“The Grand Parade (of the 20th Century)” by Double Edge Theatre is a multi-disciplinary performance piece created by one of the leading laboratory theaters in the U.S., and inspired by the dream-like, figurative paintings and the memories of Marc Chagall (1887-1985).
This wordless work, fusing circus aerial arts and dance, live music and song, audio media, and puppetry, will be presented by Trinity College, Thursday-Saturday, October 3-5, at 7:30 p.m. at the Austin Arts Center. Admission is free, but tickets are required. For information, visit www.trincoll.edu or call (860) 297-2199.
“The Grand Parade” recounts major events and vanished worlds of the last century in a style informed by Chagall’s motif of bodies in flight above a colorful landscape. Evoking Chagall’s floating brides, mysterious half men-half beasts, and domestic animals, the color-saturated stage action is juxtaposed with documentary and pop culture projections. Culled from photography, film, and television, the images range from the sensational escape acts of Harry Houdini to the brutalization of Europe by Adolf Hitler, from the mushroom cloud of the atomic bomb, to the assassination of President Kennedy, and to the first U.S. moon landing.
“The Grand Parade” was conceived, directed, and designed by Stacy Klein, founder and artistic director of Double Edge Theatre, in collaboration with Russian composer Alexander Bakshi and her international ensemble. The work had its premiere at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. in February 2013 before traveling to the Golden Mask Festival in Moscow.
“‘The Grand Parade’ is a deeply emotional, imaginative, and multi-layered archive of the twentieth century. We are thrilled to host Double Edge at Trinity for this rare and remarkable performance opportunity,” said Mitchell Polin, Associate Professor and Chair of the Theater and Dance department.
In April, Stacy Klein received the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award, which invests in and celebrates primary creative leaders in the performing arts. In addition to “The Grand Parade,” she has directed three original performance cycles that have earned her international recognition for daring and innovation.
Double Edge Theatre is approaching its 31st year as one of the foremost laboratory theaters in the U.S. Originally based in Boston, Klein moved Double Edge to the rural town of Ashfield, Massachusetts in 1994 to create The Farm, a permanent center for performance, training, research, and exchange. Beginning in 2002, she started directing an annual Summer Spectacle series—indoor/outdoor performances which take place throughout The Farm grounds, and are based on classical stories from literature and mythology from around the world. (For more information about Double Edge Theatre, visit www.doubleedgetheatre.org.)
The executive director of the Farm Center is Matthew Glassman, Trinity ’99, a lead actor with Double Edge who has worked with the company since 2000.
Creation of “The Grand Parade” was funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, with leading funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional funding was provided by The Bilateral Presidential Commission: American Seasons in Russia, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation’s USArtists International, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Trinity College presentation is sponsored by Trinity’s Office of the President; Office of the Dean of Faculty; Austin Arts Center Guest Artist Series; the Departments of Theater and Dance, Music, Jewish Studies, InterArts Program, and Film Studies; and the Zachs Hillel House.