Theater News

Wooster Group to Stage Re-Imagined Symphony of Rats

The play will run March 27-May 4 at the Performing Garage.

Niall Cunningham, Ari Fliakos, Jim Fletcher in <i>Symphony of Rats</i> (© Spencer Ostrander)
Niall Cunningham, Ari Fliakos, Jim Fletcher in Symphony of Rats
(© Spencer Ostrander)

The Wooster Group has announced New York performances of their new production of Symphony of Rats, a play by American avant-garde playwright Richard Foreman. Directed by Elizabeth LeCompte and Kate Valk, Symphony of Rats will be performed by Niall Cunningham, Jim Fletcher, Ari Fliakos, Andrew Maillet, Michaela Murphy, and Guillermo Resto. The show will run March 27-May 4 at the Wooster Group’s home, the Performing Garage.

Symphony of Rats was first staged in 1988 at the Performing Garage, with Foreman directing. The Wooster Group has made a new piece by transposing Foreman’s text into verse and setting it to a multi-layered sound and video score. Sound design and original music are by Eric Sluyter, with songs featuring music by Suzzy Roche. Video design is by Yudam Hyung Seok Jeon with Maillet.

The play is about what happens when a president of the United States has strange encounters of the phantasmagorical kind and plunges into a series of incidents where he meets otherworldly beings, among them a giant rat with a special message. In their re-imagining of Symphony of Rats, now set in a hybrid spaceship-museum, the Wooster Group assesses the evolution of technology in relation to what it means to be human.

The production team also includes lighting designers Jennifer Tipton and Evan Anderson, costume designer Antonia Belt, technical director Tavish Miller, dramaturg Matthew Dipple, archivist Clay Hapaz, general manager Monika Wunderer, and producer Cynthia Hedstrom.