The Wooster Group's production of The Mother by Bertolt Brecht to premiere at Wiener Festwochen in June, one year after Covid postponement
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 01:08 pm EDT 05/10/21


Updation of Brecht's "learning play" will then
open in New York in October

(New York, May 10, 2021) — Groundbreaking experimental theater company The Wooster Group will premiere its new production of Bertolt Brecht's The Mother at Vienna's prestigious international Wiener Festwochen from June 8-17, 2021.

Brecht conceived of The Mother as a "learning play," intended to both entertain and incite social change. It tells a story of a poor, uneducated Russian mother's journey to revolutionary action. The play premiered in Berlin in 1932 and was the last of Brecht's plays to open before the Nazis seized power.

The Wooster Group's production of The Mother:
• is a modern American interpretation of Brecht's concept of a "learning play";
• is a feminist reiminaging of Brecht's heroine;
• evokes parallels between contemporary political unrest and the socialist revolutions that inspired Brecht to write the play; and
• highlights the utopian impulse inherent in communism and socialism.

The Wooster Group's production of Bertolt Brecht's The Mother in rehearsal.
Performers: Ari Fliakos, Kate Valk
Photographer: Michaela Murphy

The Mother had been scheduled to open at last year's edition of the Wiener Festwochen, which was canceled early in the Covid-19 pandemic. The production returns this year as the festival's only theater piece from the United States. The Group will perform for limited capacity audiences in accordance with Austrian health mandates, with all company members observing quarantine prior to opening. Tickets are available beginning May 14 from the Wiener Festwochen website.

After its Vienna premiere, The Mother will open in New York for a run at the Group's home theater The Performing Garage in October/November 2021.

The Wooster Group's production of The Mother is composed by the Group and directed by Elizabeth LeCompte. It features performances by Kate Valk, Jim Fletcher, Ari Fliakos, Gareth Hobbs, and Erin Mullin. The sound is by Eric Sluyter, the video by Irfan Brkovic, and the lighting by David Sexton. Musician and composer Amir ElSaffar, who works across classical, jazz, and Arabic musical forms, has provided new music for the piece. (The play's original music was written by Hanns Eisler).

The full tour company for The Mother includes Hai-Ting Chinn (choral music director), Cynthia Hedstrom (producer), Bona Lee (production manager), Erin Mullin (stage manager), Michaela Murphy (assistant director), and Joseph Silvosky (technical director).

The Mother is supported by co-production funds from Wiener Festwochen and piece by piece productions.

Additional support is provided by: the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts; Howard Gilman Foundation; Lucille Lortel Foundation; Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; The Shubert Foundation; Harold & Mimi Steinberg Foundation; the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation; the Group's Directors Circle; and generous individual donors.

Music by Amir ElSaffar is commissioned by The Wooster Group with funds from New York State Council on the Arts and New Music USA, made possible by annual program support and/or endowment gifts from Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Helen F. Whitaker Fund, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc., Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Howard Gilman Foundation, Anonymous.

Link http://www.thewoostergroup.org

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