Monday, March 27
6:30pm Reading + Conversation
FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.
“This unique performance text by 2004 Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek offers a provocative European perspective on Donald Trump’s persona. The main speaker, a blind female seer suggests Miss Piggy channeling a confused Tiresias as she tries to get a handle on the bizarre behavior of the leader elect to draw from it some sort of oracle for the future. This seer with bleeding eyes sends Trump through a shattered looking glass where Jelinek examines him through the distorted mirrors of the heroes of Western culture: From Oedipus to Abraham, Isaac and Jesus, to Martin Heidegger, who attempted to lead the Führer.”
– Gitta Honegger
The world premiere of Elfriede Jelinek’s On the Royal Road: The Burgher King will be staged in October 2017 at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg, Germany. The rights to the world premiere reading at the Segal Center in New York have been generously granted by Rowohlt Theater Verlag; Nils Tallbert, Head of Rowohlt Theater Verlag publishing house in close collaboration with Jelinek’s translator, Gitta Honegger.
The Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek received the 2004 Nobel Prize for Literature and many other prestigious literary and theatre awards. She is best known in the US from Michel Haneke’s film The Piano Teacher based on her novel Die Klavierspielerin. Since the Nobel award she has written only one novel, but many plays addressing urgent issues of our times. Her themes include the politics of memory and guilt (Rechnitz); the 2008 global financial crisis, (Die Kontrakte des Kaufmanns); the rapidly escalating European refugee crisis (Die Schutzbefohlenen); the 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris (Wut), and now Donald Trump (Auf dem Königsweg). Her latest performance text was preceded by a brief essay, [German title] “The One and Only. His Ownness” which she wrote one day after the presidential election. Jelinek is one of the most produced living authors/playwrights in the German language world. Her plays are presented by all the major theatre companies often staged by leading innovative directors. These productions have been invited to countless prestigious international festivals and received numerous awards. Her plays have also been produced across Europe, in Japan, India, Australia and China. In the US the only fully professional staging was the 2013 New York Woman’s Project Theatre’s production of Jackie, directed by Tea Alagic. It was nominated for 2 Lucille Lortel awards, for outstanding solo show and outstanding sound design.
Gitta Honegger is the authorized translator of Elfriede Jelinek. Recent translations of Jelinek’s performance texts: Rechnitz (The Avenging Angel) and the Merchant’s Contracts. A Comedy of Economics; Charges (The Supplicants) (all Seagull Books/U. of Chicago Press), Fury (Rowohlt Theatre scripts); Shadow. Eurydice Says (Performing Arts Journal), On the Royal Road: The Burgher King (forthcoming, Yale/Theater Magazine); Fury/Rage, an adaptation by the Hamburg Thalia Theatre, that interweaves parts of her text with scenes from Simon Stephens’ Rage, a response to Jelinek’s text.Currently Honegger is completing her translation of Jelinek’s opus magnum, the 666 page novel The Children of the Dead for Yale University Press. She also translated plays by Thomas Bernhard, Elias Canetti, Marie Luise Fleisser and others. Book publications: Thomas Bernhard, The Making of an Austrian, (Yale University Press), which she also translated into German (Propyläen Verlag). Dr. Honegger is Professor of Theatre at Arizona State University. For ten years she was a professor of dramaturgy and dramatic criticism at the Yale School of Drama and resident dramaturg at the Yale Repertory Theatre, where she also directed.
Stage and film director, Stefan Džeparoski, is a Serbian-born, New York-based, renowned international director and creator known for his visually arresting and iconic live productions. The hallmark of his interdisciplinary stage practices is the creative use of projected media. His work has been seen on stages in Europe, Canada and US. Most recently Stefan directed Off-Broadway productions of Wide Awake Hearts by Brendan Gall (BirdLand Theatre at 59E59 Theaters), and The Birds by Conor McPherson (BirdLand Theatre at 59E59 Theaters). He is a Resident Director at BirdLand Theatre where he also directed Fortune and Menʼs Eyes by John Herbert, and Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph. His other selected directing credits include After The Fall by Arthur Miller, The Creation of the World and Other Business by Arthur Miller, Roberto Zucco by Bernard Marie Koltes, Whoʼs Afraid of Virginia Wolf by Edward Albee and Quartet by Heiner Müller. His multimedia project Delete was featured at Prague Quadrennial in 2015. Stefan is an award-winning director and educator holding MFA in Theatre Directing, and MA in Theater Studies.