Mabou Mines is one of the most revered experimental theater companies in New York, and its leader Lee Breuer is one of the world's most respected avant-garde theater directors.
The troupe has some serious Connecticut connections as well. Breuer taught directing at Yale from the mid-1980s into the late '90s. He directed the multi-styled epic The Warrior Ant at Yale in 1988. Mabou Mines also brought its blend of storytelling and puppetry Peter & Wendy to Yale in 1998. Most recently, Mabou Mines' radical rethinking of Ibsen's A Doll's House (which had a set resembling a doll's house, and male actors no taller than four feet acting opposite tall women) played New Haven in 2006.
This week members of Mabou Mines are at Wesleyan University in Middletown, presenting a "masterclass workshop production" of the company's current project Glass Guignol: The Brother and Sister Play. The script accesses the works of Tennessee Williams, including The Glass Menagerie, Suddenly Last Summer and his experimental two-character play Outcry, but also borrows from the garish and sensationalistic horror-play style known as Grand Guignol. This undoubtedly provocative presentation stars Maude Mitchell, Greg Mehrten, Jessican Weinstein, Eamonn Farrell and Luly Santangelo and can be seen at 8 p.m. Feb. 16 in the CFA Theater of the Wesleyan Center for the Arts. Tickets are $25, $20 for seniors and non-Wesleyan students, and just $6 for Wesleyan students.
Two days earlier, on Valentine's Day afternoon, February 14 at 4:15 p.m., Lee Breuer and Maude Mitchell will join Thomas Keith (the dramaturg of Glass Guignol and an editor at New Directions, which publishes Williams' plays) and Wesleyan Professor of Theater Ronald Jenkins for a free panel discussion in the CFA Hall on "Tennessee Williams After Iguana." (That refers to the play The Night of the Iguana.)
The Wesleyan Center for the Arts is on the university's main campus at 283 Washington Terrace, Middletown.
Elsewhere in the state, theaterwise: The Yale Rep has announced the rest of the cast for Hamlet, which runs March 15 through April 13. All we've known until now is that the show stars Paul Giamatti and is directed by James Bundy. Key roles will be played by Lisa Emery (Gertrude), Marc Kudisch (Claudius, as well as the ghost of Hamlet's dad), Brooke Parks (Ophelia), Gerry Bamman (Polonius), Jarlath Conroy (Gravedigger), Austin Durant (Horatio), Felicity Jones (Player Queen), and Erik Lochtefeld and Michael Manuel (Rosencrantz & Guildenstern). Most of the other parts are filled by Yale School of Drama students. There's also a five-piece live band.