Trifles at the Ontological
The Theater of a Two-Headed Calf tackles the quiet but transgressive unfolding of Trifles, the 1916 one-act by Susan Glaspell set at the scene of a bizarre murder in the Midwest in 1900. Those accustomed to Two-Headed Calf’s loud, explosive and physically rigorous performances are in for a surprise. With Trifles, director Brooke O’Harra and Composer Brendan Connelly team up with the new music ensemble Yarn/Wire to approach Glaspell’s text as part concert, part play, and part sculpture. Stylistically, the performers often hold the tension of the play in silence while tackling the action of “waiting.”
The text encounters a moment in the real-life murder case that Glaspell covered extensively as a reporter in 1900, wherein a man was killed by his wife. Trifles is ultimately concerned with the changing female role in a society that was not wholly ready to accept women as autonomous beings who act for themselves. When first performed the play was a groundbreaking work that demanded recognition of a subtle, more sophisticated power that women wield but also conceal, even in the face of the Law. Director Brooke O’Harra argues this feminist play speaks through its truly radical form – as opposed to its narrative.
Should be interesting!
The Theater of a Two-Headed Calf
January 28—February 14, 2010