The LAB (for installation and performance art) and Stir – A Production House present the New York Premiere of Catherine Eaton’s powerful one woman show CORSETLESS. In this innovative drama, Ms. Eaton weaves together Shakespearean text from across the entire canon to create a new contemporary narrative. She tells the story of Olivia, a brilliant young woman struggling for her freedom in a mental hospital who communicates exclusively through the words of William Shakespeare. The action of the play takes place in the observation room of the sanitarium where Olivia is held in isolation. In a perfect marriage of subject matter and venue, this production takes full advantage of the unique character of the LAB Gallery space, raising the concept of ‘street theatre’ to a whole new level.
A glassed-in observation gallery visible to the street on the corner of 48th Street and Lexington Avenue, the LAB is the ideal site-specific setting in which to watch Olivia, stripped of her privacy, savagely defend her sanity using only the torn text of perhaps the greatest playwright of all time. Audiences will view Olivia as her doctors would, through the glass from a safe vantage point outside, privy to her private thoughts and behaviors through a state-of-the-art sound system. There is no charge for this event and “admission” is as unlimited as the sidewalks, though reserved spaces window-side are few.
Featuring an original score composed by award-winning concert pianist Elaine Kwon, CORSETLESS had a successful staged reading at New York’s Lincoln Center with the help of Tony-nominated director Ethan McSweeny and celebrated actor Austin Pendleton. It enjoyed a development run at Irish Classical Theatre in Buffalo directed by Derek Campbell and was described by critics as “a most rare vision, full of raw passion, tragic humor and unfiltered humanity” (Buffalo News), which “ekes delightful, unexpected moments of humor from Shakespeare’s most famous lines.” (Artvoice). Excerpts from the play were presented to a sold out crowd at Carnegie Hall as part of a benefit for Best Buddies, and Eaton toured Ireland with the show earlier this year.
This production is directed by Derek Campbell with the Voice of the Doctor recorded by Tom MacVittie, Set Design by Lynne Koscielniak, Original Sound Design by Tom Makar, and Original Costume Design by Susan Drozd. Performances will take place October 12th – 16th at 6pm at The LAB Gallery at the Roger Smith Hotel (48th Street and Lexington). The running time is one hour fifteen minutes. For more information and ring-side reservations please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212.339.2092.