Catch him while you can!
by Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz
Saturday, June 5, 2004, 8:00 PM
575 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Tickets: $12, Tel: 718.907.3457
The Pragmatists is an early attempt by Polish polymath Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (1885-1939) to bring to life his theatrical theory of Pure Form, in which a work's formal elements take aesthetic precedence over its narrative content. Translated by Daniel Gerould, directed by Jeffrey Lewonczyk, and with a cast that includes Fred Backus as the passive recluse Plasfodor Mimecker, the staging places the audience in the Mimeckers' haunted living room and incorporates elements of 1930s horror films and cabaret as well as Pure Form. When a bombastic Minister of Poisons recruits Plasfodor for his world domination scheme, it's the women who seem to take over - Plasfodor's mute wife Mammalia, his androgynous maid Masculette, and a mysterious Chinese Mummy. Past Piper McKenzie productions include Piper McKenzie Presents The Tinklepack Patrol in The Curse of Count Morpheus at HERE, and The Infinity Six Versus Half a Dozen of The Other at the New York International Fringe Festival.
Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, the son of a Polish painter and a painter in his own right, wrote over 30 plays between 1918 and his suicide in 1939, about a third of them still unpublished. "Witkacy", as his Polish admirers call him, was practically ignored in his time but his standing as progenitor of the avant-garde is unquestioned.
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