International Affairs

My favorite sport, tennis, is certainly an international affair.  I first fell in love with tennis in 1985 when German Boris Becker won Wimbledon.  Now my favorite players hail from across the globe: Switzerland (Roger Federer), France (Richard Gasquet, Gael Monfils, Marion Bartoli), Italy (Francesca Schiavone), Russia (the recently retired Elena Dementieva), Chile (Fernando Gonzalez), Latvia (Ernests Gulbis), China (Li Na) and many, many more countries.  The sport’s international flair — both in terms of where it’s played and the mix of players vying for titles — are extremely intoxicating.

I am also partial to international theater, and that’s why I’m thrilled that the Under the Radar Festival kicks off at the Public Theater today.  I’ve already got tickets to Too Late! antigone (contest #2) by Italy’s famed performance group Motus as well as Diciembre by Chile’s Teatro en el Blanco and Correspondances by Kettly Noel and Nelisiwe Xaba.  I’m trying to see at least two more shows, if my schedule will allow it.

Too Late! antigone (contest #2) is inspired by the Living Theatre’s classic production of Antigone, starring Judith Malina.  In press notes for the show, Motus explains “Biner called Antigone “the tragedy of the too late,” because all the characters seem to act or mend their ways only after something irreparable has happened. Is it maybe too late for us as well?”  I cannot wait to find out.

Written and directed by Guillermo Calderón, Diciembre is “a black comedy about a near-future war in Chile.”  Correspondances is stunning collaboration between Kettly Noel (Haiti/Mali) and Nelisiwe Xaba (South Africa).

The tennis season is sizzling in hot spots around the globe this week after its brief off-season, and theater is front and center at the Under the Radar Festival in New York City January 5th – 16th.  Grand international affairs indeed.

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