|Twenty years after his first production
at La MaMa, world theatre director Gerald Thomas will return there to stage
ANCHOR PECTORIS his first performance work that is not built from a written
ANCHOR PECTORIS is a neurological term for
depression, and is a title Thomas originally intended for a play at the
National Theater in London, where he is presently living and working.
Workshops will begin in Early February at La MaMa, from whi ch the play
will be developed.
Thomas' La MaMa productions include: AAALL STRANGE AWAY
by Samuel Beckett (1984), 3 PIECES BY SAMUEL BECKETT (1985) and A PROCESS,
with score by Philip Glass (1988).
Mr. Thomas is Artistic Director of the Gerald Thomas Dry
Opera Company and over a twenty-year period, has achieved a distinctive
place as an enfant terrible of world theatre. His website (www.geraldthomas.com)
reports, in part:
"Born in 1954,Gerald Thomas has spent his life between
England, Brazil,Germany and the United States, graduating as a reader
of Philosophy and beginning his life in the theater at La MaMa Experimental
Theater. There, Thomas adapted and directed 19 world premiere Samuel Beckett
prose and dramatic pieces. In the early eighties, Thomas began working
with Beckett in Paris, adapting newfiction by the author. Of these, the
more notorious were 'All Strange Away' and 'That Time' staring the legendary
Living Theater founder, Julian Beck in his only stage acting role outside
of his own company.
"In the mid-eighties, Thomas became involved with
German author Heiner Müller, directing his works in the US and in
Brazil, and began a long term partnership with American composer Philip
"In 1985 Thomas formed and established his Dry Opera
Company, in São Paulo, Brazil.It has, since, performed in 15 countries
with yearly returns. With the Dry Opera Company, Thomas has written and
directed Eletra Com Creta, The Kafka Trilogy, Carmem Com Filtro, Mattogrosso,
The Flash and Crash Days, The Trilogy of the B.E.A.S.T. and M.O.R.T.E,
performed worldwide at several prestigious venues, such as Lincoln Center
in New York, The Munich State Theater, Vienna's Wiener Festwochen, The
Taormina Festival and others. Most of the productions were televised by
the national networks of the respective countries.
"In 1987, Thomas directed his first opera, Wagner's
'Flying Dutchman' at Rio de Janeiro's Opera House. Brazil had never seen
such an efervescent uproar. Public and critics alike were divided into
profound love and hatred over Thomas' unconventional staging. Discussions
over Thomas' placement of the story at the Berlin Wall occupied entire
pages of newspapers and hour-long television debates, for months.The last
performance was televised live to Germany and later broadcast in 5 different
"What followed was a complete turn of events in Thomas'
life. Soon he completed a new work withPhilip Glass, 'Mattogrosso', and
accepted invitations to work with international companies at several European
opera and heater houses. Thomas and Glass have worked on 8 different pieces
together. In 1990, Thomas wrote and directed 'Sturmspiel' for the Cuvlli
Theater, with the Munich State Company and premiered 'Perseus and Andromeda',
by Salvatore Sciarrino, at the Stuttgart State Opera. Also in 1991, Thomas
wrote and directed 'The Said Eyes of Karlheinz Öhl' for the Pontedera
Theatre Company,the home of Jersy Grotowski in Italy, and re-staged Beckett's'Waiting
for Godot' at the Munich State Theater.
"In 1993, Thomas toured 'The Flash and Crash Days',
'The Empire of Half Truths' and 'Unglauber' around the world. In 1994,
he directed the world premiere of the opera 'Narcissus', by Beat Furrer,
at the Graz Opera, in Austria. Later in 94, Thomas directed a new version
of 'Don Juan', by Brazilian author Otavio Frias Filho. In October of 95
Thomas opened Busoni's 'Doktor Faustus' at the Graz Opera….
"In January of 1996, Thomas premiered a new work in
Copenhagen, 'Chief Butterknife, and the hauting spirit of his archenemy,
kryptodick'with the Danish theater company Dr. Dante's Aveny. His Dry
Opera Company was back in Copenhagen in September 96, premiering a new
"Gerald Thomas is the recipient of three Moliere Prizes,
and eighteen other awards, and has been the subject of television documentaries
for the German network NDR 3, the Brazilian network TV Cultura, USA's
public network PBS and Austrian TV, ORF. Three books on Thomas' work are
due to be published early next year by Chigago University Press and Perspectiva
Publishers, of Brazil. Gerald Thomas writes regularly for the Brazilian
newspaper O Globo…."
Mr. Thomas' most recent production, in November, 2003,
was a controversial production of "Tristan und Isolde" at Teatro
Municipal in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.