Though not strictly an alum, the director Ken Rus Schmoll co-chairs the Lab with playwright Jenny Schwartz. Ken is directing an intriguing piece for Brooklyn Academy of Music called NOT WHAT HAPPENED. The play — a two-hander that features Soho Rep favorite Birgit Huppuch — tells the tale of a historical re-enactor and the historical character she is based upon. There is another Soho Rep connection: the playwright is Ain Gordon, a writer who was championed at the earliest stages of his career by Soho Rep under our previous Artistic Director Julian Webber.
Here is how BAM describes the work:
“How do we reconstruct a place in time when it leaves no trace? In Not What Happened, Obie Award-winning writer-director Ain Gordon, photographer Forrest Holzapfel, and director Ken Rus Schmoll take that question to the overlooked farms and fallow fields of America’s rural past.
Two seemingly identical women appear on stage: one is a historical reenactor nearing the end of her career, theatrically channeling a bygone 1804; the other is her doppelganger, the 19th-century subject she “recreates.” Amid projected images of cast-off farm tools and other ruins of rural life, we follow the reenactor’s crafted narrative alongside that of her ghostly double. History lived vies with history told, leaving us to wonder: can we ever know what really happened?”
Ain Gordon is a three-time Obie Award-winning writer, director, and actor. His work has been presented by New York Theater Workshop, Soho Rep, the Public Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, Performance Space 122, HERE Arts Center, the Mark Taper Forum, the George Street Playhouse, the Krannert Center, Jacob’s Pillow, and the Baryshnikov Arts Center. In 2012, he directed Sō Percussion’s Where (We) Live in BAM’s 30th Next Wave Festival. Gordon is a co-founder of the Urban Memory Project and has been co-director of the Pick Up Performance Co(S) since 1992.