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The French

“The French” is Krzysztof Warlikowski’s latest theatrical expedition in search of the roots of present-day Europe’s mentality and identity. Its starting point is Marcel Proust’s monumental novel, “In Search of Lost Time,” which depicts a society in upheaval, shaken by the erosion of the old hierarchy, rampant antisemitism, and, above all, by the outbreak of the Great War. Channeling Gilles Deleuze’s remark that “the only dead who return are those whom one has buried too quickly and too deeply,” Warlikowski invokes Proust to reflect on the condition of today’s Europe, ironically encapsulated by the French people a century ago—explaining the play’s thought-provoking title. TWO DAYS ONLY! 23 May 2 pm EST (NY) until 25 May 2020 2 am EST (NY)

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This Is The Real Thing

“This is The Real Thing,” directed by Anna Nowicka, is a production that places the body at its very center. A single dancer creates and deconstructs her environment, playing in the landscape of visual meanings and possible references. Her own body flickers and transforms, remaining in the process of continuous becoming. Various qualities, textures, fragments of emotions, associations, situations, intentions, characters, actions, become embodied, but none of them is fixed in the form of a visual object. The physical body functions rather as an infinite hypertext, referring the viewer to more and more new associations. The dialogue between the real body and its visual representations raises the question of what the body actually is, how we perceive it, and to what extent we can consciously construct it. THREE DAYS ONLY! May 21, 9 am EST (NYC) until May 24, 6 pm EST (NYC)

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Forefathers’ Eve

Lithuanian theatre master Eimuntas Nekrošius directs Polish sacred Romantic drama Dziady (Forefathers’ Eve) by Polish-Lithuanian Adam Mickiewicz. The poetic drama is considered one of the greatest works of both Polish and European Romanticism, a supreme realization of Romantic ideas with imaginative metaphors and Polish folk customs, primeval rituals, spirituality, power of rite, sense of community, the tragedy of individual, and the national and existential aspects. Famous for his unique theatrical language, Nekrošius challenges the existing tradition of Dziady in Polish theatre. His highly acclaimed and multi-awarded production interrogates Polish martyrology, national myths, and obsessive belief in self-importance. The production was part of the 250th Jubilee Season of the Polish National Theatre. Surtitles are based on Charles S. Kraszewski’s translation (published by Glagoslav Publications, UK, 2016) ONE DAY ONLY! From May 27th 1 pm EST (NYC) / 7 pm CET (Warsaw) until May 28th 6 pm EST (NYC) / 00.00 am CET (Warsaw).

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City Garage presented the world premiere of “Opheliamachine” in 2013, a female response to Heiner Muller’s famous “Hamletmachine.”  This bold new text conveys the complexity of a century of women’s experiences in a series of kaleidoscopic episodes. A fierce, modern-day Ophelia is trapped inside the machinery that has created her consciousness, fighting to be heard. Hamlet, overwhelmed by the ceaseless flood of media, watches TV mindlessly, flipping channels with his remote control, consuming a mishmash of human beauty and horror, a daily soup of innocence and violence.  This smart, ruthlessly funny play, tracks Ophelia’s impossible journey to bridge that vast space. It is a postmodern tale of love, sex, and politics in the fragmented world of our confused emotions and our modern, global, virtual sexuality. ONE WEEKEND ONLY! May 28, 8 pm EST (NYC) to May 31, 12 am EST (NYC) 

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Rückkehr nach Reims (Returning to Reims)

First published in 2009, Didier Eribon’s memoir Returning to Reims follows the French sociologist’s return from cosmopolitan Paris to his small hometown in the wake of his father’s death and after decades away. Having grown up gay in a working-class family with a homophobic father as patriarch, Eribon employs his own complicated journey ‘home’ as a path through which to address questions of political fragmentation and the rise of the ultra-right in contemporary France. Thomas Ostemeier’s acclaimed adaptation – or reimagining, as some have termed it – is a sensual rumination on grief, sexuality, and our ever-evolving relationship with the past. ONE DAY ONLY! This production plays on 16 April 2020. Available from 6.30pm CET until midnight.

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Die Ehe der Maria Braun (The Marriage of Maria Braun)

One of R.W. Fassbinder’s most extraordinary films is here reenvisaged for the stage with a canny sense of history. Maria Braun is widowed soon after marriage when her husband, Herman, returns to the battlefront. Working in a bar to make a living, she begins a relationship with a black GI. Only one night, Herman Braun returns and Maria takes a course of action that will reshape her life forever. Here Ostermeier offers a telling portrait of modern Germany – the World War II years giving way to an economic boom that reshapes the world of its protagonist. Thrillingly performed this is a tight, taut staging realized with an impeccable sense of the possible and the probable. ONE DAY ONLY! This production plays on 23 April 2020. Available from 6.30pm CET until midnight.

