The Builders Association - SONTAG: REBORN

Performing Arts

Photo: James Gibbs

The Builders Association
SONTAG: REBORN

Thu, Nov 15, 2012 8 PM
Fri, Nov 16, 2012 8 PM
Sat, Nov 17, 2012 8 PM
Sun, Nov 18, 2012 2 PM

"What is it to be young in years and suddenly wakened to the anguish, the urgency of life?"--Susan Sontag from Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963

"A touching and exquisitely rendered portrait."--New York Times

This vivid stage portrait by Wex favorites the Builders Association provides keen insight into the formative years of famed public intellectual Susan Sontag: her time as a student and aspiring writer, her sexual awakening as a lesbian, and her internal struggles as a wife and a mother. Adapted verbatim from the first volume of Sontag's journals (written between 1947 and 1963) by performer Moe Angelos, SONTAG: REBORN is a tender look at the prolific essayist before she became a world-renowned author and activist.

Sontag's early journals reveal a young woman veering between confidence and self-doubt. She finds in her diary a refuge as important to her development as a writer as it is to her personal growth and maturity. As Sontag says, "In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could in person. I create myself." Directed by Marianne Weems and employing the Builders' signature sophisticated video and sound design, this tightly crafted story of self-discovery and sexual identity is both exuberant and intimate, exploring the private life, loves, and idiosyncrasies of the iconic intellectual.

Here's more from New York Times critic Christopher Isherwood's review of the show.

"The young Sontag, in Ms. Angelos's quietly fervid performance, has the courage of her convictions without quite yet knowing what they are.... Ms. Angelos tempers the feisty neuroticism of the teenage Sontag with more reflective shadings as she begins finding her way toward professional equilibrium, rejecting a comfortable life in academia for the thornier path of the independent writer's vocation. SONTAG: REBORN gives compelling theatrical life to this process, as it was undertaken by a woman whose private battles with her demons are all the more affecting because we know that she ultimately achieved the intellectual eminence--and, despite a healthy ego, the compassionate spirit--that her young self so ardently, so eloquently reached toward."

SONTAG: REBORN is programmed in conjunction with our exhibition Annie Leibovitz, which includes the photographer's images of Susan Sontag, her companion.

Company Credits
SONTAG: REBORN was made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and developed with the support of New York Theatre Workshop's Artists' Workshop Initiative. Research in the Susan Sontag Papers at UCLA Library Special Collections was supported by the UCLA Library's James and Sylvia Thayer Fellowship Program.

Venue support was provided by The Performing Garage.

The Builders are grateful to all those who donated to the Kickstarter campaign that supported this project.

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