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April 24

Two Days with Hans-Thies Lehmann Day #2

Photo courtesy of the artist

April 23 & April 24
Segal Theatre
Discussions + All Day Screenings

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

Join us for two evenings with German theatre researcher and author Hans-Thies Lehmann. His highly influential publication, Postdramatic Theatre (Routledge, 2006), established the modern visage of avant-garde theatre by cataloguing and defining the tendencies and stylistic traits of experimental works since the end of the 1960s. Scholars and colleagues Marvin Carlson, Elinor Fuchs, Brandon Woolf, John Jesurun, Uwe Mengel, Molly Davies, Peter Eckersall, Jonathan Kalb, Carol Martin, Melissa Wansin Wong, and Frank Hentschker will join Lehmann in discussion throughout the sessions.

Monday, April 23

Daytime screenings of excerpts from works by:

Robert Wilson
The Wooster Group
John Jesurun
Jan Lauwers
Romeo Castellucci
She She Pop
René Pollesch

10:00am Robert Wilson – The Civil Wars (1984)
11:00am The Wooster Group – Brace Up! (1991/2003)
                  To You, The Birdie! ( Phèdre) (2002)
12:00pm John Jesurun – Shatterhand Massacree – Riderless Horse (1985)
Black Maria (1987)
1:00pm Jan Lauwers & Needcompany: The Deer House (2008)
2:00pm Romeo Castellucci – Orestea (2015)
 Giulio Cesare Spared Parts (1997)
3:00pm She She Pop (with ihre Väter) – TESTAMENT (2010)
4:00pm René Pollesch – Stadt als Beute (City as Prey) (2005)
5:00pm Tadeusz Kantor – Dead Class (1975)

Evening Discussion:
6:30pm Postdramatic Theatre and the 21 Century
Hans-Thies Lehmann

7:00pm New Forms of Theatre – Conversation I
Uwe Mengel, John Jesurun, Molly Davies & Hans-Thies Lehmann

7:20pm Performance in the Age of Performance – Conversation II
Bertie Ferdman, André Lepecki & Hans-Thies Lehmann

7:40pm Dramaturgy and Asian Theatres – Conversation III
Peter Eckersall, Melissa Wansin Wong & Hans-Thies Lehmann


Tuesday, April 24

Daytime screenings of excerpts from works by:

Tadeusz Kantor
Théatre du Soleil/Ariane Mnouchkine
Klaus Michael Grüber
Einar Schleef
Angelus Novus
Jan Fabre

11:00am Ariane Mnouchkine/Théatre du Soleil – 1789 (1970)
Henri IV (1982)
12:00pm Klaus Michael Grüber – Die Bakchen (The Bacchae) (1974)
1:00pm Einar Schleef – Faust (1990)
Ein Sportstuck (by Elfriede Jelinek, 1998)
2:00pm Jan Fabre/Troubleyn – The Power of Theatrical Madness (1986, revived 2012)
Mount Olympus (2016)
3:00pm andcompany & Co. – Colonial Digital: The Empire Feeds Back! (2018)
4:00pm Rimini Protokoll – Wallenstein (2005)
Prometheus in Athens (2010)
5:00pm Gob Squad – Western Society (2013)

Evening Discussion:
6:30pm On Tragedy
Hans-Thies Lehmann

7:00pm On Writing – Conversation I
Elinor Fuchs, Jonathan Kalb & Hans-Thies Lehmann

7:20pm Theater of the Real – Conversation II
Marvin Carlson, Carol Martin & Hans-Thies Lehmann

7:40pm German Theatre and the Giessen Institut – Conversation III
Brandon Woolf, Frank Hentschker & Hans-Thies Lehmann

Special thanks to Richard Schechner and Yale University’s Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures (Katrin Trüstedt and Christian Kirchmeier).


