Take a wild ride through the American landscape as artist Robert Rauschenberg might see it if he created plays instead of paintings with
’s production of
, the first large-scale work to be presented in the Walker Art Center’s William and Nadine McGuire Theater, Tuesday-Saturday, May 3-7, 8 pm, and Saturday, May 7, 2 pm. A prismatic tribute to one artist’s singular vision is presented through vivid theatrical snapshots that “combine[s] exuberance of performance, vigor of imagination, and boldness of innovation” (The Chicago Tribune). Its characters embody a country that is at once comic and chaotic, underground and mainstream, mundane and truly eccentric. Written by OBIE Award-winning playwright Charles Mee and directed by Anne Bogart, this stunning production (featuring texts by Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Walt Whitman, and others) creates a tapestry of moments in time that provide us not only with a window on our past, but a glimpse into our future.
Mee states, “What I love about Robert Rauschenberg is that his work seems so open, so democratic, so optimistic, so inclusive, so vigorous, unafraid, free—so much of what we wish being American to be. He makes art by picking stuff up off the street—rejected stuff, junk—and puts those things into paintings and sculptures, saying, ‘This too, is beautiful.’ So I imagined a piece inspired by the same spirit—an assemblage of disparate stuff that feels like living in America—that notices the dark stuff, the violence and racism and hatreds, as Rauschenberg does, but also notices the light of America.”
SITI Company was founded in 1992 by Bogart and Tadashi Suzuki to redefine and revitalize contemporary theater in the United States through an emphasis on international cultural exchange and collaboration. Originally envisioned as a summer institute in Saratoga Springs, New York, SITI has expanded to encompass a year-round program based in New York City with a summer season in Saratoga. SITI believes that contemporary American theater must necessarily incorporate artists from around the world and learn from the resulting cross-cultural exchange of dance, music, art, and performance experiences.
Artistic Director Bogart is a recipient of two Obie Awards, a Bessie Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship and is an Associate Professor at Columbia University where she heads the Graduate Directing Program. Recent works with SITI include La Dispute; Score; bobrauschenbergamerica; Room; War of the Worlds; Cabin Pressure; The Radio Play; Alice’s Adventures; Culture of Desire; Bob; Going, Going, Gone; Small Lives/Big Dreams; The Medium; Noel Coward’s Hay Fever and Private Lives; August Strindberg’s Miss Julie; and Charles Mee’s Orestes. Other recent productions: Nicholas and Alexandra, Los Angeles Opera, Marina A Captive Spirit (American Opera Projects), Lilith and Seven Deadly Sins (New York City Opera).
Post-performance discussion with director Anne Bogart following the Friday, May 6 performance.
bobrauschenbergamerica is made possible with funds from The Moore Family Fund for the Arts of the Minneapolis Foundation.
Tickets to bobrauschenbergamerica are: Tuesday-Thursday, $25 ($20 Walker members); Friday-Saturday, $30 ($24 Walker members); and Saturday matinee, $25 ($20 Walker members). Tickets available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.
For audio and video clips of this and other upcoming Walker performances, visit calendar.walkerart.org.