Kills me to miss even one of Richard Foreman’s productions. The digerati think they understand multimedia, but until you’ve experienced one of Foreman’s Theater Machines you don’t understand the potential of multiple media. If you live in the New York City area, secure tickets immediately to see Deep Trance Behavior in Potatoland. The New York Times provides a nice photo gallery of the production and Ben Brantley provides a review of the performance. Foreman integrates digital film, live performance, non-linear text, funhouse sets and explosive thought into an evening of the highest form of entertainment.
At the other end of the spectrum is The Flea Theater’s production of Peter Handke’s “Offending The Audience.” A group of actors take the stage and announce that there will be no play. They are not characters. The stage does not represent another place. Time passes as it does in real life. There is no illusion.
Foreman goes to the maximum, stuffing the stage with imagery, words, visions, poetry; Handke strips it all away, exposes the real moment of time existing between performers and audience, and then he takes that opportunity to tell us what he thinks of us. Boundaries bleed, frames are erased, we experience a shock to the deep trance of our lives.