As part of this year’s undergroundzero festival, the alternative-theater group Komuna//Warszawa will present their new piece “Paradise Now? RE// MIX Living Theatre”on July 17, 18 and 19. The New York premiere of this work, based on The Living Theatre’s legendary 1968 production, marks the first U.S. appearance of the award-winning company from Warsaw.
“Paradise Now? RE// MIX Living Theatre”, directed and performed by the members of Komuna// Warszawa, premiered in Warsaw in November 2013. The production is part of their innovative ongoing cycle RE// MIX, evening-long presentations of critical reinterpretations of vital, influential works of 20th-century performing arts. The company’s three-day undergroundzero festival run coincides with the residency of The Living Theatre at the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center, where its current members will reprise their own new production, No Place to Hide, written and directed by founding director Judith Malina, as part of undergroundzero festival 2014.
Paradise Now!, The Living Theatre’s best known and most influential work, has been long recognized as one of the crucial alternative theater productions of the 1960s. Forty-five years after its premiere, Komuna// Warszawa revisits and re-imagines this revolutionary work, hoping to find out what has changed in the politics and artistic practice of the performing arts since the original work’s tumultuous premiere in Avignon, where the show ended in street riots. Has the definition of truth in a work of art changed? Is the relationship between performers and audiences any different? Does participatory art make sense? How does art change the world? What is the eponymous “Paradise” of The Living Theatre’s work – and how one does get there?
The New York presentation of Paradise Now? RE// MIX Living Theatre marks an important conclusion in a long research project, begun in autumn 2013 when members of K// W traveled to New York City to interview members of The Living Theater, paying a visit to Judith Malina at the retirement home where she found herself after The Living Theater lost its longtime Clinton Street home in the Lower East Side.
About KOMUNA// WARSZAWA
Komuna// Warszawa is one of Poland’s most important independent theaters, engaged in experimental work on the borderlines of performing arts, video and music. In its work, Komuna// Warszawa explores important contemporary subjects, ceaselessly searching for new forms and means of expression. It provides space for creative dialogue and attracts collaboration of young artists who are left a great deal of creative freedom. Komuna// Warszawa has produced shows by renown artists including Monika Strzępka and Paweł Demirski, Marcin Liber, Paweł Passini, Krzysztof Garbaczewski, Leszek Bzdyl and AKADEMIA RUCHU Theater.
Komuna//Warszawa is the successor of the legendary Komuna Otwock, one of the most interesting and significant groups of the Polish independent theater scene. The 20-year history of the group is described in a book, Guide by Krytyka Polityczna, published under the patronage and with support of the Theatre Institute in Warsaw.
Komuna// Warszawa initiated and produced the RE//MIX cycle, which resulted in the creation of over 30 premieres that reference classic works of avant-garde in theatre and dance, as well as music, literature and film. The project invited the participation of artists in a range of creative fields from theater directors to dancers and choreographers to musicians and composers. The RE//MIX cycle has won favorable reviews, with Teatr journal, a major Polish monthly, naming it the event of year 2012.
More information and 2014 lineup: The undergroundzero festival
Free admission with online registration: Artful
Photo © Kasia Chmura