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Objects, Rooms, Food: Gertrude Stein's 'Tender Buttons' Goes Off-Broadway for 100th Birthday, Care of Van Reipen Collective

By Maria Jean Sullivan m.sullivan@classicalite.com on Aug 11, 2014 11:27 AM EDT

A theatrical interpretation of Gertrude Steins’ Tender Buttons will be presented by the Van Reipen Collective this fall at the Theater for The New City from October 2-19.

Using the entire text of Steins’ commentary on modern life, Van Reipen will perform their self-described “spectacle” in three parts--aptly titled “Objects,” “Rooms” and “Food”--each with its own director, creative team and style.

Directed by Gary Heidt, “Objects” will run first, from October 2-5. Heidt is working in collaboration with performers Cassandra V. Chopourian, Steven Dworkin, Debra Disbrow, firehorse the dj, Lauren Farber, Richard Gross, Sanae Medea and members of The Fist of Kindness (Orin Buck, David Gould and Matt Metzgar). The knitted costumes and FoK environs come to stage via Christopher Weston of Bayard Lighting Design.

October 9-12 will see “Rooms” directed by Cara Scarmack, again with production designer Weston. “Rooms” wil be performed by Chopourian and Priscilla Holbrook with dramaturgy by Gary Heidt.

Finally, from October 16-19, the Niki Tulk-directed “Food” will feature Chopourian, Farber and Gross.

This year celebrates the 100th anniversary of Tender Buttons: Objects Food Rooms by Gertrude Stein--an arch modernist telling of lesbian domesticity during a time when such preferences were not, well, kosher. Stein wrote Tender Buttons during her infamous relationship with Alice B. Toklas. Tender Buttons, itself a classic text of modernist literary tendencies, is Stein’s attempt to rewrite societal expectations, especially regarding the everyday tasks of homosexual relationships.

In anticipation of the events, watch below a clip from Van Reipen’s rendering of “Food.”

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TagsGertrude Stein, Tender Objects, Theatrical, Van Reipen Collective, food, Rooms, Objects

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