Sofia, 15 October 2009. U.S. director Professor Jed Allen Harris sees today’s Bulgaria as the U.S. 30 years ago. And why not think about the play that would set our country – “The Curse of the starving class” by Sam Shepard. Do not hesitate, and the choice of scene – Sofia Theater. The premiere was tonight.
Cast actors Martin Ghiaurov, Milena Zhivkova, Jana Kuzova / guest /, Nikolay Varbanov Plamen Manasiev, Sava Piperov, Martin Radilov, Nikolai Antonov, Maja Ostojic. Scenography is prof.Krasimir Valkanov. Vasko has Composer Genev. Producers of the show are “Theatredreams” – Alexander Iliev and clear Dudov.
“When I first asked me what I wanted to play places in Sofia, without hesitation I answered -” The Curse of the starving class “by Sam Shepard. My first return to Bulgaria in 1993 was later, when in 2007 . again visited the country, I can not detect the incredible changes that have occurred. In place of arable land were come up office buildings, automotive markets and residential buildings.
I was happy to see development and prosperity of the country, but also saddened me the opportunity to Bulgaria lost its uniqueness.
I remembered the change that occurred in America in 50 years of TTE and 20-century when I was a kid. The neighborhood where I grew up, is located at the end of the city. May reach by bicycle to nearby farms. Today that same road is built with shopping malls and residential complexes – 35 miles. Until the next town, “says Professor Jed Allen Harris, a professor of directing one of the most prestigious American universities – Carnegie Mellon, founder of the famous” City Theater in Pittsburgh.
According to him, Sam Shepard’s play is about change on many levels. At the personal level, they relate to family members who are trying to become new people. It is tragic that none of their attempts is not successful. In a broader context, the play is linked to corporations and investors, which alter the appearance of the whole country. When Wesley’s son told her sister what would happen if their parents sold the farm, he says:
“Not just to lose the house.’ll Lose the whole country.”
The play is about loss of connection with the land and the emergence of a new culture that puts economic development before personal.
The choice of Sofia Theater director explains: “One reason is sentimental. At this stage for the first time in visiting Bulgaria 16 years ago with my performance at the invitation of the then Minister of Culture and with the active assistance of young Kiselov. And the second is cast ensemble. then Vista a few brilliant performances and decided that if ever the wheel of fortune turn me back on Bulgarian wave, it will be theater, which will work. my last impressions are just as enthusiastic. Theater “Sofia” is a scene with traditions talent and spirit, which would enviable many theaters in America. ”
Jed first came to Pittsburgh in 1976 as a founding member of Theater Express, a company primarily made up of CMU graduates. In the next four years the company created a body of progressive eclectic productions in both drama and musical theater. Among the productions he directed there were "Endgame", "Pre-paradise Sorry Now", "Angel City" and "The Marquis de Sade¹s Justine." After the demise of Theater Express, he developed a relationship as Associate Director with the City Theater, which lasted for over twenty years. During his tenure there, he directed over thirty plays including critically acclaimed productions of "Curse of the Starving Class", "How I Got That Story", "The Danube", "Glengarry Glen Ross", "Talk Radio", "Steel Kiss", "Baltimore Waltz", Seventy Scenes of Halloween" (which also toured Bulgaria through a sponsorship by the International Theater Institute), "The Caretaker", "Slavs" and "Night of the Living Dead-The Opera" For the CMU Main stage he has directed "Nicholas Nickelby" (co-directed with Gregory Lehane), "Escape From Happiness", ³Balm in Gilead", "Red Noses", ³Sly Fox², ³Lysistrata² and ³The Oresteia² (with Associate Directors Matt Gray and Jay Ball) and will direct ³The Government Inspector² for the school this spring. Outside of Pittsburgh, productions include "The Elephant Man" at Theater X in Milwaukee, "The Time of Your Life" at SUNY-Purchase, "The Collected Works of Billy the Kid" at The Gateway Theater in Edinburgh, Scotland and most recently "Dubya and the Gang of Seven" at Theater for a New City in NYC. For the past three summers Jed has been an advisor, teacher and participant in the Leon Katz Rhodopi International Theatre Laboratory in Smolyan, Bulgaria. A professional residency and alternative training program, the Rhodopi International Theatre Laboratory consists of theatre practitioners, scholars, and students from around the world, who are willing to share their culture, knowledge, and experience. Jed has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, The University of Pittsburgh, SUNY-Purchase and for the last 19 years at Carnegie Mellon University.