(Princeton, NJ) The Lewis Center for the Arts Performance Central presents "Scenario for a Non-Existing, But Possible Instrumental Actor," a one-man performance of a theatrical score written by Bocuslaw Shaeffer and featuring German actor and director André Erlen. The show will take place on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. at the Marie and Edward Matthews '53 Acting Studio at the Lewis Center for the Arts, 185 Nassau Street, Princeton.
"Scenario for a Non-Existing, But Possible Instrumental Actor," was originally written as "music for one actor" for the renowned Polish actor Jan Peszek, who has now passed over the performance to his protégé, Erlen. Since 1976, it has been performed over 1500 times to significant critical praise, receiving the coveted Grand Prix at the Theatre Festival in New York in 1995.
The composition itself is centered on an abstruse lecture about the state of contemporary art, and it uses avant-garde theorist Walter Benjamin's famous essay, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," which discusses the detriment of technology to art, as its conceptual point of departure. Erlen, as both the conductor and orchestra for this piece – the "instrumental actor" – dramatizes the difficulty of making art and the frustrating art of describing that difficulty using nothing but fire, water, flour, Ping-Pong balls, buckets, fishing lines, a cello and every inch of the stage. Abstract buffoonery mingles with aesthetics and criticism to produce a truly one-of-a-kind performance piece.
Born in 1974, German actor and director André Erlen graduated from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Between 1991 and 2001, Erlen was a member of the Actors' Studio Pulheim, later joining its education program with teachers from Germany and Poland. He has also worked with director J. Wilske on special projects in Hamburg since 1999. Erlan has performed Boguslaw Schaeffer's "Scenario for a Non-Existing, But Possible Instrumental Actor" in various countries since 2002, and he directed Schaeffer's "Quartet for 4 Actors." Erlen is the founder of Futur3 Theater Köln, which realizes projects in public spaces and introduces writers, musicians and improvisation into the process of creating a performance.
The Lewis Center for the Creative and Performing Arts is part of a major initiative announced by President Shirley M. Tilghman in 2006 to fully embrace the arts as an essential part of the educational experience for all who study and teach at Princeton University. The Lewis Center for Creative & Performing Arts will have a significant impact on the University and the larger community it serves. The public is welcomed to a full range of lectures, exhibitions, concerts and performances at the Center. Many of the Center’s events are free or charge a nominal admission fee.