To coincide with the NY Museum of Modern Art's 4-month retrospective of the films of German director, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Off-Off Broadway's Theatre-Studio began offering a 4-month retrospective of Fassbinder's plays, beginning Jan. 17.
According to artistic director A.M. Raychel, Fassbinder "repeatedly explored the idea of power as the determining factor in human relationships. Whether as raw violence or in its subtler forms, parents, lovers, teachers -- everyone -- seems condemned to exert control, even if they desperately want to do otherwise."
Also taking part on the Fassbinder festivities is Tribeca Lab, which will offer an environmental double-bill of one-acts -- The Bitter Tears Of Petra von Kant and Bremen Freedom -- staged on "The Frying Pan," a 1929 lightship docked off Chelsea's Pier 63. After its use, 1929-64, as a North Carolina lightship, the Frying Pan was submerged and abandoned, only to be raised and brought to NY in the 1980s. The evening as a whole will be titled "Fassbinder In The Frying Pan."
Stuart Rudin directs Tears, which concerns a fashion designer obsessed with a young model, while Deborah Stoll directs Freedom, about a woman destroying all those who would keep her in her rightful place.
The Tribeca Lab's shipboard staging hopes to create a club atmosphere, thanks to production design by Teddy Jefferson, costumes by Diane Specioso and April Furr, original music by The Prissteens, and the appearance of such live bands as Gorgon, Ff, Hammerbrain, and Mother Juggs And Speed. For information on this event, call (212) 340-8032. Productions of the Theatre-Studio Festival will take place at the company's home at 750 Eighth Ave., and also Jewish Repertory Theatre on East 91st St. Here's the remaining schedule, which is subject to changes and additions:
Pre-Paradise Sorry Now - Feb. 15, 16
Werewolf - Feb. 21, 22, March 21, 22.
Bremen Freedom - Feb. 28, 29, March 28, 29
Garbage, The City And Death - Feb. 21, 22, March 14, 15
Blood On The Cat's Neck - April 11, 12.
Katzelmacher - April 25, 26.
Staged Reading Marathon: April 27, 2-9 PM.
Jewish Repertory Theatre space
One-acts (staged reading): Pre-Paradise Sorry Now / The Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant / Just A Slice Of Bread - March 10.
Slice Of Bread should be of special interest to Fassbinder fans, since it's his very first play, unpublished and unproduced during his lifetime. This will mark the play's U.S. debut and possibly (according to Raychel's associate, Abigail White) the piece's first full English translation. It's about a movie director worried about presenting `yet another' film that desensitizes audiences to the reality of the Holocaust.
Fassbinder's films include the internationally acclaimed Marriage Of Maria Braun, as well as Katzelmacher, Despair, Effie Briest, Ali - Fear Eats The Soul and the epic mini-series for German television, Berlin Alexanderplatz.
For information about the Fassbinder Mini-Retrospective, which is a sub division of Theatre-Studio's Playtime Series International, call (212) 719-0500.
--By David Lefkowitz