OCR Interpretation

The villager. (New York [N.Y.]) 1933-current, June 08, 1994, Image 10

Image and text provided by Jefferson Market Library

Persistent link: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn83030608/1994-06-08/ed-1/seq-10/

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Sartre vision re-invented for a picture of Hell By Davida Singer Upstairs, at the 28th Street Theatre, the writer, Mel England, inspects the custom- made furniture and paintings on the set of his multimedia play, “HELL” “It’s being produced by a company 1 started with my partner, Rachel de Cordova,\ he explains. “It originally started as an adaptation (in 1992), of Sartre’s “No Exit,” in a workshop with my company in Denver. I had been acting in “An Iceman Com eth,” committing suicide eveiy night, and I was so tired of it, I wanted to do something fun. It was the middle of the winter, and I had picked up “No Exit,” and 1 just started rewriting Sartre’s script. The initial thing that changed it into a new work was how the characters looked at Earth. How they communicated, dealt with their own subconsciousness, while the reality of the play happens on the stage. I thought it would be really neat if they could take video monitors, and see things happening to them live - the subconscious dream world.” England kept with Sartre’s form, but \transformed\ the characters. ‘Tasked myself, ‘what is hell,\’ he recalls. \For Sartre, it is existentionalist. In this play, there’s a third dimension to the characters. They arc not black and white. What I wanted to do is make the characters human. We are all in hell. We make our own hell. I just didn't want this damnation of these people. We live in a time when everyone is saying the world is coming to an end. It is prevalent throughout the piece. Polluted soul; laughs occupying the vacant earth. Three people at the end of the world - three people with TV sets.” The piece is done in the round, and VillSun- Theater “HELL” incorporates both live and pre­ recorded video. There arc four members in the cast. “It is a strong set of actors.” England stresses, “it is very intimate, like a family. As for the music, when 1 originally did the production in Denver, I had a score. In restaging this, to renew it for myself. I started rewriting the script. Rachel insisted. There were six different versions, and I added in several songs. Katie Agresta, a well-known voice teacher, wrote the music, and 1 did the lyrics. There’sconstantly music, throughout the whole piece. And the show is comic. Kind of like I’m making fun of musicals.” The w riter-director’s New York production is being aided by several friends he collaborated with in Denver. John Murphy is providing the video, and performance artist, Sam Russell contributed the paintings. England, who just turned 25. is originally from Dallas, and has actually been working in the theater since the age of four. He went to New York University, and then to Playwrights Horizons, where he studied directing and acting. In 1990, he wentto Denver for vacation, got cast in a play, and ended up staying for thiee and a half years. He acted “constantly.\ mostlyascharacters with “emotional traumas.” until finally burning out in the winter of 1992. Six months ago. England returned to New York, formed a company with de Cordova -- they went to high school and N.Y.U. together - and began looking for a space to put on this , -------- ■UMITEP EHCACEMHIfT - - - - ^10 at 10 pm Friday nights with this ad or $10 off any other performance My daddy considered ^ shipping me off to military school but he was afraid I might come back engaged. M i B i PIAYHOUSE ON VANDAM15 Vandam Street CiMi»ldiV)lhl(,|irtiff 6*AM.InlMHSfrl|tPrlm$liNU, NK:^(112)iS9M55S I I’nies-TlHirs 8piii| FrI 3)9111 & Ipp^i^at 3pm & Spnii Sun 3pm ■■ m Mel England and Rachel de Cordova show. He is also currently working on a new script (“Prisoners of Value”), about the civil rights battle in Colorado. “I don’t feel like hitting people over the head.” England states. “I’d like them to come in and just be interested. They just won't be bored. I wanted to create theater that is provocative. Rachel and 1 believe the theater is failing. I am trying to find things that use all Lisa Kron at Workshop Villngfr photo by him SIgfll the elements in theater. 1 am very scared for the world, and that is what this play is all about. It is time for us all to wake up and deal with what to do.” at 28(h Street Theatre, 128 W. 28th St.; Thur-Sun., 8 PM, Sat., 7 & 10 PM.; $15. 718-852-0644. Lisa Kron’s “ 101 Humiliating Stories” will begin on June 10, at 10 P.M. at the New York Theatre Workshop on 79 E 4th St., between Second and Third Aves. It is a part of the “0 Solo Homo Fesitval,\ in conjunction with Gay Games IV and Cultural Festival, and also in commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of Stonewall. “101 Humiliating Stories” is a pageant of peccadillos, faux pas. and personal angst. Kron is amemberofThe Five Lesbian Brothers, who are currently touring the country in their new play, ‘The Secretaries.” which opens the 1994-95 NYTW season in September. Jla S o z ia cR<. oma OPEN FOR LUNCH & DINNER MONDAY THRU FRIDAY BANQUET ROOM AVAILABLE i-A BOKSA lUJi m : i MKNII For 20 to 140 People Includes one drink per person or 1 to 2 hours Open Bar ENTREES ■* Clomfi & Mussels Morinora, Chicken Paesana, Pcnnc Marinara, Homemade Pizza, Rice Bolls, Veal Bocconclnl in Wine, RIgotoni Alia Borsa, Sausage, Meatballs. DESSERT - Party Cake - or - Ice Cream, Coffee. ONE DRINK - $13.95 ( per person) 1 HOUR OPEN BAR ■ $16.95 ( per person) 2 HOUR OPEN BAR - $19,95 (per person) Live M usic Wed., Thurs., & Friday Nights 215 Pearl iS treef 269-6180 ' \ta v , Bel Weep John & Malden r * ‘ - f Thinks to you, ill a )rti of everyday producta are being made from the paper, l| plisllc, metal and glass that | you’ve been recycling. i BUY M CYCLED. AND savb : For a tree brochure, write ' auy/Iec>cied, Environmental Delenae Hmd, 257 Park Ave. South. New \brk.NV 10010, ' orcalli-flOO-CALL-EDF. W

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