P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2006
March 7, 2006
Mabou Mines DollHouse makes a North Adams Stop on World Tour
(North Adams, Mass.) ) - In the 1800s Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House shocked audiences when protagonist Nora rejected her smothering husband, slamming the door on her life as a wife and mother. Today, the themes of this once ground-breaking play seem commonplace if not clichéd but the revolutionary theatrical troupe Mabou Mines breathes fresh life into the piece with their version titled Mabou Mines DollHouse. In it they give the equation of power potent physical form by casting the female roles with 6-foot-tall women while the men are all less than four-and-a-half feet. MASS MoCA is a stop on their world tour, on Friday, April 7, at 8:00 PM.Conceived, directed and adapted (along with Maude Mitchell) by Lee Breuer -- last seen at MASS MoCA with the popular Red Beads performance -- this biting satire is in the tradition of Breuer's award-winning series of imaginative classics, like Gospel at Colonus and the gender-reversed Lear. Narelle Sisson's ravishing sets, choreography by Eamonn Farrell, and Eve Beglarian's brilliant piano score inspired by Edvard Grieg add to the richness of the performance. Nothing dramatizes Ibsen's patriarchal point more clearly than the image of these little men dominating and commanding women 1 ½ times their size in a "playhouse size" doll house. The production received two Obie awards, one for Breuer's direction and another for Mitchell's performance as Nora. The New York Times calls Lee Breuer a "wizard director an alchemist who blends ideas, genres, styles, texts and technologies to make new kinds of theater." The Times called the production, "a passionate allegory that works - and plays - on many levels," continuing "The whole experience is so fascinating - thrilling here, confounding there - that it must be seen." The performance is funded in part by the Expeditions program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, which receives major support from the National Endowment for the Arts with additional support from the state arts agencies of New England and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Mabou Mines was named after a Nova Scotia community where founding members Lee Breuer, Philip Glass, JoAnne Akalaitis, David Warrilow, and Ruth Malaczech created the company in 1970 with its premier production, The Red Horse Animation. The New York City-based group specializes in the creation of new theater pieces from original and existing texts and the pursuit of individual artistic vision through collaboration. Mabou Mines seeks out ventures with artists from other disciplines resulting in diverse theatrical innovations, and has received some 50 awards and citations for excellence, including the 1974 OBIE Award for General Excellence and the 1986 OBIE for Sustained Achievement. As a founding member of Mabou Mines, Lee Breuer's work with the theater company has received countless honors and awards including for his work as director of Peter and Wendy, which won 5 OBIE Awards, a Drama League Award, and an American Theater Wing Award. His 1996 Epidog included the only puppet to win an OBIE. He has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. "He's simply one of the most important creators in American theater in the last 30 years," said Philip Bither, curator of performing arts at the Walker Art Center. "He takes great chances and often gets great results." Tickets for Mabou Mines DollHouse are $29 orchestra/$25 mezzanine. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. (closed Tuesdays). Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased anytime at www.massmoca.org. (Member discount tickets are not available on-line.) MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. The galleries are open from 11 - 5 every day (closed Tuesdays).
For Immediate Release