Category: Prometheus–Landscape II (7)
As Montclair State prepares for commencement, the Peak Performances 2010-11 season also draws to a close. Before we pause for the summer, Insite’s Student Forum takes a look back to Prometheus-Landscape II, the compelling and daring world premiere that kicked off the winter/spring semester. Katie Frazer (below), Zachary Nussbaum, Matt Robertson, and Lisa Johnson—all students in Neil Baldwin’s Theatre 208 Play Script Interpretation class—offer their analyses and impressions. These critiques are posted on Insite as part of the ongoing effort by Montclair State’s Creative Research Center to feature provocative writing by Montclair State undergraduate students.
Everyone knows the Greek myth of Prometheus, the Titan who defied Zeus by stealing fire from the gods and bringing it to the mortal humans. Prometheus’s struggle to come to terms with the eternal punishment of being chained to a rock is the subject of the play Prometheus Bound, by the Greek playwright Aeschylus. This mythological tale was reimagined in a new and exciting way by the visionary theater artist Jan Fabre and playwright Jeroen Olyslaegers in the theatrical piece Prometheus–Landscape II. In this production, the longstanding themes of the Prometheus myth were presented alongside new and interesting insights into how the myth is relevant to the modern race of humans that Prometheus went against the will of the gods to save. Read more »
Prometheus–Landscape II is certainly among the top five most bizarre plays I have ever seen, but I found it to be both fascinating and spectacular. After meeting with Jeroen Olyslaegers, I knew the show was going to be something people would be talking about, but I had no idea it would be because of the nudity and kinkiness. From his hipster-style clothes to his brilliant understanding of both the English language and mythology, Olyslaegers, with the help of director Jan Fabre, was able to create an avant-garde script based on Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound. The script alone is enough to make a person question the two men’s intention, but after Fabre added blocking, costumes (or lack of costumes), music, and most importantly sand, one may easily question their sanity. To a non-theatergoer, the show primarily consisted of sand being thrown everywhere and naked people awkwardly prancing around the stage, but for me it was so much more than that. I loved the acting, the dancing, the music, the symbolism with the sand, and the symbolism between sex and fire. Walking out of the theater and reading several reviews, I was sad to see that I was nearly one of the only people to feel this way. Read more »
Adaptation is one of the cornerstones of the dramatic arts. It has always been and it will continue to be as long as art survives. The incredible thing about adaptation, though, is the fact that it can be a near recreation of the source material, or it can be its own individual beast, barely recognizable except for some shared commonalities that still link the two. The Troubleyn | Jan Fabre production Prometheus–Landscape II, written by Jeroen Olyslaegers, lies somewhere between those two extremities, though probably a little closer to the latter. It has a definite outline and shape from the Aeschylus original, but it takes new form and adds many changes to the presentation of the material that makes it a unique and innovative experience. Read more »
In a time when it is common practice to Facebook favorite quotes or sayings, I must admit, I ran home after seeing Prometheus–Landscape II and quoted Pandora: “To instruct is to destruct.” These five simple words possess an infinite amount of possible meaning that portrays huge concepts. It is this use of language that made the script so compelling and intriguing. The show asked the audience uncomfortable questions such as, “Where is our creativity?” and “Will you allow your imagination to be extinguished?” without being completely in your face. It was subtle, and those with an imagination had the potential to pick it up. Read more »
Jan Fabre is no stranger to Montclair, New Jersey. The Belgian artist’s work has been presented at the Alexander Kasser Theater, at Peak Performances @ Montclair, since 2007, including the North American premiere of Orgy of Tolerance, in 2009. Prometheus–Landscape II is his third visit to Peak Performances and also a world premiere. This means that Fabre, who is the first living artist to show work at the Louvre, has been developing theater works with his company, Troubleyn, for audiences all over the world—commissioned by Peak Performances @ Montclair.
It is and isn’t a surprise that an avant-garde artist from Europe and his company have apparently found a home in the Garden State. After all, New Jersey celebrates the unconventional. Our state is where characters come from. Read more »