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Ein Volksfeind (An Enemy of the People)

Dr. Stockmann discovers that the source of drinking and spa water is riddled with pathogenic micro-organisms, caused by industrial effluence. Stockmann wants to publish the findings in the newspaper and demands that the city council re-route the water pipes. Influential citizens and local journalists promise their support. However, his brother Peter, the mayor, raises some serious concerns: the economic prosperity of the spa town will be threatened. Nevertheless, Stockmann insists on transparency: for him, the affair has long since ceased to be about the polluted health spa, his target is society as a whole. Ibsen’s drama wavers on a fine line between honesty and fanaticism. What is the potential for transparency in a commercialized society? One of Ibsen’s most resonant works is made highly topical in Ostermeier’s acclaimed production. ONE DAY ONLY! This production plays on 18 April 2020. Available from 6.30pm CET until midnight.

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A heroine who is born a hero; or a hero who becomes a heroine – does it even matter? Orlando experiences four centuries of British and European human history — from the Court of Elizabeth I to the buttoned-up Victorian era. This is a life lived to the full that questions the absolutes of societal norms and conventions. Virginia Woolf’s playful interweaving of life, art, reality, and fiction delivers a visionary work with a dazzling protagonist whose multiple identities leapfrog any narrow definition or rigid categorization. In a production combining performance on stage with live video, Katie Mitchell and Alice Birch brilliantly explore Orlando’s queer journey through centuries of patriarchal history with verve and imagination. ONE DAY ONLY! This production plays on 22 April 2020. Available from 6.30pm CET until midnight.

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In 1917 Russia is shaken by the October Revolution. Just a few years later, socialism has been implemented. Lenin, the ringleader of the revolution, is in a dacha near Moscow battling physical and mental decay. Surrounded by a depleted inner circle, cut off from the Central Committee, he fights to retain his political influence. His companion Trotsky, cultural politician Lunacharsky and others who visit Lenin’s dacha conjure up recollections of the brief moment in history when everything seemed possible. But scheming to become his successor, his opponent Stalin is already waiting in the wings. Milo Rau and the Schaubühne Ensemble provide a unique examination of a society caught between awakening and apathy, revolutionary longing and reactionary opposition – a labyrinth of hope and fear, of political ideals and the collective experience of violence. ONE DAY ONLY! This production plays on 25 April 2020. Available from 6.30pm CET until midnight.

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Octavia. Trepanation

Featuring a libretto based on a 1924 essay by Leon Trotsky about Lenin and fragments of a play, Octavia, attributed to Seneca about the Roman emperor Nero, this is a thrilling new opera staged with verve and ambition by one of Russia’s most acclaimed directors. An opera about the possible and the probable, about the recent and not so recent past, about tyranny and its discontents that allow Lenin, Trotsky, and Nero to enter into a poetic, interdisciplinary dialogue on what power means and how it is executed. ONE DAY ONLY! From 3 May 2020 at 6.30pm CET for 24 hours.

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In this ambitious directorial debut, Klim Kozinsky combines fragments from Dostoevky’s The Idiot with the philosophical concepts explored in Leibniz’ Monadology – hence the title’s amalgam. Characters move on a nearly empty stage, and in doing so their bodies eventually come together to reveal iconic paintings. Equal parts ethereal and unnerving, this provocative production explores the power of language in shaping the human condition. ONE DAY ONLY! From 5 May 2020 at 6.30pm CET for 24 hours.

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The Constant Principle

This two-part production, based on Pedro Calderón’s philosophical drama The Constant Prince and Alexander Pushkin’s A Feast in a Time of Plague, unites in a non-linear way the story of Prince Fernando, a Christian who withstands torture while in captivity — a requiem for 20th-century history and culture — and a kind of anthology-concert of the forms of modern theatre. Pushkin’s text puts everything on a vertical plane, bringing completion to the theatrical statement. A unique and unsettling production. TWO DAYS ONLY! Part 1 of this production plays from 6 May 2020 at 6.30pm CET for 24 hours. Part 2 of this production plays from 7 May 2020 at 6.30pm CET for 24 hours.

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Directed by Alexander Zeldovic with art group AES+F, Psychosis offers a unique take on Sarah Kane’s iconic play 4.48 Psychosis. Written as a monologue that captures the borderline psychological state of a patient suffering from clinical depression in a psychiatric clinic, the production reenvisages Kane’s single voice as a chorus of internal voices invoked by the nineteen actresses of the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre. This is a highly original reading of a contemporary classic realized with imagination, verve and a dynamic understanding of the moods and intonations of Kane’s distinctive language. ONE DAY ONLY! From 8 May 2020 at 6.30pm CET for 24 hours.

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