2017 theater in review: Reflections on a powerful year

Dec 28

2017 theater in review: Reflections on a powerful year

If you're a theater fan, 2017 was a very good year. If you're an American, depending on your point of view, 2017 was a terrifying year. Quite often, it seemed, the theatrical stage and the national stage were in direct conversation.

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Peter Brook creates sacred space in Battlefield at ACT

May 04

Peter Brook creates sacred space in <i>Battlefield</i> at ACT

The elegance of simplicity creates space that allows for the profound reward of listening, truly listening. Peter Brook probably wouldn't want to be labeled a legendary director, but he is. His more than 70-year career is festooned with innovation, genius and the fascinating arc of an artist following his muse rather than his ego. In Battlefield, now at American Conservatory Theater's Geary Theater, the 92-year-old director achieves something sublime in its stripped-down beauty and incredibly moving in its poetic grappling with the meaning of life.

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Simplicity, beauty woven into ACT’s Suit

May 01

Simplicity, beauty woven into ACT’s <i>Suit</i>

Simplicity translates into great beauty in The Suit, a skillfully wrought tale that originated as a story by South African writer Can Themba and has been directed for the stage by the legendary Peter Brook who adapted the story with Marie-Hélène Estienne and Franck Krawczyk.

The Suit, adapted from a previous stage version by Mothobi Mutloatse and Barney Simon, is offered as a contemporary fairy tale in the Grimm style. A charming narrator (Jordan Barbour) tells us that this is the kind of story that could only come out of oppression (such as apartheid), but while that feels heavy and ominous (and for good reason), Brook and his team demonstrate such a light touch that we're charmed as the trio of musicians emerges.

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