For Immediate Release – (PITTSBURGH, PA) – Quantum Theatre, known for its deep experimentation including staging its productions in unique places that aren’t theatres, creates a world premiere: contemporary Norwegian master Jon Fosse’s 1999 drama Dream of Autumn, translated into English and directed by Sarah Cameron Sunde, a Norwegian-American director who has made a kind of life’s work in bringing Fosse to the States through her translations and productions. Under her direction, Fosse’s
A Summer Day recently had an acclaimed American premiere Off-Broadway (“a distinctive dramatic momentum unlike any other in New York theater these days” – Ben Brantley, New York Times).
Dream of Autumn is set in a place that seems at first commonplace, a graveyard. Two old acquaintances (lovers once surely, it seems more and more?) have long lost contact but meet again in this graveyard, and desire is thick in the air. But as the play continues we become less certain we know this place, and ultimately must conclude it’s a sort of intermediate realm between life and death. Its characters have dropped out of the chronology of events. Half are ghosts anyway, passionate and troubled ghosts. Fosse doesn’t tell the audience what to think. As if those ’lovers’ didn’t have enough problems, others show up, his parents, and more discomfort-producing encounters will come. And, as with Beckett with whom Fosse is often compared, we’re the better for figuring them out, and the meaning of their encounters, for ourselves.
According to a variety of sources, Fosse is the contemporary playwright most produced in Europe today. He is one of a handful of groundbreaking European playwrights such as Sarah Kane, Bernard-Marie Koltés, Roland Schimmelpfennig, and Lars Norén, who explore form by crafting texts full of space for theatrical collaboration. Fosse takes that one step further by challenging the audience to have their own vision as well. He is particularly popular in Germany, where !eatre Heute has named him “Best Foreign Playwright,” and in France, where the French Government made him a Chevalier in 2002. His plays have found receptive audiences in countries as far flung as Japan, Malawi, and Israel. Norwegians, proud to have produced a contemporary playwright who can compare with Henrik Ibsen – one who is making an impact on the rest of the world – have awarded Fosse the highest honors that can be bestowed on an artist.
Quantum has a location that will hold special meaning and memory for many Pittsburghers – the former Park Schenley Restaurant, in the ground level of the Royal York in Oakland, a glamorous apartment building redolent of a by-gone era. Above the space co-opted by the theatre, busy lives are lived, making it perfect for a play about what’s between the cracks. Martin Giles performs with Quantum Artistic Director Karla Boos, Laurie Klatscher, Gregory Lehane, and Jennifer Tober. Narelle Sissons designs the set and costumes; Todd Brown the lighting, and Joe Pino, sound.
Special events occurring through the run of the show include: Community Night, an invited rehearsal for Oakland residents and groups on April 4; Post Show Discussion with cast on April 7; Ladies Night on April 10, a women’s-only viewing with a pre-show gathering; Grapenuts Night on April 11, which will include a special pre-show wine-tasting. For restaurant partnerships, parking information and more, visit www.quantumtheatre.com.
Who: Quantum Theatre
What: Dream of Autumn by Jon Fosse, translated and directed by Sarah Cameron Sunde
When: April 4-28 (Opening/Press Night April 5) Wednesdays-Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 7 pm.
Where: Former Park Schenley Restaurant in the Royal York (3955 Bigelow Blvd., 15213) (map link)
$35 – $48 with limited $18 student tix.