What To See At The Under The Radar Festival

by Mara Siegler · January 5, 2011

The Public Theater, Producer Mark Russell, and The Association of Performing Arts Presenters kick off the Under The Radar Festival today.  The 12-day event tracks new, edgy, experimental theater from all over the world with selections from places like Belarus, South Africa, France, and even Latvia. While every show looks interesting, there are a few we definitely want to check out.

Gob Squad's Kitchen (You've Never Had It So Good)

British-German collective Gob Squad takes a trip back to 1965 to reconstruct Andy Warhol's "Kitchen" and other Warhol films.  Set up with three projections with all action happening behind them, company member Sean Patten describes what audiences will see to the NY Times as "this bunch of people who are not American and who weren’t really there in the 60s, trying our best at making a film, and getting it half wrong and half right, improvising as we go along. It becomes a process of looking back at a certain point in time and the mythologization of that period, and how it exists in the imagination of people who weren’t there." [Via]

-Show Your Face!

Avant-garde Slovene physical theater troupe Betontanc has paired up with Latvian Umka.lv, and Slovene pop-electronic group Silence. An empty snowsuit tells the story of darkness and hope. If you aren't convinced by the vague, abstract plot, just know that it is based off of a comic book and they employ puppetry. The whole thing sounds weird, but in an interesting way where you want to go just to see how the whole thing comes together.

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Dutch A/V

Reggie WattsReggie Watts has been involved with the festival for a few years. Mark Russell makes this sound like a can't miss describing it to Gothamist: "It started with the concept of him and two of his friends, Tommy Smith who co-created the piece and this other guy, decided to get these spy sunglasses that can videotape and take sound. And they went to Amsterdam and had sort of a lost weekend in Amsterdam. All of them were wearing these special glasses at the same time synced up, and so what you see in these performances is a three-screen installation. But then it goes on from there—that's just where is started. Of course Reggie took it on beyond that."

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Your brother. Remember?

Zachary Oberzan's play has him returning home after 20 years to recreate Jean Claude Van Damme parody movies he made with his brother, Gator, when they were younger. So kind of like "Be Kind Rewind," but good and sad and true.  The pair are currently estranged, and Gator suffers from drug addiction. “What began as a fairly academic exercise in videography became about re-establishing—it’s probably more accurate to say establishing for the first time—a relationship with my brother,” Oberzan told TDF.

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Phobophilia

Phobophilia, the term meaning the love of fear, explores not just that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach but also pleasure, voyeurism and the visual aspects of war though sound, action, ritual, and video projection. It's put on by Canada's award-winning 2boys.tv. who have done everything from multidisciplinary cabaret works,  installations in clubs, and gallery pieces, so this is a good bet.

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For the complete line-up, schedule, and tickets visit www.undertheradarfestival.com.