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Stage Raw: Comedies About the End of the World

Stage Raw: Comedies About the End of the World

Poland's Theatre ZAR rehearsing Gospels of Childhood at St. Giles-in-the-Fields parish church in London, where they performed it last month. That piece is the first third of the Tryptic they're bringing to UCLA Live/Royce Hall on December 1-2. They'll be in Los Angeles in late November, conducting workshops with local theater companies. Photo by Ken Reynolds

Wroclaw, Poland -- If you're looking for an incubator of new forms as a measure of what really matters in the theater, Poland is where it's at, and has been for some time. Even in the midst of an economic crisis, Wroclaw is throwing a great international theater festival this month (Dialog - Wroclaw, curated by Krystyna Meissner, of Theatre Wrolczesny). It's the second such festival in this mid-size city in six months. (In June, The World As a Place of Truth Festival, curated and administered by the Grotowski Institute, was yet another big party of great performances.) Once more, a slew of critics from Russia, Britain and the U.S. has flown in to see the likes of Buchner's Woyceck (Handspring Puppet Company, Johannesburg, South Africa), literally animated by puppets and by director William Kentridge's black-and-white film of backdrop settings, unfolding as child-like drawings as though from Monty Python's Flying Circus.

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