fbpx Reza Abdoh’s Father was a Peculiar Man | HowlRound Theatre Commons

Livestreamed on this page on Thursday 11 May 2023 at 3:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 5:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 6:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

New York City
Thursday 11 May 2023

Reza Abdoh’s Father was a Peculiar Man

Documentary Screening With Tony Torn and Original Members of the Cast (NY)

Thursday 11 May 2023

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented a screening of Reza Abdoh’s Father was a Peculiar Man livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Thursday 11 May 2023 at 3:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 5:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 6:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

Join us for a screening of Reza Abdoh’s extraordinary, site-specific work Father was a Peculiar Man, an adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov staged in New York City’s Meatpacking District in the summer of 1990. Produced by Anne Hamburger’s En Garde Arts, Father was a Peculiar Man showed how brilliantly Reza applied his specific site-based approach that he developed in Los Angeles to New York City’s urban infrastructure. One of the goals of En Garde Arts’s site-specific journeys through New York’s Meatpacking District was to use the local architecture as a theatrical set while at the same time evoking and playing with the history of the place. The half-deserted cobblestone streets south of Chelsea enhanced the play’s nineteenth-century references. The neighborhood’s past as both a meatpacking and transportation hub via the High Line trains as well as a former center for after-hours sex clubs merge as perfect background for Reza’s spectacular tableaus of gluttony and lust.

Stephen Holden wrote in his 1990 New York Times review: “Theatergoers in search of finely polished drama should be warned about the crudeness of the production. In scenes where the characters speak through microphones, it is sometimes hard to discern the dialogue or even to tell who is speaking. And there are moments when the simultaneous jamming together of so many images and ideas seems more confusing than stimulating. What is finally so winning about the show, which plays through July 21, is its sheer vitality. The performances are as large and passionate as the audacity of the conception. And the surrealistic costumes and design make the audience participants in a literary and historical carnival out of ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ Surprisingly light-hearted despite its darker elements, it is great fun.”

Tony Torn’s brilliant split-screen reconstruction of lost video footage creates an immediate immersive insight in one of the greatest outdoor performances in experimental theatre in the twentieth century.

With Tony Torn and members of the original cast. Moderated by Frank Hentschker. The original screening took place at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City early 2023.

Tony Torn: Tony Torn’s recent theatre includes Mud/Drowning (directed by Joanne Akalaitis), Dom Juan (directed by Ashley Tata), Spider Rabbit (directed by Dan Safer), Superterranean (directed by Dan Rothenberg), and Paul Swan Is Dead and Gone (directed by Steve Cosson). Tony is known for working extensively with experimental theatremakers Reza Abdoh and Richard Foreman, as the founding director for Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping, playing Rusty Trawler in Breakfast at Tiffany’s on Broadway opposite Emilia Clark, and creating and starring in Ubu Sings Ubu with Dan Safer. He manages Torn Page, a private event space named in honor of his parents Rip Torn and Geraldine Page.

About HowlRound TV

HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based, peer-produced, open-access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world’s performing-arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and develop our knowledge commons collectively. Anyone can participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email [email protected] or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal. View the video archive of past events.

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