They’re up to something …

Political Shenanigans Workshop

The land of Yahoo has a large deficit & an overproduction of corn so …
Vice Viceroy convinces half the citizens (Roundheads) that the other half (Pointheads)
are illegal aliens who take jobs away & are bad for the economy so …
Roundheads must wage war against Pointheads.


Photos by Andrew Eccles

Choreographer/director David Gordon continues his investigation into Bertolt Brecht’s 1933 play (with music by Hanns Eisler) The Roundheads and the Pointheads, in a three-week workshop in Philadelphia to develop Gordon’s POLITICAL SHENANIGANS: dancing w/ Brecht & Eisler.

From March 5 to 23, 2014, at the Christ Church Neighborhood House theater at 20 N. American St. in Old City, Philadelphia, Gordon will rehearse the work with actress/dancer Valda Setterfield, musician Gina Leishman, actor David Skeist of Gordon’s Pick Up Performance Co(s), and local participants auditioned for the workshop.

Open rehearsals, free to the public, will be held each Saturday – March 8, 15, and 22 – from 3:00 to 5:00 pm, with showing of material from Gordon’s work-in-progress and conversation with the artists involved. Michael Feingold – playwright and dramaturge, longtime Village Voice theater critic, and translator of the Roundheads and Pointheads script Gordon uses – will join Gordon on March 22. Open rehearsals are informal events, and visitors may come and go as they like.

This work in development is the next stop on Gordon’s 12-year journey (thus far) with Brecht. He took up the play in 2002, when Academy Award-winning actress Estelle Parsons asked him to direct a workshop for The Actor’s Studio. As “world and US politics keep Brecht’s 1933 play feeling like today’s surreal news (or today’s news feels like a parody of Brecht’s play),” he revisited Brecht’s play as Uncivil Wars: Collaborating With Brecht & Eisler at The Kitchen in New York City in 2007; and as Uncivil Wars: Moving w/ Brecht & Eisler at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and at New Jersey’s Montclair State University in 2009.

In POLITICAL SHENANIGANS, Gordon has added another layer through addition of a sound score featuring Autumn Dornfield, Gina Leishman, Ken Marks, Estelle Parsons, Valda Setterfield, David Skeist, and Gus Solomons, Jr. The workshop participants will engage this material in their weekly sessions at Christ Church Neighborhood House.

Gordon’s Pick Up Performance Co(s) has brought the POLITICAL SHENANIGANS Workshop to Philadelphia under the auspices of Susan Hess Modern Dance. Planning for the POLITICAL SHENANIGANS Workshop has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

This workshop has also been supported by the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts program of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. This program is administered by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Support has also been provided by PECO.

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