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The Foundry Theatre
140-142 2nd Ave, Suite 405
New York, NY 10003
(212) 777 - 1444
info@thefoundrytheatre.org

Good Person of Szechwan

Dates

February 2013

Location

La Mama & The Public Theater
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“Show interest in her goodness for no one can be good for long if goodness is not in demand.” Can we practice goodness and create a world to sustain it? In this comic and complex play, the question is raised by one of Brecht’s most entertaining characters — Shen Tei, the kind-hearted, penniless, cross-dressing prostitute, who is forced to disguise herself as a savvy businessman to master the ruthlessness necessary to be a “good person” in a brutal world.

Connected Ideas

The big, enveloping spirit that emanates from the utterly outstanding revival of Bertolt Brecht’s ‘Good Person of Szechwan, produced by the Foundry Theatre at La MaMa, is part of the show’s essential moral goodness.
NEW YORKER MAGAZINE

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Taylor Mac

Theater engaging heart, mind and funny bone as nimbly as this production deserves as wide and welcoming an audience as anything I’ve seen this season.    Here is a show that must be seen, must, must, must!
THE NEW YORK TIMES

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I have never seen a production of Brecht so flat-out pleasurable as this one.
TimeOut NY

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Some shows are just too good to go away for good … I’m talking about the Foundry Theater’s sublime production of Bertolt Brecht’s “Good Person of Szechwan, [which] reopened last night at The Public Theater.
THE NEW YORK TIMES

Awards

The New York Times & Time Out NY selection for Best of 2013

OBIE Award Winner for Best Director

Three Drama Desk nominations  Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Director of a Play & Outstanding Music in a Play

 

Videos

 

Origins

The Good Woman Person of Setzuan…
The Good Person of 
Setzuan Szechuan
The Good Person of 
Szechuan Szechwan
The Good Person of Szechwan

Translation is a funny business. Brecht wrote Der gute Mensch von Sezuan in German from 1938 – 1943, while he was in exile in the U.S. Over the years, three published English translations have been widely used, but there is apparently no end to the translation variations of its title.

Our title – indeed the script we are using – comes from the translator John Willet. And to add to the amusement, there are actually two versions of the Willet translation: the original script and what Brecht called “the Santa Monica version.” We’ve built our script out of these two versions.

As the editors of Willet’s Penguin edition wrote: “…don’t be afraid to use the secondary material in the back of this text as part of the performance material. Stopping one’s reading in mid-piece to consult another text is Brechtian in itself.” We were not afraid.

Full Credits

Written By

Bertolt Brecht

Directed By

Lear deBessonet

Music By

Cesar Alvarez w. The Lisps

Featuring

Taylor Mac — Shen Tei/Sui Ta
David Turner — Wang, the waterseller
Vinie Burrows, Mia Katigbak, Annie Golden, Mary Schultz — The Gods
Clifton Duncan — Grandfather / Yang Sun
Lisa Kron — Mrs. Mi Tzu / Mrs. Yang
Kate Benson — Mrs. Shin
Brooke Ishibashi — The Woman
Paul Juhn — Man / Mr Shu Fu
Ephraim Birney — Nephew
Darryl Winslow — Homeless Man, Carpenter, & Policeman
Jack Allen Greenfield — Boy / Carpenter’s son

The Lisps

Eric Farber — Drums, Found Percussion & Contraptions
Lorenzo Wolf — Bass
Ben Simon — Organ & Guitar
Sammy Tunis — Vocals & Percussion

Set Design

Matt Saunders

Costumes

Clint Ramos

Lights

Tyler Micoleau

Sound

Brandon Wolcott

Props

Ricola Wille

Wigs & Makeup

Dave Bova

Production Dramaturg

Anne Erbe

Stage Manager

Megan Schwarz Dickert

Assistant Stage Manager

Mary Spadoni