Performance Spaces for the 21st C. (PS21)
2980 Route 66
PO Box 321
Chatham, US 12037
January 14 | 7 pm - January 15 | 3 pm - January 22 | 3 pm - January 23 | 3 pm
Celebrated French playwright and director Pascal Rambert, actors Jim Fletcher and Ismaïl ibn Conner are at PS21’s Black Box Theater for four public performances of “The Art of Theater” and “With My Own Hands.” This engagement, co-presented by PS21, is a featured project of The Public Theater’s new initiative Under the Radar Festival: On the Road.
After a first residence in December, French playwright and director Pascal Rambert will return to PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century, Chatham, NY, on January 4, for the adaptation and rehearsal of two plays: The Art of Theater, performed by Jim Fletcher, and With My Own Hands, performed by Ismaïl ibn Conner.
Nicholas Elliott translated “With My Own Hands” ; “The Art of Theater” is translated by Jim Fletcher and Nicholas Elliott.
The team will return to PS21 Black Box Theater, for four public performances in January 2022
This engagement, co-presented with PS21, is a featured project of the new Under the Radar: On the Road initiative.
January 14, 7 pm
January 15, 3 pm
January 22, 3 pm
January 23, 3 pm
About The Plays
The Art of Theater, composed in 2007, is a manifesto about the nature of dramatic acting, spoken by a single actor who addresses, not the audience, but his dog, who patiently attends to his master’s voice. The audience, in effect, eavesdrops on the monologue. Fletcher, who costarred with Kate Moran in Rambert’s two-character Love’s End (Clôture de l’Amour), previously appeared at PS21 in 2019, in the title role of Compagnie l’heliotrope’s Pollock.
With My Own Hands was first performed in 1993. Since then, Rambert has adapted this protean meditation on the human condition, a soliloquy spoken by a wounded psyche on the brink of suicide, for a series of settings and performers, including the American actor Kate Moran in 2007. At the time, he said, “I wrote this text to be played by both men and women, young and old.” At PS21, Conner, who has performed widely in Arthur Nauzyciel’s productions such as Splendid’s by Jean Genet will embody the role of protagonist of this searing, enigmatic monologue. The work is a puzzle of dark ideas on the nature of the human condition, performed with a somber humor.
Villa Albertine aims to highlight the work of French playwrights—both in French and English translation—for a broad American audience. In recent years, greater attention has been devoted to developing productions of French plays translated to English staged with an American cast. The two plays by Pascal Rambert are part of this momentum.
About The Creative Team
The author of more than 60 plays, including the international success, Clôture de l’amour (Love’s End), which has been translated into 23 languages, Rambert (pictured above) founded his own production company, structure production, which now produces all of his dramatic and choreographic work. He is an associate artist of Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris, El Pavón Teatro Kamikaze in Madrid, and Théâtre National de Strasbourg. In 2019, he was a lead guest artist at the 73rd Festival d’Avignon, where he premiered Architecture. From 2007 to 2016, Rambert served as artistic director of T2G-Théâtre de Gennevilliers, which he transformed into a national dramatic center for contemporary creation. In 2016, he was awarded the Theater Prize by the Académie Française for his entire body of work. His plays have been performed throughout Europe, North America, Asia, Russia, South America and the Middle East.
Jim Fletcher is a founding member of Richard Maxwell’s New York City Players theater company. He recently appeared in their show The Vessel, and in The Wooster Group’s production of Bertolt Brecht’s The Mother (Vienna and New York) as well as in Compagnie l’Heliotrope’s Pollock (Avignon).
Ismaïl ibn Conner
Throughout a career devoted to performing and producing works by France’s innovative contemporary dramatists and other leading playwrights, Ismail ibn Conner has toured with Theatre National Bretagne’s production of Jean Genet’s Splendid’s, under the direction of long-time collaborator Arthur Nauzyciel. He is the director of Cultured Man Enterprises and founder of the United States Koltès Project, which collaborates with François Koltès on English translations and performances in the U.S. and France of Dans la solitude des champs de coton, Le Jour des meurtres dans l’histoire d’Hamlet, and La Nuit juste avant les forêts (Biennale Koltès 2012).
Nicholas Elliott is a translator and writer living in New York. His most recent translation from the French is Duras/Godard: Dialogues (The Film Desk), a collection of conversations between Marguerite Duras and Jean-Luc Godard. He has worked as a translator, producer, assistant director, tour manager, creative consultant, and occasional performer for theater companies and artists in France and the United States, including Richard Maxwell and New York City Players, The Wooster Group, Daniel Fish, Jeanne Balibar, Théâtre du Phare, Théâtre de la Ville de Paris, David Geselson, Olivier Py, and Pascal Rambert. From 2009 to 2020, he was the American correspondent for French film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma.
About The Presenters
Held each January, the Under The Radar Festival is widely recognized as a premier launching pad for new and cutting-edge performance from the U.S. and abroad, Under the Radar has presented works by such respected artists as Elevator Repair Service, Nature Theater of Oklahoma, Gob Squad, Belarus Free Theatre, Guillermo Calderón, Young Jean Lee and Philippe Quesne. These artists provide a snapshot of contemporary theater: richly distinct in terms of perspectives, aesthetics, and social practice, and pointing to the future of the art form. Housed at the Public Theater in NYC since its founding in 2004, this year’s 17th edition takes to the road, partnering with PS21 to bring this cutting edge programming to our state-of-the-art theater in Chatham, NY.
Since its inaugural season in 2006, PS21: Performances Spaces for the 21st Century has evolved into the Hudson Valley’s mecca for innovative programming by leading and emerging artists in music, dance, theater, contemporary performance, and the visual and multimedia arts. In 2018, PS21 opened our year-round, green-energy theater on its unspoiled 100-acre campus, an old apple orchard surrounded by meadows and woodlands in the heart of the Hudson Valley. While fostering creativity through residencies and encouraging collaborations between performers working across disciplines and genres, PS21 also serves the community via free and low-cost workshops, performances, and other programming.
The production in English of The Art of Theater and With My Own Hands written and directed by Pascal Rambert is supported by FACE Contemporary Theater, a program of Villa Albertine and FACE Foundation in partnership with the French Embassy. The translation of With My Own Hands is supported by Contxto, a program of Artcena.