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Humans in the midst of Inhumanity - Visky András in New York Part 2




The Romanian Cultural Institute and the Hungarian Cultural Center proudly presents an Evening of Conversation at La MaMa with András Visky, Andrei Şerban, Robert Woodruff and Karin Coonrod

on 15 February, 2012 at 7 pm

at LaMaMa Theater

74A East 4th Street (btw Bowery & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003


In conjunction with La MaMa's run of "I Killed My Mother," Romanian Cultural Institute co-presents on February 15, with special support from the Hungarian Cultural Center, New York, an evening of informal conversations about theatre.

Playwright András Visky and director Karin Coonrod will open with a discussion about the making of the production, followed by a dialogue between theatre legends Andrei Serban and Robert Woodruff about the process of adapting film for the stage.

Admission is free to the event


Andrei Şerban is a major name in the twentieth-century theatre, renowned for his innovative and iconoclastic interpretations and stagings. Born and educated in communist Romania, he fled to the USA in 1969 with the help of La MaMa's founder, Ellen Stewart, after receiving a grant from the Ford Foundation. His immediate success brought him an invitation to study at Peter Brook's International Centre for Theatre Research in Paris. Şerban directed and staged theatre shows in 39 countries. For more than two decades, he has been associated with the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As a director, Şerban has also worked at the Circle in the Square Theatre, the Yale Repertory Theater, the American Conservatory Theatre, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City, Seattle and Los Angeles Operas, at the Paris, Geneva, Vienna, and Bologna Opera Houses, the Welsh National Opera, Covent Garden, Théâtre de la Ville, the Comédie Française, Helsinki's Lilla Teatern, and with the Shiki Theatre Company in Tokyo. From 1990 to 1993, he headed the National Theatre of Bucharest. Since 1992, he is Professor of Theatre at the Columbia University School of the Arts. He has also taught at Yale University, Harvard University, Carnegie Mellon University, Sarah Lawrence College, University of California, San Diego, the Paris Conservatoire d'Art Dramatique and the American Repertory Theatre's Institute for Advanced Theatre Training. He has returned regularly to Romania in the past few years to conduct workshops and to stage various classical and contemporary theatre plays, among which Cleansed by Sarah Kane, The Seagull by Chekhov, Don Juan in Soho by Patrick Marber and Rock'n'Roll by Tom Stoppard at the National Theatres in Cluj and Sibiu, King Lear at Bulandra Theatre in Bucharest, Uncle Vanya by Chekhov and Cries and Whispers by Ingmar Bergman at the Hungarian Theatre in Cluj. The Romanian Cultural Institute in New York initiated in 2007 the Andrei Serban Traveling Academy, a laboratory program dedicated to young actors in Romania.


Robert Woodruff has directed over 60 productions across the U.S. at theatres including Lincoln Center Theater, Public Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, American Conservatory Theater, Guthrie Theater and Mark Taper Forum, among others. Recent work includes Ifigeneia in Aulis with Toneelgroep Amsterdam and Philip Glass's Appomattox for the San Francisco Opera. Early work includes many premiere productions with Sam Shepard including the Pulitzer Prize winning Buried Child. Robert Woodruff has taught at the University of California San Diego, NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and Columbia University. From 2002 to 2007, he was the Artistic Director of American Repertory Theatre. He is currently a lecturer on Directing for the MFA at the Yale School of Drama.


András Visky (b. 1957, Targu Mureş, Romania) is a poet, playwright and essayist and the resident dramaturg at the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, Romania, where he also holds the position of associate artistic director. He is the author of several plays, including "Juliet," ("Júlia") which opened at Budapest's Thalia Theatre in 2002 and which had its English premiere in Chicago with Theatre Y in 2011; "Born For Never" ("Visszaszületés"), which opened at the Festival d'Avignon in 2009 and earned the critics' choice award for best performance of the Festival; and "Alcoholics" ("Alkoholisták") and "I Killed My Mother" ("Megöltem az anyámat"), which are currently playing at the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj.  He has a DLA (Doctor of Liberal Arts) from the University of Theatre and Film, Budapest and since 1994 has lectured at the Babeş-Bolyai University Cluj in the Department of Theatre and Television. In 2009, he was awarded the prestigious József Attila Award by the Hungarian Minister of Culture. For the 2009-2010 academic year, Visky was the Spoelhof Chair at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he taught courses in playwriting and Hungarian and Romanian theatre.


Karin Coonrod is a theater maker whose work has been seen and heard across the country and around the world. This year in New York she directed Love's Labor's Lost at the Public Theater, More Or Less I Am (drawn from Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself") with Compagnia de' Colombari in different locations around New York City and Aphra Behn's The Rover at the World Financial Center. In Chicago she directed Romanian playwright Andras Visky's Juliet.  She is Founding Director of acclaimed Arden Party Theater Company in downtown New York City 1987-1997 (during which time she won an Encore Award for her direction of Roger Vitrac's Victor Or Children Take Over) and its successor Compagnia de' Colombari, an international company which has performed the medieval mystery plays re-imagined for the 21st century, launching a new tradition of theater in Orvieto, Italy. Past credits include Henry VI  (at The Public Theater); King John, Julius Caesar, Coriolanus (with Theater for A New Audience); Everything That Rises Must Converge (from Flannery O'Connor's stories) at New York Theatre Workshop; Othello (at Hartford Stage); Enrico IV (at ART in Cambridge).  Ms. Coonrod is a lecturer at The Yale School of Drama and looks forward to directing Chuck Mee's Perfect Wedding at The Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, Romania.




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