THE PRAGUE VISITOR
Emerging out of the densely fertile creative ground of Icaria, The Prague Visitor was both an extension and a departure. Working with the company on the performance over multiple years in both Toronto and at the North American Cultural Laboratory in upstate New York, it was fascinating to observe both the immediate benefits of a complex “short-hand” established within a close-knit group of highly familiar collaborators–as well as their constant awareness of the need to recognize and complicate the unconscious “short cuts” this same familiarity results in. Performance material emerged relatively (and somewhat unnervingly) quickly, and the company repeatedly backtracked in order to fully interrogate their process. Ultimately, in my experience of it, the performance remained an elusive and restless work of stark and unsettling beauty.
“Part travel memoir, part historical detective story, part nightmare: The Prague Visitor weaves Kafka and Holocaust narratives into silent film and puppetry to produce a dark and elusive tapestry. Physically intense, vocally rich, intensely poetic, The Prague Visitor explores the folly of escape and the impossibility of arrival.”
Photos of Alex McLean, Jane Wells and Elizabeth Rucker by Laura Astwood © 2003.
Performance Text and Design by the Company
Directed by Ker Wells
Performed by Varrick Grimes, Alex McLean, Elizabeth Rucker and Jane Wells.
Dramaturgy by Bruce Barton
Presented at Highland Lake, NY and Toronto, ON.
Sample of My Publication on The Prague Visitor: “Navigating ‘Turbulence’: The Dramaturg in Physical Theatre.” Theatre Topics 15:1 (March 2005): 103-19.