Request Programme
The Club
November 4 - 13, 2005
Friday - Saturday 10:00pm
Sunday - 5:30pm
Tickets $15
Written by Franz Xavier Kroetz
Director by Zishan Ugurlu

Box office 212.475.7710

"Request Programme", written by 1970’s seminal German playwright Franz Xavier Kroetz (translated by Katharina Hehn) is a 45-minute, one-woman character study performed entirely without dialogue. Its story focuses on the mundane, everyday activities of Miss Rasch who has returned home from work only to make preparations for the next day. As she attends to her activities she listens to a radio request programme. In the play’s final moments, Miss Rasch takes a lethal dosage of sleeping pills. Request Programme is directed and designed by Zishan Ugurlu, with Actress, Raina von Waldenburg performing the role of lone Miss Rasch. The backdrop sound-scape of the radio request programme is to be composed nightly by musician, and composer, Joshua Fried, via live radio broadcasts. This is the third theatrical production of resident company, Actors Without Borders – ITONY, under the artistic direction of Ugurlu.

Ugurlu’s desire to stage Request Programme was the by-product of her constant contemplation of the unfortunate and sudden loss of actor Spalding Gray, a personal hero to Ugurlu, through his mysterious suicide. She elaborates, “I wanted to explore the contradiction between the highly communicative stage existence of the great artist and his real world lonliness and isolation.” The writing of the play itself was similary inspired by non-fictional accounts. In police suicide reports playwright Kroetz’ observed, “Suicide in many cases, unbelievably tidy. The preparations for suicide do not violate the victim’s mundane, everyday activities: and the act itself is performed with the same love of order, and as silently desperate which provoked it.” The aim of Kroetz, and the production is to break through the unrealistic theatrical convention of garrulity. And to utilize the theatres most expressive and truthful means of communication, a character’s silent action in examining the question, can we hear an individuals suffering within their silence?

In her approach to set design, Ms. Ugurlu will once again transform the club space at La MaMa e.t.c. as she did in her last, Actors Without Borders – ITONY production, Lars Noren’s The Last Supper. Reversing the audiences relationship to the stage by seating them on the raised stage level, in the round, placing the action of the play close to us, within the sunken galley. As the lonely dance of Miss Rasch plays out in her apartment below the audience is provided an intimate vantage point to observe and absorb the silent somewhat painful unfolding of events within the play.

Franz Xavier Kroetz (Playwright) was born in Munich, West Germany in 1946. By 1973, Kroetz was Germany's most performed living playwright. He is considered to be one of a handful of German dramatists, which include Peter Handke, Rainer Fassbinder, and Martin Sperr who began to impact world theatre in the 1970's through a shared desire to free the stage from debilitating illusion, by breaking through dominant theatrical conventions. Over 50 of his plays have been translated into nearly forty languages and have had countless productions worldwide.

Zishan Ugurlu (Director) is a resident artist at La MaMa e.t.c. as an actress and director. Her recent directing credits include: Until the Next Whirl by Rumi; Watershed and Serious At All by Tom Soper; Lorca's Blood Wedding (set in Afghanistan); The Last Supper by Lars Noren; Big Love by Chuck Mee. As an actress she is well known for her performances as Helen in Andre Serban’s and Elizabeth Swados’ The Trojan Women. She has worked as a lead actress with notable director’s Jay Scheib, Ron Jenkins, and Robert Woodruff. Ms. Ugurlu is a full-time faculty member of The New School-Eugene Lang Liberal Art’s College here in NYC teaching acting and directing.

Joshua Fried (Composer) emerged from New York's downtown experimental music and East Village performance scenes of the '80s. His work has been presented in NYC at Lincoln Center, Bang On a Can, The Kitchen, as well as in LA, Chicago, Berlin, Paris, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Prague, Copenhagen. Fried's recording "Jimmy Because" produced by Joe Mardin and Arif Mardin was released by Atlantic Records; he has been re-mix producer for They Might Be Giants, Chaka Khan and Ofra Haza. He has been creating his own computer algorithms for processing live radio since 1999 and plans to present solo radio-processing performances titled RADIO WONDERLAND all over the world starting in 2006. Fried controls his sophisticated radio-processing software with surreal tools: THE MUSICAL WHEEL, a real steering wheel (from a Buick), acts like a giant knob to control various aspects such as pitch and tempo; The MUSICAL SHOES, old shoes mounted upside-down on stands, trigger bits of radio when hit with drumsticks.

Raina von Waldenburg (Actress) acting credits include Mother, Andrea Yates in 15 Seconds of Silence (American Place Theatre), Delphine in The Life of Spiders (The Culture Project), Charlotte in The Last Supper (La MaMa e.t.c.), Dantchika/Magda/Rohkol in Jude (The Lee Strasberg Institute), Girl’s Mother/Zucco's Mother/Elegant Lady in Roberto Zucco (OHIO Theatre), Renee in Erostratus (Gene Frankel Theatre), Mother/Madame in Roberto Zucco (Currican Theatre), Linda in Just the Boys (Painted Bride), and Nurse in Medea (Movement Theatre International). Ms. Waldenburg is a full-time faculty member of NYU's Experimental Theatre Wing.

Actors Without Borders - ITONY (Company) is a resident company of La MaMa e.t.c. Founded by Zishan Ugurlu in 2003. Past acclaimed productions include, The Medea, adapted and directed by Jay Scheib (2004) and The Last Supper written by Lars Noren, directed by Zishan Ugurlu, with Raina von Waldenburg (2003). For which they received praise from theatre critic Stan Richardson, “Director Zishan Ugurlu and her extraordinarily sexy cast bring his words (Noren) to vivid life and the result is terrifically funny and blindingly painful. The sum of their words and behaviors create a play that is fully alive, which is to say, an experience fraught with ambiguity. Ugurlu’s direction is so sensitive that the production feels untouched by human hands.” The troupes name is an acronymic dedication to Genji Ito (1946-2001) the late beloved La MaMa e.t.c. musician and composer.

2005 page