UCLA Live Announces Theatre Festival Lineup (Backstage.com)
By Nicole Kristal
UCLA Live will present six compelling works at its Fourth International Theatre Festival, to take place October through December on the UCLA campus, including Los Angeles-based Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine's one-man show about a military man in Uganda infected with AIDS, French actor Isabelle Huppert's take on Sarah Kane's 4.48 Psychosis, and Polish theatre company Song of the Goat performing a work based on The Epic of Gilgamesh. The festival is the only of its kind in Los Angeles.
The next play in the festival, Chronicles: A Lamentation, makes its West Coast debut at the festival. Described by [UCLA Performing Arts Director David] Sefton as possessing a faintly religious or ritualistic quality, the internationally award-winning piece is based on the ancient Sumerian poem, The Epic of Gilgamesh, and is presented by Polish theatre company Song of the Goat. Sefton booked the play after seeing the performance last summer in Edinburgh. "It's virtually impossible to describe. You could just as easily put it on the dance series. Its use of text is the way a lot of dance companies would use text. It's extremely physical," said Sefton.
The play also features a number of ethnic traditions, including numbers sung in Albanian and Greek, as well as dialogue in ancient Aramaic. "You're not meant to understand the actual spoken and sung language. It's more about the sense it conveys," said Sefton, who described the mood of the play as "wistful."
Actually, the Epic of Gilgamesh is written in Akkadian, although it is indeed based on Sumerian sources.
Albanian, Aramaic, Akkadian, Sumerian, what's the difference? Right?