House/Lights, the Wooster Group's acclaimed deconstruction of Gertrude Stein's Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights, will be this year's U.S. offering at Montreal's Festival de Theatre des Ameriques, running May 20-June 6.
Canadian troupes make up much of the rest of the schedule, but there are also productions from France (Pour un Oui ou Pour un Non; from Compagnie (Jacques Lassalle Pour Memoire & Theatre national de la Colline), Argentina (Heiner Muller's Maquina Hamlet from El Periferico de Objetos), Switzerland (Lorca's Noces de Sang, from Teatro Malandro), and Australia (Neil Thomas' solo, The Urban Dram Capsule).
Among the homegrown Canadian offerings are an adaptation of Les Becchantes by Paula de Vasconcelos, a puppet version of Le Mahabharata, and a collective piece titled Human Collision/Atomic Reaction by Quebec's The Other Theatre.
The Festival of the Americas (FTA) has played every other year since 1985. On alternating years, since 1996, the organization has hosted a mini-festival, "Theatres du Monde." Last year's productions included a Lithuanian Hamlet, Speak Bitterness from the UK, and Josef Nadj directing Le Cri du Cameleon.
As for House/Lights, starring recent Obie-winner Kate Valk, the adaptation of the avant garde classic, Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights, mixes Gertrude Stein's opera libretto into the world of the soft-core bondage & domination cult film, "Olga's House of Shame." The show, which has toured major cities in the U.S. and Europe, recently concluded its third New York stint, playing to sell-out crowds and becoming the Wooster Group's biggest success in many years. House/Lights made its New York debut January 1998 in an earlier incarnation. According to a Festival spokesperson, since its inception, the FTA has presented 142 shows from 25 countries to more than a quarter of a million people. Readings and panels round out the three-week event, which is specially dedicated to contemporary and innovative companies. In her program introduction to the 1997 Fest, Festival Director Marie-Helene Falcon wrote, "A thousand leagues from the psychology of television, [these artists'] works reach out to the unconscious, restoring the primitive, cathartic function of theatre."
For information on the Festival de Theatre des Ameriques call (514) 842 0704.