2009. január 16., péntek

Untitled Mars in Budapest


(This Title May Change)


at the National Theatre Budapest (Bajor Gizi Park 1.)

November 28 7 pm,
November 29 3pm and 7 pm

Conceived and Directed by Jay Scheib

Taking a cue from the space industry, Jay Scheib's latest work pits hard Science against Philip K. Dick as inter-planetary speculation runs amok, the indige-nous population gets screwed, and a strange "anomalous" kid seems to hold all the answers. Developed at MIT with a team of Mars researchers, a mission to colonize the Red Planet is revving up for 2017. Science vs. Fiction in this new work for seven performers and a simulated Martian environment—a story about moving society to Mars and what happens once we succeed...

“Dr. Zubrin insists: "We have to go to Mars simply because it's there." If Scheib's leading, we just might go along for the ride.”
Alexis Soloski, Village Voice
“The cast is quite charming. Caleb Hammond gets some good laughs playing the greedy and obnoxious Arnie. Dorka Gryllus is fantastic as the beautiful and mysterious Doreen. Laszlo Keszég plays very naturally the jaded and tired Sylvere, and Tanya Selvaratnam does a great job as his wife Jackie, the dry and calculating mechanic. April Sweeney is extremely alluring as the psychiatrist with a very effective solution to isolation. And Natalie Thomas is amazing and completely non-stop as Mannie the schizoid girl. Her energy hums throughout the entire performance.
Untitled Mars is a unique experience. I left the show still feeling captivated by what I'd just seen. Sometimes multimedia performances become too convoluted for their own good, but not this one. It's the first part of a trilogy of simulated cities and I for one plan on seeing the other two.”
Richard Hinojosa nytheatre.com

Mannie Natalie Thomas
Jackie Tanya Selvaratnam
Anne Esterházy April Sweeney
Arnie Caleb Hammond
Sylvere László Keszég
Doreen Dorka Gryllus
Norbert, Heliogabalus Balázs Vajna
With special on-camera appearances by Waris Ahluwalia, Phillip Cunio, Kofi Hope-Gund, Henrik Hargitai, Zahra Khan, and Dr. Robert Zubrin.

Conceived and Directed By Jay Scheib
Set Design By Peter Ksander,
Lighting Design by Miranda Hardy,
Costume Design by Oana Botez-Ban,
Sound Design by Catherine McCurry,
Video Design by Balázs Vajna and Miklós Buk,
Assistant Director Laine Rettmer
Hungarian Producer Anna Lengyel

Untitled Mars (This Title May Change) is made possible through the generous support of the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Project For New Plays on Science & Technology; The Trust for Mutual Understanding; The Hungarian Cultural Center; Deutsch-Ungarische Industrie und Handelskammer; The Gertrude Stein Repertory Company; Swing Space, a program of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, generously supported by the September 11th Fund, project space donated by Capstone Equities; with special thanks to the Mars Society, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences


For the past five years, director Jay Scheib’s work as an artist in the theater has been focused on an array of hybrid, cross-disciplinary performance practices. Two works associated with this research were developed in collaboration with companies in Hungary and with collaborators from Romania, Ukraine as well as Western Europe. Those projects included two live-cinema performance works—the first workshop with the Krétakör Ensemble was the first step in the development of This Place is a Desert, which just had its world premiere at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, followed by a run at the Under the Radar Festival of the Public Theater in New York City, the second with Pont Műhely at Trafó was based on Tolstoy’s play The Power of Darkness - in both cases Anna Lengyel was dramaturge and initiator of the exchange. Scheib’s collaboration with artists in Central Europe has had a profound impact on his work as an artist in the United States. It has been a goal of his for some time now to create a meaningful collaboration between his collaborators in the United States and their Hungarian counterparts. Untitled Mars (this title may change) is the perfect opportunity.

Untitled Mars (this title may change) was first developed as a workshop with a studio presentation at the MIT Museum in Cambridge Massachusetts. Scheib developed his first workshop and studio performance on the 4th and 5th of October 2007 in Cambridge. Following the work in Cambridge, rehearsals started in New York during the last week of February 2008. Dramaturge Anna Lengyel, performer László Keszég, performer Dorka Gryllus and performer and video-artist Balázs Vajna have travelled from Budapest to NYC to be part of the ensemble. The world premier of Untitled Mars (this title may change) will take place at Performance Space 122 on April 9th 2008 with a run of three weeks. In the fall, the production will travel to Budapest where it will be translated and adapted, making Hungarian one of the principle languages. Director Jay Scheib, performers April Sweeney, Tanya Selvaratnam, Natalie Thomas, Karl Allen and Caleb Hammond, as well as set designer Peter Ksander, light designer Miranda Hardy and sound-designer Catherine McCurry will all travel from the US to Budapest to work towards Untitled Mars’ European premier in Budapest in the beginning of September 2008.

The Hungarian partners are all very excited about this chance of bringing Mars Untitled to Hungary, since this would be the first time your American work could be shown here after the three productions you did in the past years. Both GlassMohn at MU and Power of Darkness at Trafó made earlier in this collaboration were enthusiastically received by audiences and the latter was a real hit with some of the strictest theatre critics of this country. Scheib’s workshop with the internationally renowned Krétakör Theater of This Place is a Desert has contributed to his highly successful production presented at the Public Theater in New York City, but it also made a lasting impression on the Krétakör Company, some of whom the director then worked with on Power.

This collaboration on Mars Untitled is a crucial step in an almost ten-year old professional relationship between Pont‘s actor-director László Keszég and the dramaturge and producer, Anna Lengyel, whom Jay Scheib has invited to be part of the original Mars production in New York City at PS122. We are negotiating with the leading cutting edge festival, the Autumn Festival to program Mars and with some of the leading venues here to present the show three to six times.

Jay Scheib’s Gesamtkunstwerk-like approach to theater and his special sensitivity to space and his original Viewpoints technique combined with the strong absurdist traditions of the Hungarian stage tradition and Pont have always created unique and novel work in Hungary and has been always appreciated by critics and audiences alike.

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