New York's Jean Cocteau Repertory will re-stage their 1996 production of Pirandello's Six Characters In Search Of An Author at their Bouwerie Lane Theatre home, May 7-16.
The production is being offered in preparation for an engagement of the play in Brazil, May 24-June 7. This will be the first time the company has performed in another country.
Luigi Pirandello's modernist classic caused a riot at its 1921 Rome premiere because theatergoers balked at the author's blurring of reality and illusion in the world of the play. (Its celebrated Paris staging two years later caused a similar sensation, this time to favorable effect.)
The play shows the members of a small theater troupe being nonplussed by the interruption of their rehearsal by real people -- an unhappy family, who want the actors to transform their sordid little lives into drama.
Eve Adamson directs Cocteau Rep's production, which offers certain Fellini-esque aspects to its staging and music, "aiming to maximize the qualities of magic, mystery and theatricality." That said, Adamson doesn't take many liberties with the play: "You don't abstract too much with Pirandello," she admonished. "He takes you on a trip." Adamson staged Pirandello's Enrico IV at the theater in 1993.
Jean Cocteau Repertory is at the Bouwerie Lane Theatre on the Bowery, just skirting New York's East Village. For tickets and information on Six Characters in Search of an Author, call (212) 677-0060.
-- By Sean McGrath
and David Lefkowitz