Playbill Online, July 26, 1996
Dramaturg, company manager and producer Gregory Berlowitz said
that the company created this new adaptation by retrieving
bits and pieces from all seven versions of Genet’s play. “The
most amazing thing to me about [the different versions] is
that Genet’s fascination with the revolutionaries changed.
What we’ve done is we’ve picked what most productions
don’t do. We highlighted the revolution. Some versions
cut out the [scenes with] revolutionaries altogether. The play
is about the revolution to us.”
In their research, the company also found three additional
characters in one version of the play, possibly translated
by one who accessed Genet’s notebooks. the characters
are named Blood, Tears, and Sperm. In the plot, they spring
forth from a dream that the brothel’s Madam has, and
from there on weave themselves into the consciousness of the
Settle feels that both her generation and contemporary theatre
are at a similar turning point which she describes as “tag-team
tandem disarray.” She observes that both construct
themselves from the sample of history available; therefore,
a production of The Balcony, which displays a consciousness
of both political and societal history, is a timely production.
Coincidentally, the run also takes place during the Democratic
Convention in Chicago. Nearly thirty years ago, Genet arrived
in Chicago to cover the 1968 convention with fellow writer/philosophers
Terry Souther, William Burroughs and John Sack.
The show will run in the basement space of the Chopin Theatre,
where the metaphoric use of mirrors in the set will continually
change the perspective and image of the stage.
- Blair Glaser -