FALL 2014
Dear Friends of Robert Wilson,
After a very successful summer at The Watermill Center, Bob went straight to Europe and, between rehearsals in Tallinn, Austria and Paris, received the Goethe Medal—a most prestigious award from the German Federal Government, awarded through the Goethe-Institut for “outstanding service for the German language and international cultural relations.” During the moving ceremony in Weimar’s city castle, one Medal was posthumously awarded to Bob’s good friend Gerard Mortier, who passed away earlier this year. 
Just before the summer, as some of you might have noticed, the Robert Wilson website was completely relaunched and shines now with a more contemporary, easier-to-navigate structure and layout. One feature that we hope you will love is the new calendar: where in the past we had just a list of events, we now have a full monthly calendar, containing openings as well as repertory performances, lectures, exhibitions and other Robert Wilson-related events.  Please do check out the new website and let us know about your experience here.

Jean Genet’s play THE BLACKS (original: LES NEGRÈS) is considered quite a challenge by most directors, for it touches on issues of racial identity and stereotypes and its text is often pronounced next to inaccessible. In his first full production at the Odeon Théâtre de l’Europe under Luc Bondy’s tenure, Bob will certainly provide a unique interpretation of the turgid 1950s satire of French colonialism. Bob’s long-time friend and genius jazz musician and saxophonist, Dickie Landry, has composed the score. Another interesting fact: Kayije Kagame, one of the actresses in THE BLACKS, came to The Watermill Center this summer to work with Bob on several new projects.

THE BLACKS by Jean Genet
Robert Wilson (direction, set and light design); Dickie Landry (music); Ellen Hammer (dramaturgy); Charles Chemin (co-direction); Stephanie Engeln (co-set design); Moidele Bickel (costumes); Xavier Baron (co-light design).

Currently in previews with opening night October 3, 2014 and remaining in repertory until November 21, 2014. Learn more here.

Bob’s staged version of a selection of The Bard’s Sonnets—including some of the most popular ones and several lesser-known—premiered at the Berliner Ensemble (BE) in 2009. It features intriguing original songs by Rufus Wainwright and has been in repertory in Berlin since the premiere. The BE, which was founded by Bertolt Brecht in 1949, is now coming to New York City with this extraordinary production, as part of BAM’s 2014 Next Wave Festival. For those of you who want to get even more involved, The Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation will be organizing a special event around the opening on October 7, benefiting The Watermill Center, and celebrating Bob's birthday! We would love to welcome you there.

SHAKESPEARE’S SONNETS by Robert Wilson and Rufus Wainwright
At the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), New York, from October 7 through 12 and in repertory at the Berliner Ensemble throughout the years 2014 and 2015.

Premiering at the Manchester International Festival in 2013, Bob’s first collaboration with Mikhail Baryshnikov has become a worldwide success. Misha and his performing partner, Willem Dafoe, have performed “the wackiest bromance in summer comedy” (Ben Brantley, The New York Times) in Spoleto, Athens, Milan, Paris, Antwerp, New York, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires since its inception. Now, finally, this delightful piece of absurdist theater hits the West Coast–first Los Angeles, then Berkeley–for a limited run. Tickets are selling at the speed of light. Secure your seats while you can!

THE OLD WOMAN by Daniil Kharms
Robert Wilson with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Willem Dafoe
At Royce Hall (CAP/UCLA) on November 14 and 15, 2014; At Zellerbach Hall (Cal Performances, University of California, Berkeley) from November 21 through 23, 2014

Bob’s production of Beckett’s classic KRAPP’S LAST TAPE is the only currently traveling show in which Bob himself can be seen on stage. It premiered in 2009 and has been shown at many theaters worldwide—in Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Russia. Most importantly, it received its knighting in Ireland, Beckett’s own country, where the press hailed the show as “stylish and powerful” as well as “freeing Beckett’s work from the preconceptions that so often define it.” Now, to complete a true World Tour, it is coming to China. The Beijing Cultural Olympics will present two performances in December. After that the production can be seen next in France and England. 

At the Beijing Cultural Olympics in December 2014, in Toulouse, France from February 20 through 22, 2015, and at the Barbican Theatre, London from June 19 through 21, 2015. Learn more here.

With THE BLACKS being the last opening of a new Robert Wilson show in 2014, there are several openings and revivals in 2015 to look forward to the Zurich Opera will be reviving Bellini’s NORMA with a new cast (January 31) | Monteverdi’s CORONATION OF POPPEA will be seen with a new cast at Milan’s La Scala (opens February 1) | Bob’s beautiful PELLÉAS AND MÉLISANDE production will return to the Paris Opera’s repertoire (February 7) | A new production of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s FAUST I & II is planned with the Berliner Ensemble (his tenth production at the BE!—opens April 3) | and Bob will direct Alexander Pushkin’s FAIRY TALES at Moscow’s Theater of Nations with original music by CocoRosie (opening June 16).

1914 (National Theater of Prague) will tour to Budapest (October 15 and 16) and Belgrade (November 22) | LIVING ROOMS, the exhibition from the Louvre, will be mounted at the Musée des Abattoirs Toulouse (from February 2015).

Check our online calendar regularly for updates!
Photographs courtesy of Lucie Jansch, Lesley Leslie-Spinks, and Julian Mommert
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