One of the most famous experimental troupes in America, The Wooster Group, will offer viewings of its latest work-in-progress, Feb. 27-March 16. The original start date was pushed up from Feb. 20 to allow more time to shape what managing director Alexandra Paxton termed "very early in the development stage."
Directed by Elizabeth LeCompte, the new piece will feature Peyton Smith, Kate Valk, Roy Faudree, Ari Fliakos, Karen Lashinsky and Tanya Selvaratnam.
Paxton told Playbill On-Line she was hesitant to describe the piece or say what texts it was based on. "It's a new, company-developed piece," she said, "we really just want give audiences the chance to have a peek at it."
The Wooster Group, developed and performed under the direction of Elizabeth LeCompte (the company has no artistic director, per se), consists of these members: LeCompte, the late Ron Vawter, Wooster Group theatre pieces are constructed as assemblages of juxtaposed elements. They combine radical restagings of classic texts, found materials, films and videos, dance and movement works, multi-track scoring and an "architectronic" approach to design. Through "overlaying, colliding and sometimes synchronizing systems," the structure of a piece gradually emerges.
Recent Wooster Group productions include Fish Story (1994), The Hairy Ape (1995), and Brace Up! (1991). In 1991, the troupe won an Obie for 15 years of sustained excellence. Spalding Gray, Jim Clayburgh, Willem Dafoe, Peyton Smith and Kate Valk.
For tickets ($15) and information on the Wooster Group's latest, to be staged at their Performing Garage home, at 33 Wooster St., call (212) 966-3651.
--By David Lefkowitz