Center for the Arts Presents Death and the Ploughman

Posted: March 7, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Death and the Ploughman, a play written in Germany in 1401, tells the story of a man who loses his beloved wife in her prime and demands answers for his ensuing pain. His pleas for a response from Death result in an extraordinarily contemporary exploration of what it means to be alive. The play comes to George Mason’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall for one performance on Wednesday, March 9, at 8 p.m.

Anne Bogart, praised for her exacting use of movement and gesture, puts the SITI Company through their paces on this new production, a commentary on the ravages of life and loss. Death and the Ploughman, never before produced in the United States, had its premiere at the Wexner Center in Columbus, Ohio, last April and a subsequent production in New York. Critics hailed the production as “a prayerful and surprisingly playful marriage of the medieval and the modern” (The Columbus Dispatch) and “visually elegant” (the New York Times).

Michael West’s translation of Death and the Ploughman was first staged at London’s Gate Theater in 2002, prompting Anne Bogart to create her own interpretation. In this incarnation, Will Bond plays the anguished ploughman with a fervency suited to his grief. Stephen Webber, as Death, calmly responds to the ploughman’s emotions. Rather than rising to stridency, he infuses the character with a wry intelligence.

The sound design by Darron West underscores the mournful and sometimes surreal happenings onstage with industrial techno-sounds, and Brian H. Scott’s lighting highlights Bogart’s coolly stylized tableaus.

An artistic discussion, free to ticket holders, is held 45 minutes prior to the performance on the hall’s Grand Tier. Tickets are $34, $26, and $17. Charge by phone at 703-218-6500 or visit www.tickets.com.

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