Man in a Case
Adapted from Two Stories by Anton Chekhov
Adapted and Directed by Annie-B Parson & Paul Lazar / Big Dance Theater
Choreographed by Annie-B Parson
Featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov, Tymberly Canale, Chris Giarmo, Paul Lazar and Aaron Mattocks
Produced by Baryshnikov Productions
Special Presentation · Roda Theatre
January 25–February 16, 2014
Mikhail Baryshnikov and the creative masterminds behind the Obie Award-winning Big Dance Theater, Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar, bring us an inviting, innovative take on two of Anton Chekhov’s 1898 short stories, Man in a Case and About Love. Two hunters trade tales both witty and haunting: one about a reclusive man who falls for a cheerful, extroverted woman; the other about a fellow who relives the story of lost love. Garnering rave reviews and featuring Baryshnikov and a stellar ensemble of artists, Man in a Case is a high-tech fusion of theatre, movement, music, and video that illuminates those rare occasions when we’re offered life-changing possibilities.
Man in a Case includes strobe effects. Berkeley Rep offers an advisory about any stage effect of potential concern to patrons’ health. We don’t offer advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have any concerns about content, please contact the box office.
Annie-B Parson · Adaptor / Co-Director / Choreographer
Annie-B Parson co-founded Big Dance Theater (BDT) in 1991 and has created over 15 works that have toured nationally and internationally. Her awards include a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship in choreography, two Lucille Lortel Award nominations (2011, 2012), a USA Artist Grant (2012), and two Bessie Awards (2002, 2010). Outside her work with BDT, Parson has choreographed for Nico Muhly’s opera Dark Sisters (Gotham Chamber Opera, Music-Theatre Group, Opera Company of Philadelphia, 2011), David Byrne’s Here Lies Love at The Public Theater, The Broken Heart at Theater for a New Audience, Sarah Ruhl’s Orlando at Classic Stage Company, and Futurity at American Repertory Theater. She has curated shows that include the Merce Cunningham memorial (Winter Garden, 2010), Dancer Crush (New York Live Arts, 2011), and Sourcing Stravinsky (Dance Theater Workshop, 2006). Since 1993 she has been a choreography instructor at New York University’s Experimental Theater Wing. Parson has also been featured in Bomb Magazine, American Theatre Magazine, and Dance Magazine. She has published work in Contact Quarterly, Ballet Review, and The Brooklyn Rail.
Paul Lazar · Adaptor / Co-Director / Performer
Paul Lazar co-founded the Bessie and Obie award-winning Big Dance Theater (BDT) in 1991 with Annie-B Parson and Molly Hickok. His work with BDT includes conceiving, directing and performing in such works as Supernatural Wife (Brooklyn Academy of Music, 2011), Comme Toujour Here I Stand (The Kitchen, 2010) , Plan B (Japan Society, 2009), and Mac Wellman’s Antigone (Classic Stage Company, 2004). Lazar and Parson are currently creating a new piece entitled Alan Smithee Directed This Play, which will open in Lyon, France in the spring of 2014 and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in the fall of 2014. Lazar has performed in the Wooster Group’s North Atlantic, Brace Up, Emperor Jones, and The Hairy Ape. His other stage credits include The Three Sisters at Classic Stage Company, Young Jean Lee’s Lear, Marie Irene Fornes’ Mud, and Richard Maxwell’s Cowboys and Indians. He has appeared in the films The Silence of The Lambs, Philadelphia, The Host, and the soon-to-be-released Snow Piercer. He teaches at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.
Mikhail Baryshnikov · Performer
Mikhail Baryshnikov, a native of Riga, Latvia, began studying ballet at the age of 9. As a teenager, he attended the Vaganova Academy in Leningrad, graduating from student to principal dancer of the Kirov Ballet in 1969. In 1974, he left the Soviet Union to dance with major ballet companies around the world including the New York City Ballet, where he worked with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. In 1980 he began his 10-year tenure as artistic director of American Ballet Theatre, nurturing a new generation of dancers and choreographers. From 1990 to 2002, Baryshnikov was director and dancer with the White Oak Dance Project, which he co-founded with choreographer Mark Morris to expand the repertoire and visibility of American modern dance. In 2005, he opened the Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) in Manhattan, a creative home for local and international artists to develop and present work. Under his leadership as artistic director, BAC programs serve approximately 500 artists and more than 20,000 audience members each year. Baryshnikov’s many awards include the Chubb Fellowship, the Commonwealth Award, the Jerome Robbins Award, the Kennedy Center Honors, and the National Medal of Honor. Most recently he was awarded the rank of Officer of the French Legion of Honor. His theatre credits include In Paris (Berkeley Rep, the Broad Stage, Lincoln Center Festival, and an international tour). He also appeared on Broadway in Metamorphosis, for which he received a Tony nomination and Drama Desk Award. Off Broadway he has appeared in Forbidden Christmas or The Doctor and the Patient (Lincoln Center Festival) and Beckett Shorts (New York Theatre Workshop). His film and television credits include The Turning Point, White Nights, and various television shows, including three Emmy award-winning specials.
“Delightful…Perhaps the most surprising thing about Man in a Case is not the power of Baryshnikov’s stage presence. It’s how amusing and lighthearted Man in a Case can be at times. Anyone expecting an evening of heavy Russian drama will be sorely disappointed. In the hands of Parsons and Lazar, Chekhov’s stories about unrequited love can be thoroughly goofy at times…the emotions pop on stage…Go expecting the unexpected and you should leave the theater with a little spring in your step. Baryshnikov—and good theater—has that kind of effect on people.”—The Springfield Republican
“An intriguing, ultimately irresistible evening of live performance and mixed media.”—Hartford Examiner
“It’s hard to do justice to the freewheeling brilliance of Big Dance Theater’s combination of dance, theater, video and idiosyncratic imagination; suffice it to say you should see the work of Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar whenever possible.”—New York Times
“But this legendary artist still moves like a dream, which is an apt metaphor for this woozy, sly and theatrically adventuresome kind of story telling…They play with evocative storytelling tools, using movement, video, projections, photography, sound and music. Those willing to let go of convention will be entranced in a quiet spell that honors Chekhov’s simple and small tales of sweet/not-so-sweet absurdities of life, love and existence…Baryshnikov—his face is a finely etched Chekhovian mask, world-weary, wry, fatalistic…Offbeat storytelling weaves a curious, challenging spell for post-modern audiences.”—The Hartford Courant
Baryshnikov returns to Berkeley Rep for an innovative and inviting show. Take a look!