Hans-Thies Lehmann is a professor emeritus for Theatre, Film, and Media Studies at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main from 1988 until he was given emeritus status. His publications include Bertolt Brecht’s Hauspostille–Text und kollektives Lesen (1978, with Helmut Lethen); Theater und Mythos. Die Konstitution des Subjekts im Diskurs der antiken Tragödie (1991); Postdramatisches Theater (1999, now a standard work and translated into 26 languages); Heiner Müller Handbuch (ed. with Patrick Primavesi, 2003); and Tragödie und dramatisches Theater (Routledge, 2013). Hans-Thies Lehmann first studied general and comparative literary studies in Berlin and studied for his doctorate with Peter Szondi until his death. After gaining his doctorate, he was a visiting professor at the Universiteit van Amsterdam from 1979 to 1982. From 1983 to 1988, he was a university assistant at the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies in Gießen, where he substantially contributed to establishing and shaping the course of study with colleague Andzej Wirth. As a university professor for theatre studies at the J. W. Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/Main he made a remarkable contribution in devising theatre, film, and music studies courses, as well as establishing a course on dramaturgy in the framework of the Hessische Theaterakademie. In addition to guest professorships in Paris (France), Kaunas (Lithuania), Kraków (Poland), and Virginia (USA), Lehmann also works as a dramaturg for Jossi Wieler, Peter Palitzsch, Christof Nel, Theodoros Terzopoulos, Jan Fabre, and produces his own stage projects. He is on the board of the Gesellschaft für Theaterwissenschaft and a member of the Deutsche Akademie der Künste in Berlin. Hans-Thies Lehmann lives in Berlin with theatre critic Helen Varopoulou.

Start: Apr 24, 2018
End: Apr 24, 2018
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April 30

Re-Reading Oppression: One-act plays by Amiri Baraka, Harold Pinter, and Salah Abdul-Saboor

Photo by Salma S. Zohdi

Monday, April 30
Segal Theatre

5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm Readings + Discussion

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

With oppressive regimes regenerating themselves by applying practices commonly undertaken by dictatorships, the power of art remains an essential force that motivates the masses to resist and fight against the normalization of such abusive practices. Join us for a mini-festival that aims to analyze and track the dynamics of oppression, discrimination, and abuse when portrayed by three significant playwrights from the U.S., England, and Egypt. All readings will be followed by a brief conversation, and the event will conclude with a panel discussion and a Q&A with the directors, Frank Hentschker, Marvin Carlson, and more. Concept and dramaturgy by Salma S. Zohdi.

5:30pm by LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman (1964)
Directed by Kareem Fahmy

A powerful one-act drama, Dutchman is set on a New York subway train, the play is a searing two-character confrontation that begins playfully, but builds rapidly in suspense and symbolic resonance.

“Dutchman” is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

6:30pm Harold Pinter’s One for the Road (1984) – TBC
Directed by NJ Agwuna

Considered by Frank Rich as Pinter’s “statement about the human rights abuses of totalitarian governments”. The play is set in a room, during the course of one day, where family of three–a father, mother, and a child–are interrogated and tortured.

“One for the Road” is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

7:30pm Salah Abdul-Saboor’s Night Traveller (1969)
Directed by Robin A. Eriksen & translated by M.M. Enani.

A black comedy set in a train heading to an unknown destination with three main characters: Narrator, Passenger, and Conductor. Throughout this absurdist narrative, the Conductor manipulates the Passenger’s identity by playing mind games and exerting oppressive practices.

This event is curated by dramaturg and Segal Center’s 2017/18 Next Generation Fellow Salma S. Zohdi, in collaboration with director Robin A. Eriksen.

Special thanks to Ira Dworkin, Walid El Hamamsy, M.M. Enani, and Moataza Salah Abdel Sabour.


