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Performances

Performance:
A Rat’s Mass (1967)

Thurs, Apr 21, 2016  9 PM

Location: Floor Five, Neil Bluhm Family Galleries

Cecil Taylor’s cross-disciplinary experiments in music and live performance reached a highpoint in March 1976 with an operatic re-staging of Adrienne Kennedy’s memorable one-act play A Rat’s Mass (1967) at La MaMa Experimental Theater Club in New York. Taylor directed and composed music for the play, subtitled Procession in Shout, combining repetitive fragments of text from the script with a chorus of voices and live piano. The Whitney hosts a new staging of A Rat’s Mass, directed and produced by Hilton Als, New Yorker staff writer and current guest artist at The Artist Institute, and starring Helga Davis, a principal in the 25th anniversary production of Einstein on the Beach. The piece will include elements of Taylor’s music from 1967 until 1976. A longtime fan of Taylor’s work, Als has written about the musician and composer, and Kennedy for The New Yorker and other publications. 

Doors open at 8:30 pm. Tickets are required ($10 adults; $8 members, students, and seniors).

Whitney Museum of American Art, Neil Bluhm Family Galleries, Floor Five. Photograph by Bill Orcutt

Whitney Museum of American Art, Neil Bluhm Family Galleries, Floor Five. Photograph by Bill Orcutt