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Helene Davis
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NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
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NYU SKIRBALL Presents The North American Premiere of Milo Rau’s & CAMPO’s Five Easy Pieces, Mar. 7-9

by Helene Davis
January 15, 2019
NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square
New York, NY 10012
NYU Skirball will present the North American premiere of Mio Rau’s & CAMPO’s Five Easy Pieces, running March 7 – March 9, 2019 at NYU Skirball. Five Easy Pieces presents the story of the notorious child killer Marc Dutroux, whose 2004 trial caused a national scandal in Belgium. Dutroux’s story is told by seven children between the ages of 8 – 14 who take on the roles of several protagonists involved with the case. It will be presented in Flemish, with English supertitles.

In five simple theatrical exercises of short scenes and monologues, the young actors sneak into different roles: a police officer, Marc Dutroux’s father, one of the victims, the parents of a murdered child. Purely aesthetic and theatrical questions blend together with moral issues: How can children understand the real significance of narrative, empathy, loss, subjection, old age, disappointment, or rebellion? How do we react if we see them acting out scenes of violence or love and romance? In particular, what does that say about our own fears and desires? This makes for a confrontational experience. Video: https://vimeo.com/165838464

Swiss theatre director Milo Rau and his International Institute of Political Murder (IIPM) have conquered the biggest international stages in recent years with their matchless political theatre. Their works are based on testimonies and reconstructions of true stories and mercilessly break through the taboos of our age. Together with the CAMPO arts centre from Ghent, they have set up an ambitious project involving children and teenagers between 8 and 14 years old. Rau uses the biography of the country’s most notoriously shameful criminal to sketch a brief history of Belgium and to reflect on the (re)presentation of human feelings on stage.

Five Easy Pieces was developed in Ghent, Belgium, at CAMPO Arts Center, a toolbox for artists, that covers the whole spectrum of performing arts: research and development; production; touring; and presentation. It does this both in one-off joint ventures and long-term relationships. With Five Easy Pieces, CAMPO continues the long tradition of theatrical works with children for an adult public. It is supported in part by the General Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the USA and the Goethe Institut in New York.

Milo Rau, provocateur, theater and film director, journalist, essayist, and lecturer, founded the theatre and film production company International Institute of Political Murder (IIPM) in 2007. IIPM focuses on documenting notable historical global events through films, literature, documentaries and research papers. His controversial productions, campaigns and films, some of which have been banned across Europe, have been invited to some of the biggest national and international festivals. The Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique recently named him “one of Europe’s most sought-after directors” with the German weekly Der Freitag describing him “as the most controversial theatre director of his generation.” In 2017 Milo Rau was nominated by the werd Saarbrücker Poetry Lectureship for Drama (Saarbrücker Poetikdozentur für Dramatik). The organization honored Rau as one of the most uncompromising thinkers in contemporary theatre. Currently Rau is the artistic director of the Ghent city theater.

The International Institute of Political Murder (IIPM) has garnered international acclaimed for its unique, dense documentary form of political theatre with a special focus on multimedia adaptation of historical or social conflicts. The theatre/film project The Last Days of the Ceausescus (2009/10) re-enacted the show trial against the Rumanian dictator couple Ceausescu while the theatre project Hate Radio (2011) focused on the role of the broadcasting station RTLM in the genocide in Rwanda 1994. His works include The Moscow Trials and The Zurich Trials (both 2013) and The Congo Tribunal, which presents three cases of mass murder and displacement. The latest work of IIPM is Compassion, The History of the Machine Gun, a double monologue on the work of NGOs, related to European refugee politics and the genocides in central Africa.


NYU Skirball, located in the heart of Greenwich Village, is one of New York City’s major presenters of international work, and has been the premier venue for cultural and performing arts events in lower Manhattan since 2003. The 800-seat theater, led by Director Jay Wegman, provides a home for internationally renowned artists, innovators and thinkers. NYU Skirball hosts over 300 events annually, from re-inventions of the classics to cutting-edge premieres, in genres ranging from dance, theater and performance arts to comedy, music and film.

NYU Skirball’s unique partnership with New York University enables it to draw on the University’s intellectual riches and resources to enhance its programming with dialogues, public forums and conversations with artists, philosophers, scientists, Nobel Laureates and journalists. www.nyuskirball.org


Five Easy Pieces will play three performances: March 7 – 9 , 2019 at 7:30 pm. Tickets begin at $35 and can be purchased online at www.nyuskirball.org, by phone at 212.998.4941, or in person at the Box Office, 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square: Tuesday-Saturday, 12:00–6:00 P.M. NYU Skirball is located at 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square, New York, N.Y., 10012. www.nyuskirball.org
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