Salah Abdul-Saboor is a pioneer of modern Arabic poetry, he and other Arab poets laid the foundation of a new school of Arabic poetry. They formulated their own experience in new authentic, creative patterns. In his early youth, he tried to find a new significance beyond rhetoric eloquent expression, attending to approach other realms of arts such as music and painting. In 1957, his first collection of poems People in my Country was published, shooting the poet into fame. Abdul-Saboor’s literature was not confined to poetry, but rather extended to poetic drama. Within a period of ten years, he had five poetic plays published. The first was The Tragedy of Al-Hallaj (1965), for which he was granted the State Incentive Award for Theatre in 1966. In addition to poetry and poetic drama, the great poet also practiced critical writing. Abdel Sabour was a follower of the free art which viewed art as an expression of unbridled imaginativeness and true, vehement emotions, within a highly romantic context. He believed that genuine poetry could be written only through absolute self-communion; he remained faithful to his own principles all his life until his death on August 14, 1981.


Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) is one of the most respected and widely published African-American writers. With the beginning of Black Civil Rights Movements during the sixties, Baraka explored the anger of African-Americans and used his writings as a weapon against racism. He is also the author of over 40 books of essays, poems, drama, and music history and criticism, a poet icon and revolutionary political activist who has recited poetry and lectured on cultural and political issues extensively in the USA, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe. With influences on his work ranging from musical orishas such as Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, and Sun Ra to the Cuban Revolution, Malcolm X and world revolutionary movements, Baraka is renowned as the founder of the Black Arts Movement in Harlem in the 1960s that became, though short-lived, the virtual blueprint for a new American theater aesthetics. The movement and his published and performance work, such as the signature study on African-American music, Blues People (1963) and the play Dutchman (1963) practically seeded “the cultural corollary to black nationalism” of that revolutionary American milieu.


Harold Pinter was a Nobel Prize-winning British playwright, screenwriter, director and actor. Harold Pinter is generally seen as the foremost representative of British drama in the second half of the 20th century. That he occupies a position as a modern classic is illustrated by his name entering the language as an adjective used to describe a particular atmosphere and environment in drama: “Pinteresque”. Pinter made his playwriting debut in 1957 with The Room, presented in Bristol. Other early plays were The Birthday Party (1957), at first a fiasco of legendary dimensions but later one of his most performed plays, and The Dumb Waiter (1957). His conclusive breakthrough came with The Caretaker (1959), followed by The Homecoming (1964) and other plays. It is said of Harold Pinter that following an initial period of psychological realism he proceeded to a second, more lyrical phase with plays such as Landscape (1967) and Silence (1968) and finally to a third, political phase with One for the Road (1984), Mountain Language (1988), The New World Order(1991) and other plays. Since 1973, Pinter has won recognition as a fighter for human rights, alongside his writing. He has often taken stands seen as controversial.


Photo by Matthew Dunivan

Robin A. Eriksen is a Norwegian director working both in the US and Norway. He’s a trained actor from the American Academy of Dramatic arts, has a bachelors degree in Theatre Studies from the University of Oslo, as well as an MFA in Directing from Columbia University. After years working in theatre he’s found his passion in directing for the stage; deep diving into different dramatic texts, composing living images, and communicating with actors and designers. This spring he will be working on four new plays, as well as directing and leading the design process for a new show at Dyreparken i Kristiansand, Norways largest tourist attraction.


Photo courtesy of the artist

NJ Agwuna (Director) is a freelance theater/ film director and actor from central Maryland, currently working on her MFA at Columbia University. She has worked on a national and international scale exploring classic text, developing new plays, devising, and investigating new ways to reach audiences. Some of NJ’s credits include The River Rouge (Director),  Freedom Train (Director), The Tempest (Director), Endangered: the Eco Musical (Associate Director), Love and Information (Director), Good Man(Director), Town Hall (Director), Truth or Lie (Director), What She Found (Director), Then She Fell (ASM), Amazing Spider-Man 2, Daredevil, and Jessica Jones. More at: www.njagwuna.com


