By Mark Kaminsky, Paul Zimet, and The Company
Direction: Paul Zimet
Music: The Company and Elizabeth Swados
Sets: Jeremy Lebensohn
Lights: Beverly Emmons
Costumes: Mary Brecht
1977: Open Space (NYC).
1978: Theater for the New City (NYC). Cambridge Ensemble (MA). Princeton University (NJ). JASA Center (NYC). New Theater Festival (Baltimore). Naropa Institute
1979: New Jersey State College: Princeton University (NJ)
1980: York University (Toronto). Symphony Space (NYC). HAI (NYC)
1981: The Gathering (MN). Zacatecas Festival (Mexico)
1982: Copenhagen Festival: The Roundhouse (London). Hip Pocket Theater (Ft. Worth)
The Talking Band, a New York City-based group whose name quite perfectly embodies its artistic credo, has build a piece around the romances and realities of labor in America. Worksong, which opened Friday and runs for two more weekends, is a tough show to categorize. It isn’t a play, since most of the spoken language in in the form of monologues. And it isn’t a musical, since the few songs are more like freeform laments than tunes we’re likely to find ourselves humming as we depart the theater.
The Band calls Worksong a cantata which does manage to include all of those elements as well as convey a sense of the work’s small scale and the initmiate level on which the group communicates with its audience.
– The Dallas Morning News
Woody Gurthrie would have laughed.
John D. Rockefeller would have grimaced. The woman in the next row had to take an early intermission because it was too disturbing. The fellow a few seats down shoulted with glee agreeing wheth the factory worker said, “The company has this thing about how everybody is supposed to love their job.”
Zimet calls the band’s special kind of theater “gesture combined with vocal expression and music.”
They taunt the work ethic. They scrutinize the American principle that says “make everything rich and efficient.” They hang their characters of ideas of work and money out on a line like underwear, pointing to the embarrassing tatters and to fancy stitching.
If theater’s purpose is to entertain and to reflect, and perhaps to pinch its audience a time or two, the the Talking Band is consummate theater.
– Fort Worth Star-Telegram