The American architect Hugh Stubbins, who designed the Congress Hall in the 1950s, called the widely sweeping roof of the building a "great promise". In seeming defiance of structural constraints, it offered a view to a future that could only be better. The roof terrace was chosen by the transatlantic group German Theatre Abroad as the location for two scenic readings of contemporary works for the stage in which New York plays the leading role.What remains of this view of a better future?
This theatrical double feature will show disparate faces of the metropolis. While the sun goes down over Berlin, the audience on the terrace will follow the action from different perspectives. The project partner, LAByrinth Theater, is a New York-based multicultural collective led by Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffmann and John Ortiz that mounts innovative contemporary theatre productions.
7 pm Guinea Pig Solo by Brett C. Leonard (LAByrinth Theater Company) in English, arranged by Daniel Brunet (GTA, NYC)
Brett C. Leonard's Guinea Pig Solo sets the plot line of Büchner's Woyzeck in present-day New York. In a rapid succession of scenes, dramatist and screenplay writer Leonard sketches the last stations in the life of Iraq War veteran José Solo, the object of a laboratory experiment who has nothing left to lose.
Intermission with hotdogs, other refreshments, and small talk with the authors
9 pm Dead City by Sheila Callaghan (13P) in German, arranged by Birgit Lengers (GTA, Berlin)
Dead City by the award-winning Sheila Callaghan carries distant echoes of James Joyce's Ulysses. It portrays a day in the life of Samantha Blossom, an Internet designer from the Upper East Side who is nearly as estranged from herself as from her unfaithful husband. The odyssey that begins one morning takes her through the city in a series of random encounters. Callaghan captures scenes in a few crisp strokes, even while allowing them to surreally unfold.
A Project of German Theatre Abroad in Cooperation with the House of World Cultures