Performance Lab 115
Caucasian Chalk Circle


June 25 – July 11, 2009


Directed by Alice Reagan, Performance Lab 115‘s new production of Caucasian Chalk Circle (in the Eric Bentley translation) re-imagines Brecht’s master work as a distinctly American fable. Set in a half-finished building taken over by squatters (designed by Obie Award winner Peter Ksander), and using composer Mark Valadez‘s modernized “disaster ballad” folk songs to drive the story, the company mines material from their six-month residency with Mabou Mines (2007-08) to bring the play into contemporary relief. With the economy at a standstill, ongoing wars, and a disintegrating environment, our society is closer to the dark landscape of Brecht’s mythical Grusinia than perhaps at any time since his own post-war Germany. By focusing on the divide between the haves and have-nots, and how quickly fortunes can change, the production asks: what is our responsibility to each other in times of crisis?

Written by Bertolt Brecht. Translated by Eric Bentley. Performed by Justin Badger*, Sara Buffamanti*, Jeff Clarke, Liz Eckert, Rachel Jablin, Marty Keiser*, Rebecca Lingafelter*, Elizabeth Malone*, Chris Richards, Rachel Schwartz*, Ben Vershbow (* courtesy AEA). Directed by Alice Reagan. Composer: Mark Valadez. Sets and lights by Peter Ksander. Costumes by Asta Hostetter. Dramaturgy by Ramona Thomasius. Choreography by Beth Kurkjian. Stage Manager: Christie Love Santiago. Assistant Director: Dara Malina. Assistant Stage Manager: Jacob Lasser. Assistant Producer: Veronique Ory. Technical Director: Mark Sitko. Assistant Costume Design: Stacey Berman.

“Brecht in Long Island City” – Helen Shaw, Time Out New York