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Wooster Group, REDCAT to team up for four-year partnership

April 30, 2009 |  4:09 pm


Fans of experimental theater can look forward to more Brechtian multimedia madness and robotic androgyny in the next few years.

The famed New York-based Wooster Group is embarking on a four-year partnership with REDCAT that will bring more of the avant-garde troupe's offerings to Los Angeles.

The project begins in June with the West Coast premiere of "La Didone," the Wooster Group's deconstruction of the 17th century Francesco Cavalli opera. The production will run June 11-21 at REDCAT in downtown L.A.

In February, the group will present the U.S. premiere of its adaptation of Tennessee Williams' "Vieux Carré," the playwright's seldomly produced drama set in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

During its four-year collaboration with REDCAT, the Wooster Group intends to participate in a series of residencies of two weeks or more, during which time it may present works in progress as well as installation art. It will also interact with CalArts faculty and students through in-person talks and Web-based activities.

The project is being funded by a $1-million grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Trust and the Non-Profit Finance Fund.

The Wooster Group received the money for a multipart initiative that includes a new residency at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York as well as partnerships with theater companies in Europe.

In addition, the Wooster Group intends to use some of the grant money to make its archives more accessible to the public, including a digitization project for its video collection.

The company previously came to REDCAT for sold-out productions of "Hamlet" and "Poor Theatre."

--David Ng

Photo: a scene from the Wooster Group's production of "La Didone." Credit: Paula Court.