAY: Jakub Hejna, Barbora Příhodová DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Jiří Chod CAST Josef Svoboda EDITOR Jakub Hejna MUSIC Anthony Phillips The most riveting scene of Theatre Svoboda — the feature-length documentary film about the famous Czech scenographer Josef Svoboda — takes place when the playwright and statesman Vaclav Havel confesses to having destroyed a set created by Svoboda for an opera. The scenery, Havel says, was simply no good. An actor could not perform in front of it or behind it, he explained. Havel and a friend were hanging out at a pub when both men decided to sneak out the back door, run to the theatre unnoticed, destroy Svoboda’s set, and then scamper back to the pub in the nick of time. Neither the police nor Svoboda ever discovered who ruined his work. Svoboda simply had no choice but to create a whole new design. And until this film was made, the embarrassed-looking Havel had never publicly fessed up to having committed such a destructive deed. Theater Svoboda, the only Czech documentary dealing with Svoboda’s life and work, compellingly gives flesh to an icon. The film …

  • When Spectacle kisses the lips of Intimacy — Intersection hits the European road after Prague

    PRAGUE:  In Intersection, pairs of distant lovers could be spotted giving each other tight embraces inside a structure of 30 white boxes. Theater hooked up with Visual Arts. Scenography cuddled with Installation. Architecture submitted to the caprices and desires of Public Space. Spectacle kissed Intimacy’s lips. During the 11 days of the Prague Quadrennial for Performance Design and Space in June 2011, this labyrinthine and immersive experience, conceived by Sodja Lotker for the Prague Quadrennial 2011, inhabited the Piazzetta corridor in Prague’s city center, flanked on two sides by the National Theatre of Prague and the New Stage Theatre (the former Laterna Magika). One sunny afternoon in early June, while this architectural maze (designed by the Israeli architect Oren Sagiv) was literally being hammered into place and decorated with interactive installations, I cozied up with participating artists Guerra de La Paz, Romeo Castellucci, Monika Pormale, Brett Bailey, Nathaniel Mellors, Josef Nadj, Elevator Repair Service and Ulla Von Brandenburg to find out if their transdisciplinary romances were fixed, real, or for-one-night-only. Seen from afar, Intersection might be a modular bee’s hive — or it might be a playground of giant toy blocks.  Thirty white cubes housing 30 galleries, black-box spaces and open displays — Intersection fired up so …

  • Randy Gener appointed Editor-in-Chief of Prague Quadrennial Newspaper

    Gener will also host daily gallery talks at USA National Exhibition entry to Prague Quadrennial, the “Olympics of Theater Design,” June 16–26 PRAGUE, Czech Republic, 6.1.2011 — Randy Gener, the Nathan Award–winning editor, writer and drama critic, has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of the Prague Quadrennial Newspaper in the Czech Republic. Gener returns to Prague, having served in June 2007 as Editor and Columnist of Prague Quadrennial Today as well as Scenofest Team Leader of the press/publication project of the Prague Quadrennial‘s educational events, known as Scenofest, organized in joint cooperation with OISTAT, the International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians.  In 2007, with the generous support of the Ford Foundation/Institute of International Education, Gener also presented two lecture presentations on narrative design and contemporary currents in U.S. theater design. A broadsheet, the Prague Quadrennial Newspaper will take a lively, irreverent, pop-culture approach to the editorial coverage of PQ events.  Published in English and Czech languages, the daily paper will be distributed throughout the city center of Prague for the 11-day duration of the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space.  One of the world’s largest theater events held every four years since 1967, the Prague Quadrennial will take place from June 16 to 26, 2011. “The …