In anticipation of the 2017 BOCA Biennial, we were commissioned to design an itinerant theater for Cuban artist Tania Bruguera’s debut theatrical piece - a radical staging of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame. Bruguera’s vision capitalized on the universal dynamics of domination, power, and the limits of freedom as explored in the play. We worked collaboratively with Bruguera to create a comprehensive environment where these dynamics would bleed off the stage and permeate the viewer’s total experience. The result is a 14m x 14m x 9m structure that contains both the stage and 82 audience members, and which is designed to be repeatedly rebuilt over the course of its International tour, which began in April 2017 and is ongoing.

The structure is a dark and severe block of scaffolding, dropped as an object in the various vast spaces that host it. A pristine white cylinder is mysteriously lodged inside the structure. Four discrete entrances bring audience members deep into and up the structure to their vieweing spots, where they peer through slits in the cylinder to watch the play unfold below. Isolated against the white textile, the audience’s faces become woven into the backdrop which flickers between stark opacity and revealing translucency.

The design was conceived to be highly portable using the International Peri Up Scaffolding System, the structural elements of which can be rented in most any city in the world. The piece premiered at BOCA Biennial in Porto, Portugal, April 2017; subsequent residencies include Kunstenfestivaldesarts/Brussels/May 2017, Kampnagel/Hamburg/August 2017, Nanterre-Amandiers/Paris/September 2017.

photo credits-
3-9 Artur Branco
10-13 Ricardo Caste
project credits-
Director: Tania Bruguera
Designers: Dotan Gertler Studio
Light Designer: Rui Monteiro
Sound Designer: Rui Lima + Sergio Martins
Assistant Director: Mitchell Polonsky
Technical Director: Patricia Gilvaia
Production: BOCA Biennial
Production Management: Ana Rita Osorio
Executive Producer: Francisca Aires 

co-production São João National Theatre, Colectivo 84, Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers, Festival d‘Automne à Paris / supported by fondation d’entreprise Hermès im Rahmen des Programmes „New Settings“, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Internationales Sommerfestival Kampnagel, Estudio Bruguera.