VOLKSBÜHNE
Berlin
Revisiting Reza Abdoh:
Theater workshop
10.02.

English

Registration info: This is an active class where all will be asked to directly participate, but is inclusive of all types of physicality and levels of ability. You can also attend as an observer. Spots are limited, to purchase a ticket (5 / 3€ reduced) please write an email to besucherservice@volksbuehne-berlin.de and send your name and whether you would like to take part as a direct participant or an observer.

Workshop for actors and performers: revisiting Reza Abdoh, led by original dar a luz company members Tom Pearl and Tony Torn.

This theater workshop led by actors Tom Pearl and Tony Torn invites actors and performers to engage with the work of Reza Abdoh. Workshop participants will be revisiting Abdoh’s plays “Law of Remains” and “Quotations From a Ruined City” in particular, restaging these canonical works with an eye to incorporating new idioms and new configurations.

Reza Abdoh founded dar a luz theater company in New York City in 1991. Over the course of four years, the company staged the plays The Law of Remains (1992), The Hip Hop Waltz of Eurydice (1992), Tight Right White (1993), and Quotations From a Ruined City (1994).

Volksbühne’s collaboration with KW Institute for Contemporary Art is on the occasion of Reza Abdoh’s solo exhibition at the institution. Over a career that spanned twelve years, The late Iranian theater director Abdoh (1963–1995) pushed his actors—and audiences—to their limits. His aesthetic language was relentlessly, recklessly inventive, borrowing from fairy tales, BDSM, talk shows, raves, video art, and the history of avant-garde theater. The hallucinatory dreamscapes he produced spoke forcefully and eloquently to the ugly political realities of his time—from government-sanctioned racism to the Reagan administration’s refusal to acknowledge the AIDS crisis to war mongering at home and abroad. He was already one of the most compelling figures in American avant-garde theater when he died of AIDS in 1995 at the age of thirty-two. Near the end of his life, Abdoh insisted that he didn’t want his plays to be restaged. Traces of his work were to be found on videotapes passed around experimental theater circles, many of which serve as the basis of the exhibition at hand. This exhibition around Abdoh’s work is co-produced with MoMA PS1 and curated by Bidoun (Negar Azimi, Tiffany Malakooti, Babak Radboy) and Krist Gruijthuijsen.

Photo: Patrick Veyssière
The Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice, Reza Abdoh 1990


media

Law of Remains, 1992, by Reza Abdoh, photo: Paula Court

The Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice, 1990, by Reza Abdoh, photo: Patrick Veyssière

The Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice, 1990, by Reza Abdoh, photo: Patrick Veyssière

Law of Remains, 1992, by Reza Abdoh, photo: Paula Court

Tight Right White, 1993, by Reza Abdoh, photo: Paula Court

Past Activities

Revisiting Reza Abdoh: Selected Readings from his Plays and Discussion

dar a luz members Tom Fitzpatrick, Tom Pearl, and Tony Torn will be reading from Abdoh’s plays “Bogeyman,” “The Law of Remains,” and “Quotations From a Ruined City”. Readings will be followed by a group discussion with the three actors, along with fellow dar a luz members Michael Casselli, Sandy Cleary, Peter Jacobs, Raul Enriquez and Brenden Doyle.

Reza Abdoh founded dar a luz theater company in New York City in 1991. Over the course of four years, the company staged the plays The Law of Remains (1992), The Hip Hop Waltz of Eurydice (1992), Tight Right White (1993), and Quotations From a Ruined City (1994).

Tom Pearl worked with Reza Abdoh (Father Was a Peculiar Man, Bogeyman, Law of Remains, Tight Right White, Quotations from a Ruined City) and was an original member of dar a luz. Tom continues to pursue creative projects and lives in New York City.

Tom Fitzpatrick lives in Los Angeles and is active in films and TV. From 1985 until 1995, Tom worked with Reza Abdoh, appearing in 10 of his productions during that time.

Tony Torn, an original member of Reza Abdoh's dar a luz company, is an actor, director and teacher. He currently manages Torn Page in New York City, a studio space named in honor of his parents, actors Rip Torn and Geraldine Page.

Volksbühne’s collaboration with KW Institute for Contemporary Art is on the occasion of Reza Abdoh’s solo exhibition at the institution. Over a career that spanned twelve years, the late Iranian theater director Abdoh (1963–1995) pushed his actors—and audiences—to their limits. His aesthetic language was relentlessly, recklessly inventive, borrowing from fairy tales, BDSM, talk shows, raves, video art, and the history of avant-garde theater. The hallucinatory dreamscapes he produced spoke forcefully and eloquently to the ugly political realities of his time—from government-sanctioned racism to the Reagan administration’s refusal to acknowledge the AIDS crisis to war mongering at home and abroad. He was already one of the most compelling figures in American avant-garde theater when he died of AIDS in 1995 at the age of thirty-two. Near the end of his life, Abdoh insisted that he didn’t want his plays to be restaged. Traces of his work were to be found on videotapes passed around experimental theater circles, many of which serve as the basis of the exhibition at hand. This exhibition around Abdoh’s work is co-produced with MoMA PS1 and curated by Bidoun (Negar Azimi, Tiffany Malakooti, Babak Radboy) and Krist Gruijthuijsen.

Photo: Patrick Veyssière
The Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice, Reza Abdoh 1990

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