Go Forth OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Maria Baranova
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    January 7, 2016
    Closing:
    January 12, 2016

    Theater: Westbeth Artists Community, Underground / 55 Bethune Street, New York, NY 10014

    Synopsis: 

    Drawing inspiration from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, GO FORTH is a performance and photo installation that considers how we create space in our lives for the presence of the absent. Burial is proposed not as erasure but as offering restitution and performing rites. The 3,000-year-old funerary text is approached as an ancient performance score: excavating the spells and incantations to create a series of burial vignettes, fragments of translation, memory and imagination. Photographic funerary murals usher the audience into a mythological underground landscape. Galvanized by the intimate relationship between black people and death around the world, GO FORTH paves way for its audience to reflect on their individual and collective mourning processes.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Go Forth

    ‘Go Forth’ Finds the Living and the Dead Bound Together

    Ben Brantley

    January 8, 2016: “In the midst of death we are in life,” thinks the wonderfully human Leopold Bloom, contemplating the prospect of sex among the tombstones, as he stands in a churchyard in James Joyce’s “Ulysses.” Bloom was quoting — or rather, misquoting — from “The Book of Common Prayer.” But his observation was much on my mind the other night as I watched a performance based on a seemingly very different and far older religious text, “The Egyptian Book of the Dead,” parts of which were written 4,000 years ago. “Go Forth,” which opened on Thursday night, is an elegant and energetic memorial of sorts to the African father of the woman who directed it, Kaneza Schaal, best known for her work as a performer with Elevator Repair Service. Staged in the bowels of the Westbeth Artists Community near the Hudson River, a fine place to consider existence beneath and beyond the earth, “Go Forth” finds an immediate and visceral strength in ancient codes of mourning.

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