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The Wooster Group Explores Black Folklore in Texas State Prisons
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3/18/2019 at 4:58:58 PM GMT
Posts: 115
The Wooster Group Explores Black Folklore in Texas State Prisons

By Paul David Young ––

“Director Kate Valk and performer Eric Berryman’s THE B-SIDE: “Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons”: A Record Album Interpretation reenacts a vinyl record with The Wooster Group’s characteristic clinical precision, counting on the audience’s preexisting awareness of American slavery and Jim Crow laws to lend the performance all the pathos necessary.

The piece is typical of The Wooster Group, which finds its material in the off-roads of culture — for instance, ‘B’ movies or an obscure panel discussion — usually layered with another, intentionally unrelated source. The Wooster Group’s performance in each piece grows out of the direct imitation of media: for example, aping the voice and gestures from Richard Burton’s 1964 film of HamletNegro Folklore from Texas State Prisons is a companion piece to the Wooster Group’s Early Shakespeare Spirituals, directed by Valk, which also reenacted a vinyl record onstage.


To continue reading, visit the full article on Hyperallergic’s website.

Young, Paul David. “The Wooster Group Explores Black Folklore in Texas State Prisons.” Hyperallergic. (March 15, 2019). <>



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