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East River Commedia and
the Polish Cultural Institute present

by Slawomir Mrozek
directed by Paul Bargetto

Thursday, February 3, 2005 - Sunday, February 27, 2005

Collective Unconscious
279 Church Street, New York, NY
Tickets: $15 by phone at (212) 352-0255 or online at 

"Every culture needs to think about language and power. [Mrozek's] plays have a lot to teach us." -- Margo Jefferson, New York Times

East River Commedia and the Polish Cultural Institute, who presented Slawomir Mrozek's Striptease & Out to Sea to critical and popular success last year, return with Serenade and Philosopher Fox, another evening of one-act plays by the revered Polish playwright. Previews begin February 3rd prior to an official opening on February 6th, for a four-week run as part of the inaugural season of the Collective Unconscious at its new location in Tribeca.

Thinly disguised as animal fables, Serenade and Philosopher Fox follow the character of Fox, a charismatic natural-born killer with a conscience. In Serenade, the self-confessed murderer attempts to seduce the "hens" of a local henhouse with sweet music and rebel angst, under the beak of an overprotective "rooster".

Philosopher Fox, which primiered last summer at the Malta International Theater Festival in Poznan, Poland, presented a Fox in search of redemption. On his way through the wood, Fox crosses paths with a Bishop taking a "breath of fresh air on a bench." Seeking spiritual guidance, Fox attempts to hustle the clergyman into hearing his confession and granting him an indulgence - but the Bishop's total silence demolishes Fox's confidence and unleashes a crisis of faith with troubling consequences.

In Jacek Laskowski's translations, these insightful, satirical one-act plays combine a dead-on sense of language and comic timing with a menace that bubbles just beneath the surface. Parables of today's cannibalistic social order, SERENADE and PHILOSOPHER FOX are at once contemporary and timeless.

East River Commedia


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