Photo courtesy of the artist

Kareem Fahmy is a Canadian-born director and playwright of Egyptian descent. He is a 2017-2018 National Directors Fellow (The O’Neill/NNPN). He has directed and co-conceived a number of world premiere productions including Sevan K. Greene’s This Time (Rising Circle, New York Times Critics’ Pick), James Scruggs’s 3/Fifths (3LD, New York Times 5 Must-See Shows), and Nikkole Salter’s Indian Head (Luna Stage). Other work: Rohina Malik’s The Mecca Tales (NY & NJ premieres), Adam Kraar’s Alternating Currents (world premiere). Kareem has developed plays with New York Theatre Workshop (where he is a Usual Suspect), MCC, Second Stage, Soho Rep, New Dramatists, The Lark, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Sundance, The Civilians, Noor Theatre, Silk Road Rising, and Berkeley Rep. He is a founder of Maia Directors, a consulting group for organizations and artists engaging with Middle Eastern stories. He is currently adapting the beloved Egyptian novel The Yacoubian Building for the stage. MFA: Columbia University. www.KareemFahmy.com


Photo by Annabel Guevara

Salma S. Zohdi is an Egyptian Dramaturg based in New York City. She is the 2017/2018 Next Generation Fellow at The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center. Salma is a recipient of two international fellowship awards from the American Association for University Women. When she lived in Egypt she worked as a producer, teaching artist, stage manager, playwright, dramaturg, translator, and assistant director. Credits at Columbia University include: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Disposable Promises. NYC credits: Nathan the Wise at CSC, The Mecca Tales, an evening of “Arab Classic Plays”, and American Dreams & Arabian Nights at the BRICLab. Salma is also a collaborator on a work-in-development of a theatre adaptation of Alaa El Aswany’s acclaimed Egyptian novel The Yacoubian Building. At the Segal’s spring 2018 season, she is a co-curator and dramaturg of “Re-Reading Oppression,” an evening of a curated reading series of one-act plays that chronicle oppression, discrimination, and abuse. MA: AUC – English & Comparative Literature from AUC. MFA: Columbia University – Theatre (Dramaturgy).





Start: Apr 30, 2018
End: Apr 30, 2018
Venue: Segal Theatre
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June 26

Pride Voices: New Plays from Taiwan with Li-Ying Chien and Pao-Chang Tsai

Left: Li-Ying Chien’s The Possible Memoirs of a Traitor. Photo by Chin Jung Chun.
Right: Pao-Chang Tsai’s Solo Date. Photo courtesy of the artist

Tuesday, June 26
Segal Theatre

6:30pm Readings + Discussion

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

Join us for an evening with two leading contemporary Taiwanese playwrights, Li-Ying Chien and Pao-Chang Tsai.

The evening will feature excerpted readings from The Possible Memoirs of a Traitor by Li-Ying Chien (Director TBC) and Solo Date by Pao-Chang Tsai (performed by Tsai; dramaturgy by Soriya Chum), followed by a panel discussion with the playwrights, the directors, and scholars. Moderated by Frank Hentschker.

Through their plays and stage works Chien and Tsai have reinvigorated the Taiwanese theatre-scape. Blending new media, real-life event, and various performative techniques, their highly political and engaged works give voice to an emerging cultural movement in Taiwan. As established queer artists, their creative processes and cultural productions also shed light on the struggles and achievements of the LGBTQ community in Taiwan and Asia today.

Based on a comprehensive field study of the LGBTQ movement, HIV/AIDS medical treatment, and family and religious issues in Taiwanese society, Li-Ying Chien’s The Possible Memoirs of a Traitor (2017) uncovers stories from a Taipei gay shelter in the 90’s. Pao-Chang Tsai’s Solo Date (2016) takes place in the 2030s. Using traditional Taiwanese ritual and AI technology, a man reaches back in time in search of his deceased lover. But after hacking the lover’s computer and reading their messages, new truths come to light.

Co-curated by Yu Chien Liu (Martin E. Segal Theatre Center) and Chi-Ping Yen (Taipei Cultural Center in New York), with support from Ministry of Cuture, Taiwan) and Taipei Cultural Center in New York.


Start: Jun 26, 2018
End: Jun 26, 2018
Venue: Segal Theatre
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