What: Caveman, a blunt, wistful story about a woman and man who are visited by one of the man’s co-workers, will be performed at Trinity. It was written by Richard Maxwell and is directed by Roy Faudree. Admission is free but seating is limited, so reservations are strongly recommended.
When: Thursday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, November 16 and 17 at 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The performance is one hour, with no intermission.
Where: Garmany Hall in the Austin Arts Center on the Trinity campus, 300 Summit St.
Background: Never before has Maxwell, the celebrated experimental playwright, granted rights to a liberal arts college to perform one of his works.
The recipient of a 2012 Doris Duke Artist Award and a 2010 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, Maxwell was persuaded by guest theater artist Roy Faudree to allow Trinity’s Department of Theater and Dance to stage Caveman.
Caveman had its premiere in April 2001 at Soho Rep in New York City. It was among Maxwell’s early successes. Summing up the play, New York Times chief drama critic Ben Brantley wrote, “No other American theater artist working today manages to elicit such complex responses from such seemingly simple material.”
“Richard Maxwell is pretty guarded about his pieces being done,” Faudree said, emphasizing that the writer always directs his own plays. Faudree has recent experience working with Maxwell, however, having rehearsed and performed an untitled work-in-progress during a Whitney Biennial residency in New York City earlier this year.
“What Richard’s trying to do is strip down theater to the basics, what interests people about other people,” Faudree said. “It’s about human behavior, what curious creatures we are.”
“The Department of Theater and Dance at Trinity has long strived to maintain a relationship with what is taking place now in the field of performance,” said Department Chair Mitchell Polin. “By bringing in Roy Faudree, a hugely significant artist for the last 20 years who brought with him the possibility to perform Richard Maxwell’s play, we jumped at this unique opportunity.”
Caveman features Molly Belsky ’16, Malcolm Evans ’13, and Connor Sheridan ’16. Sabra Wilson ’14, is the stage manager and Stetson Miller ’16, is the assistant stage manager.
Maxwell is the artistic director of New York City Players, founded in 1999. His latest play, Neutral Hero, will be presented at The Kitchen in New York City, October 18 - November 3. This year, in addition to the Doris Duke Artist Award, Maxwell received an Obie for his direction of Early Plays by Eugene O’Neill in collaboration with The Wooster Group.
His plays have been commissioned by Festival d’Automne, Paris; Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels; Project Arts Centre, Dublin; the Barbican Centre, London; Theater Bonn; the Wexner Center, Columbus, OH; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Performance Space 122, The Kitchen, and Soho Rep in New York. Maxwell is a resident writer at New Dramatists. His video works have been exhibited at Greene Naftali Gallery, White Columns, and Anthology Film Archives.
Faudree is a director and actor who began No Theater in 1974 with Sheena See. His original works for the stage include Road to Hell; Dupe; Louis Lou I, Apache; Photoplay; Dust Bowl; Last Resort; Left/Right; ICMen; I Love the Brain; DFS (de fiance suction); The Glass Mayonnaise Jar; The Elephant Man; Hotel Motel/Home Movie; and No Smoking.
He has performed in several Wooster Group productions, including Hamlet; North Atlantic; House/Lights; Fish Story; The Hairy Ape; Brace Up! (Three Sisters); and To You, The Birdie! (Phédre). He has designed and directed several musical stage productions for the Young@Heart in Northampton, MA; and operas for the MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA; the Bunkamura Cultural Center, Tokyo; Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria; the Ruhr Triennale, Duisburg, Germany; and the Academy of Music, Northampton.
No Theater has created new works for the Manchester International Festival, Manchester, England; the Victoria Theater, Ghent, Belgium; Maison des Arts de Créteil, Paris, France; Spiel Art, Munich, Germany; and Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia.
For reservations, please call the Austin Arts Center box office at 860-297-2199.