Two Plays by Gao Xingjian

Written by Gao Xingjian
Directed by Raymond Bobgan and Holly Holsinger

May 24, 2008 - June 14, 2008

8:00pm and 3:00pm, Gordon Square Theatre

Gao Xingjian is the 2000 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Born in China he now lives in exile in France. Xingjian’s plays have been virtually un-produced in the United States due to their adventurous, non-narrative structure. CPT Executive Artistic Director Raymond Bobgan directs “The Other Shore” and Holly Holsinger directs “Between Life and Death”. Don’t miss your chance to see these inventive, adventurous and highly original works. This is the kind of theatre you will only see at CPT! OHIO PREMIERE.

Tickets: $10-$18

Tickets


The Creative Production Team Includes:

Lauren Calevich – Production Stage Manager
Joan Yellen Horvitz – Design Coordinator and Costume Designer for Between Life & Death
Inda Blatch-Geib – Costume Designer for The Other Shore
Neil Sapienza – Videographer for Between Life & Deat
Josh Heidinger – Lighting Designer


Featuring Misael Alvarado, Michael Andrews-Hinders, Mark Cipra, Melissa Crum, Kelly Elliot, Faye Hargate, Nick Koesters+, Val Kozlenko, Anne McEvoy, Adam Seeholzer, Kalindi Stockton, Darius Stubbs, Nadia Tarnawsky
+Member of Actors’ Equity Association

PLEASE NOTE: The Thursday, May 29th performance is SOLD OUT! Plenty of tickets remain for upcoming performances!

The Other Shore, titled as a reference to the Buddhist concept of enlightenment, is a non-narrative journey of collective and individual longing. The play is grand in its vision and provides for imaginative staging and unconventional acting choices. Actors take on multiple roles and the line between audience and actors at times is slightly blurred. Between Life and Death is a haunting story of one woman’s recollections at the end of her life. Told through monologue, dance, and images the play utilizes a fragmented approach to character, with two performers playing the primary role – dancer and actor, and delves into modern themes of identity, alienation and the desire for redemption.

About Gao Xingjian:
Born in Ganzhou, China (1940), Gao Xingjian was educated in Chinese schools before the revolution and was once forced to burn a suitcase full of manuscripts when he was sent to a re-education camp. He started writing again after his release, but his plays and stories still aroused concern from party officials. In 1986, his play The Other Shore was banned. He fled the country and settled in Paris, where he still lives today. In addition to his plays, Gao Xingjian has authored the books Soul Mountain (1999) and One Man’s Bible (2002), and he also exhibits his ink paintings around the world.

When Gao Xingjian won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2000, he became the only Chinese writer to achieve such international acclaim. The Chinese University Press is the first publisher of his work in the English language. Indeed, The Other Shore is one of the few works by the author available in English today. The Other Shore: Plays by Gao Xingjian contains five of Gao’s most recent works: The Other Shore (1986), Between Life and Death (1991), Dialogue and Rebuttal (1992), Nocturnal Wanderer (1993), and Weekend Quartet (1995). With original imagery and in beautiful language, these plays illuminate the realities of life, death, sex, loneliness, and exile. The plays also show the dramatist’s idea of the tripartite actor, a process by which the actor neutralizes himself and achieves a disinterested observation of his self in performance. An introduction by the translator describes the dramatist and his view on drama.

Reviews

“One of the most thoroughly invigorating and rewarding evenings of locally produced theater in many months. A mesmerizing verbal and visual tapestry…a must-see….”
Tony Brown, Plain Dealer

“When it comes to exercising the brain, many plays are woefully equipped. But there is a challenging and exhilarating exception that that rule now at CPT. Two plays is a polished and provocative production that will stretch your mind if you’re willing to put the jump rope aside and stride into new and stimulating territory.”
Christine Howey, Cleveland Scene

On Between Life and Death:
“Anne McEvoy is haunting and unforgettable, while Joan Horvitz’ design and Neil Sapienza’s video projections are so stunning the audience gasped out loud. The piece, directed by Holly Holsinger, was as good as any cutting edge work I’ve ever seen at BAM or Lincoln Center.”
Linda Eisenstein, Cool Cleveland

“Anne McEvoy completely bares her soul, and that of her character, by subjugating herself totally to her art in a consummate and selfless performance.”
Tony Brown, The Plain Dealer

“A visually riveting production… the overall effect is compelling and oddly shattering, both in the moment and in retrospect.”
Christine Howey, Cleveland Scene

“Anne McEvoy is brilliant… The piece is well staged by Holly Holsinger on a proscenium set that recalls the surrealistic world of the French painter Magritte with projections of distorted images, characters passing unrecognized behind a fragmented back wall and [Mark] Cipra wearing the bowler hat and black suit of the faceless Bourgeoisie.”
Jean Seitter Cummins, Cleveland Free Times

On The Other Shore:
“Director Raymond Bobgan orchestrates dance and movement as well as light and darkness, to fashion a theatrical event that is as fascinating as it is confounding.”
Christine Howey, Cleveland Scene

“Raymond Bobgan’s ensemble rendering of Gao’s earlier play makes it clear why the work is banned in China: it’s an imagistic deconstruction of the perils of herd mentality.”
Linda Eisenstein, Cool Cleveland


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