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American Realism


‘American Realism’ is a one-day extreme endurance piece for eight actors, about contemporary labor, spoken through the voices of Depression-era California migrant workers. Disassembling notions of realism and investigating the possibilities of reenactment without authenticity, this piece exposes the ennui of laborers, from dot-com start-up entrepreneurs to immigrant maintenance workers. The text is composed of an audio archive of Depression-era Farm Security Administration (FSA) work camps in California, called “Voices from the Dust Bowl.” The archive, recorded by the WPA, includes songs, trials, meetings, and testimonials. In ‘American Realism’ these nostalgic recordings are reconfigured into a play about labor and community in America today.

American Realism was developed in a summer theatre residency [2011] at the Invisible Dog.

Katherine Brook is completing her MFA in directing at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, where she has directed six full productions, including Tennessee Williams’ ‘Suddenly Last Summer’ and ‘Lady Han,’ an adaptation of a Japanese Noh play. Most recently she directed ‘H. Apocalyptus’ (playwright Dean Poynor) at Picolo Spoleto, and assisted on Elevator Repair Service’s ‘Shuffle’ at The Prague Quadrennial. Past directing and collaborative work includes Abigail Browde’s ‘The Home by Josephine’ at University Settlement, and Red Terror Squad’s ‘Family Bed’ and ‘Grey-Eyed Dogs’ (playwright Jess Barbagallo). Before going to grad school, Katherine also worked at StoryCorps and completed her BFA at NYU’s Experimental Theatre Wing.

Date + Time
Saturday, February 4


The Main Gallery
51 Bergen St.

Earlier Event: February 2
A Night of Mash–Ups
Later Event: February 11
Catch 49