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Friday, January 07, 2011

Erin Markey in Tennessee Williams' Green Eyes

I don't know when, but I will be going to see this at some point. Photo via Time Out New York. Details via Facebook. Buy your tickets here. Runs through January 23rd.

Hidden away for decades, Green Eyes was only just published in 2008, twenty-five years after Williams’ death. Chamberlain transforms the play into a hyper-intimate experience—part performance, part immersive installation—ensconced in a suite at the Hudson Hotel room for audiences of only 20 per show.

Written as America's unrest with the war in Vietnam reached a fever pitch, Green Eyes graphically reveals the effects of war through the sexual fantasies of a newlywed couple honeymooning in New Orleans. He’s an impotent soldier, traumatized by his participation in the war; she’s a ravenous woman determined to satisfy her most deviant desires. In a single electrifying scene, Green Eyes restages the horrors of war as an unhinged lovers’ quarrel, exploring the disturbing subjectivities that exist in the grey areas where sadomasochistic desire and domestic violence overlap.

The celebrated New York actress Erin Markey revisits the role of Mrs. Claude Dunphy, a ravenous Southern woman with a newfound craving for rough sex, as she runs circles around her agitated husband like someone taming a feral beast. Markey’s searing performance confronts expectations about how women should behave in circumstances where physical violence enters the bedroom, igniting the stage with equal parts venom and desire.

Markey is uniquely suited to embody this nuanced, empowered and provocative sexuality. She garnered considerable attention earlier this year for her Chamberlain-directed solo musical Puppy Love: A Stripper's Tail, which premiered (and was extended) at PS122, following a work-in-progress presentation at the 2008 Sex Worker's Art Show Tour. The piece, written and performed by Markey, is about a new college graduate working as a stripper.

In connection with the production of Green Eyes at the Hudson Hotel, Chamberlain will present a series of companion programs at the Museum of Art and Design, collectively entitled The Kindness of Strangeness: Rethinking Tennessee Williams @100, organized in collaboration with Dr. Joe E. Jeffreys, a noted Williams scholar and professor at NYU (and the dramaturg for this production).

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