Camino Real By Tennessee Williams
Adapted by Marc Rosic and Calixto Bieito
Goodman Theatre, Chicago
Calixto Bieito is a renowned Spanish director, devoted to bringing the greatest opera and theatre classics to the contemporary audience by setting them in a context relevant today. This vision of Camino Real, produced by The Goodman Theatre, Chicago was as a ghostly poem, Dante’s Inferno as imagined by the great mind of Tennessee Williams.
Camino Real boils with familiar characters from world literature, so our imagery is iconographic, archetypal, with the strong contemporary impact. Through careful research I strived to find the right balance of theatrical fiction, romance, and brutal reality for each character. Thus, as an example, instead of a familiar powdered wig or brocade vest, I dressed the character of Casanova like an old, once famous rock’n’roll star. White leather tuxedo, tight snakeskin pants and heeled bots that framed his obviously dyed hair and powdered face, conveying an aging vain man who once was a great seducer, testifying painfully of his inability to let go and accept reality, now 30 years later. decided to convey an aging vain man who once was a great seducer. It was crucial to me to shatter any sense of dignity in this man, this ultimate seducer who was to be crowned with the crown of horns by the end of the play.
The scenery and costumes were to be eerie installations within which the actors should dance, crawl, love and die, one moment unaffected, and completely shattered the next, similar to the leaves billowing, trembling or disintegrating in the wind.
Written and directed by Michael Rohd
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
“It’s a show about our relationship to story; about the way we narrate our own experience, and the way we make sense of the stories we hear. It starts with 5 different characters in 5 different sites going on journeys, searching for someone…all those stories involve family, and all those stories involve memory, and all those stories start a sort of thematic quest that the audience joins in on. As witnesses, and sometimes even as participants. “ – Michael Rohd
Since Willful was a devised piece, the designers began working without the script, consulting the fragments of dialogue that emerged through director’s process of devising in and out of rehearsal. The first pieces of dialogue that we encountered explored the impossibility of human existence without the ability of storytelling. This dialogue allowed us to access the piece and ignited the initial design concept. In terms of costume design I imagined silent, empty installations vaguely resembling old manuscripts that spilled over from the binding, and came alive only when inhabited by the actors. These installations crossed the border between costumes and scenery, as was the case with all design disciplines during the creation of this piece.