Chicago Shakespeare's World's Stage Presents
Director/Performer Dorcy Rugamba leads Rwandan company in a powerful revival of Peter Weiss's Docudrama
January 21 – 31, 2009
ChicagoDecember 11, 2008Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s (CST) international programming initiative, the World’s Stage Series, brings to Chicago world-renowned playwright Peter Weiss’s The Investigation, based on transcripts of the 1964 Frankfurt World War II crimes trials. Urwintore Artistic Director Dorcy Rugamba’s 80-minute abridgement of Weiss’s five-hour script will be performed by the Rwandan company in French with projected English translation for 10 performances only Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare January 21 through 31, 2009. For more information and to purchase tickets, www.chicagoshakes.com.
One of the earliest theatrical responses to the Holocaust and hailed as a key example of documentary or “verbatim” theater, The Investigation uses documents of history and facts rather than imagined characters and events. Now with a revival from Urwintore, a Rwanda-based company founded by director/performer Dorcy Rugamba, the testimonies are presented in a more contemporary context by seven actors from Rwanda and Congo who have experienced the effects of genocide first-hand. Performed by these actors, Weiss’s The Investigation reveals an all too timely connection to the Rwandan genocide of 1994.
"In many ways, it’s exactly the right piece for us now," says Rugamba. "It's a play about two versions of history: the victims’ and the executioners’. The Frankfurt trials were the first time that Germans confronted and judged Germans in the aftermath of a national trauma; Rwanda is now deep in the same process with our Gacaca village tribunals. The Investigation takes a long, hard look at another genocide and asks: what exactly was going on here? So, watching as a Rwandan, it doesn't matter if you’re the son of a killer or of a victim, because the play doesn’t say: I accuse my nighbor’s father. The values are more universal."
Urwintore has received high praise for its interpretation of The Investigation which has been performed at some of the world’s foremost theaters including Peter Brook’s Bouffes du Nord in Paris and the Young Vic in London.
The Investigastion is adapted and directed by Urwintore Artistic Director Dorcy Rugamba and Isabelle Gyselinx and translated by Jean Baudrillard. The play’s production elements are coordinated by Fabienne Damiean (Design), , Manu Deck (Lighting), and Steve Jaribu Rukongi (Technical Production).
The cast of The Investigastion includes Leon Athanase Mandali, Lyliane Matabishi Mukase, Samuerl Muteba Sangwa, Kenny Theophile Nkundwa, Thomas Nyarwaya, Olivier Rangira and Aimable Twahirwa, each taking on a number of different roles
Chicago Shakespeare Theater is Chicago’s foremost destination for international theater artists, forging global connections through cultivation of international cultural events for Chicago audiences. Through the World’s Stage Series, CST has brought to its stage 22 international productions, and has shared its own uniquely American brand of Shakespeare performance with the world. For Chicago audiences, the World’s Stage Series is a passport to experiencing exceptional stage work. CST has hosted celebrated troupes from across the globe, including The Abbey Theatre from Dublin, Shakespeare’s Globe from London, the Chekhov International Theatre Festival from Moscow, La Comédie-Française from Paris, the Farber Foundry from South Africa and Transe Express from France. In February, CST will continue its 2008/09 World’s Stage Series with Sweet William, Michael Pennington’s large-spirited one-man show that pays homage to Shakespeare’s life and work performed February 3–22, 2009 Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare.
The Investigation begins its limited engagement on January 21, 2009 with performances scheduled through January 31, 2009 Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. The performance schedule is: January 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30 and 31 at 7:30 p.m. with 3:00 p.m. performances on January 25 and 31. Tickets are $46 - $56, with special discounts available for groups of 10 or more. To purchase tickets, call the Box Office at 312.595.5600 or log on to www.chicagoshakes.com.
Principal support for this presentation of The Investigation is provided by a generous grant from the Governer's International Arts Exchange Program of the Illinois Arts Council.
International programming at Chicago Shakespeare Theater is supported, in part, by the Julius Frankel Foundation and The Rhoades Foundation.
American Airlines is the official airline of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
ComEd is the official lighting design sponsor of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Programming Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare is made possible through generous support from Hyatt Hotels Corporation.