Walker Art Center

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Jérôme Bel/Theater HORA

Disabled Theater

“There is a kind of defiance, a challenge to theatrical conventions, but even more so to social ones. … The form of the piece is incredibly simple. Watching it is anything but.” —Culturebot

Through three works over eight years, acclaimed French conceptual performance star Jérôme Bel has challenged and charmed us. With Disabled Theater—his deceptively straight-forward theatrical collaboration with Switzerland’s Theater HORA company of disabled actors—Bel’s work reaches a new heights. Probing troubling questions around identity, discrimination, and the narrowness of our own preconceptions, the show features 11 members of Theater HORA, simply being themselves. Its carefully constructed tension is balanced with humor and life-affirming joy.

Sparking both debate and awe across Europe, the work was the sensation at prominent theater festivals such as Avignon and Brussel’s Kunsten-Arts. Frieze praised its “simple, stripped down conceptual clarity” and its “90 minutes of uneasy, preconception-probing estrangement and empathy.” The New York Times called its performance at Germany’s dOCUMENTA (13) exhibition “transcendent.”

Note: 90 minutes

Funding

Support provided by Producers’ Council members Nor Hall and Roger Hale and Leni and David Moore, Jr.