September 8 – October 15, 2017
I’ll gather my breath. I’ll walk out of my room. I’ll know exactly where I’m going to go. The voice in my head tells me exactly where to go.
An opera singer lost in the city. A gorgeous male prostitute. A tough-talking taxi driver. A global trader. A teenage dreamer. Everyone’s looking for something they can’t find in this US premiere from acclaimed British playwright Simon Stephens (Heisenberg; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) whose strange and beautiful play re-imagines Bizet’s opera Carmen and explores the possibility of love in a fractured urban world.
“The Singer,” a mezzo-soprano who criss-crosses Europe playing the title role in ‘Carmen’ has arrived in an unidentified city to do so again, but a random incident causes her already nebulous sense of self to start unravelling. Carmen, here a busy “rent boy,” has a disastrous encounter with a client that shakes his sense of self. Don Jose is a taxi-driving mother pining for her son. Meanwhile, a suicidal young girl, dumped by her boyfriend, is the bereft Micaela, and a corrupt futures trader assumes the role of Escamillo.
These are lonely souls, yearning for love, home, a sense of self and real connection in an age of superficial digital communication and narcissistic, illusory identities. Simons uses broken shards of Bizet’s opera to fashion a mosaic of monologues about our infatuation with technology and digital communication, less a recreation of the opera than a deconstruction of it, reflecting on the strangeness of a professional singer’s life and the aching disconnection at the center of our atomized contemporary world.
“Shattering and reimagining our notions of theatre… Carmen Disruption reminds us how thrilling it can be to see a fresh take on a familiar tale…” -The Guardian (London)
This project is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Santa Monica Arts Commission.