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Lincoln Center Festival,
with support from the Polish Cultural Institute,

Narodowy Stary Teatr, Krakow
by Thomas Bernard
directed by Krystian Lupa

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - Saturday, July 18, 2009, 7:00 PM

Lincoln Center Festival
899 10th Avenue (btw. 58th & 59th Streets), New York, NY
Tickets: start from $35; online, 212.721.6500, Festival Box Office: Avery Fisher Hall (Broadway at 65th Street) 

Adaptation and set design by Krystian Lupa
Music by Jacek Ostaszewski
Performed in Polish with English supertitles

People who have seen Krystian Lupa's work speak of it in hushed, awestruck tones. 'He's a god' is a phrase that crops up frequently. - Boston Globe

Krystian Lupa's Narodowy Stary Teatr production of Kalkwerk - one of the greatest theatrical events of the 1990s. - Gazeta Wyborcza

Lincoln Center Festival, with support from the Polish Cultural Institute, presents the Narodowy Stary Teatr from Krakow, one of the oldest Polish professional theater companies, with their U.S. premiere of Kalkwerk, by Thomas Bernhard, controversial Austrian playwright and novelist - "by far the most disturbing and original literary figure to have emerged in postwar Austria" (The New York Times) - as part of this summer's Lincoln Center Festival. Kalkwerk is the first Polish production ever presented by this, one of the world's most important theater festivals.

As directed by internationally renowned Polish director Krystian Lupa, this masterly adaptation of Bernhard's chilling 1970 novel Das Kalkwerk brings us face to face with madness. In this psychologically complex story of Konrad, a scientist mentally imprisoned by his obsessive work, and his crippled wife, whom he holds captive in an abandoned lime works, Lupa elicits astonishing acting from the ensemble of the celebrated Narodowy Stary Teatr.

From our discovery of the murder of Konrad's wheelchair-bound wife, an obvious victim of her husband's intense derangement, we appreciate Lupa's ingenious ability to capture the frightening essence of an obsessive mind and our unpleasant recognition of it. After the production's premiere in 1992, this staging quickly gained the reputation of being a great metaphysical treatise, while the exceptional acting simultaneously made it a shocking picture of the physical and mental sufferings of a man who seeks meaning in a world ruled by routine.

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