2013 Winter/Spring Season. Based on The Suit by Can Themba, Mothobi Mutloatse, and Barney Simon Direction, adaptation, and music by Peter Brook, Marie-Hélène Estienne, and Franck Krawczyk The renowned Peter Brook—whose 1987 production of The Mahabharata inaugurated the BAM Majestic Theater (now the BAM Harvey Theater)—returns with a music-filled adaptation of South African writer Can Themba’s piercing tale of simmering resentment and tragedy, The Suit. A wife caught in the act, her lover fleeing the scene, a suit left behind. It’s the perfect recipe for a husband’s punishing, humiliating decree: go on with business as usual, he says to his spouse, but take your lover’s suit everywhere you go as a ghostly reminder of your betrayal. Using an innovative staging that integrates live musicians directly into the action, Brook makes Themba’s volatile work sing. A hummed “Strange Fruit,” African melodies, and Schubert lieder thicken the tense, poisoned air of this apartheid-era summer in which a shared wound was not allowed to heal.
Dating from its first performance in 1861, BAM has grown into a thriving urban arts center that brings international performing arts and film to Brooklyn. The first BAM facility at 176-194 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights was originally conceived by the Philharmonic Society of Brooklyn as a home for its concerts. It housed a large theater seating 2,200, a smaller concert hall, dressing and chorus rooms, and a vast "baronial" kitchen. BAM presented both amateur and professional music and theater productions. Performers included Ellen Terry, Edwin Booth, Tomas Salvini, and Fritz Kreisler.