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In Performance: Richard Maxwell – Neutral Hero

Neutral Hero is a new work by Richard Maxwell. In a small town in the middle of the United States, life is constricted by the ancient founding myths of humanity, ever repeated. On an empty stage as vast as the big sky of the Midwest, apparently ordinary people play out episodes of their daily lives. They do not speak, but they sing with the disarming sincerity of the guileless. Then something mysterious slowly unfolds, for under the surface of daily life lies the violence of American history and the still festering wounds of the great heroes of antiquity – Gilgamesh, Ulysses, Aeneas – whose terrible struggles we unconsciously repeat. Maxwell’s heroes are anonymous individuals and their adventures seem to take place within the most banal of existences. In a tone of alienating neutrality and lulled by country and blues melodies, a disturbing epic unfolds inNeutral Hero (from FTA and Kunsten Festival Des Arts Descriptions)

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Caden Manson is a director, media artist, and teacher. He is co-founder of the media ensemble and network, blog, and publisher, He has co-created, directed, video- and set designed 18 Big Art Group productions. Manson has shown video installations in Austria, Germany, NYC, and Portland; performed PAIN KILLER in Berlin, Singapore and Vietnam; Taught in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Montreal, NYC, and Bern; the ensemble has been co-produced by the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Hebbel Am Ufer, Rome’s La Vie de Festival, PS122, and Wexner Center for The Arts. Caden is a 2001 Foundation For Contemporary Art Fellow, is a 2002 Pew Fellow and a 2011 MacDowell Fellow. Writing has been published in PAJ, Theater Magazine, and Theater der Zeit. Caden is currently an associate professor and graduate directing option coordinator of The John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

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