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The Wooster Group
THE B-SIDE: “Negro Folklore From Texas State Prisons” A Record Album Interpretation

more information  Know Before You Go

In order to preserve the optimal conditions for presenting The Wooster Group, the performances of THE B-SIDE originally scheduled for Sep 9-12, 2021 have been rescheduled to Jan 26-29, 2022. Additionally, the performance of UNTITLED TOAST originally scheduled for Sep 20, 2021 has been rescheduled to Feb 4, 2022. 

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Influential and trendsetting, legendary and revolutionary, The Wooster Group is a New York City-based experimental theater company directed by Elizabeth LeCompte since its founding in 1975. Their productions tour nationally and internationally, though have never been presented in Texas until now. In January 2022, the Wooster Group will make their long-overdue Texas debut with a two-week residency on campus. They will present both a full production and present work-in-progress showings of a second work in the McCullough Theater, which will be transformed into a black box-style theatre with all audience seating on the stage.

THE B-SIDE is an original production based on the 1965 LP record Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons, which features work songs, blues, spirituals, preaching, and ‘toasts’ from inmates in Texas’ then-segregated agricultural prison farms.  Performer Eric Berryman plays the album, and along with performers Jasper McGruder and Philip Moore, channel the inmates’ voices, via in-ear receivers, recreating them live.  Berryman also provides context from the book Wake Up Dead Man: Hard Labor and Southern Blues by Bruce Jackson, the folklorist who recorded the album at the prison in 1964. THE B-SIDE is directed by long-time Group member Kate Valk and designed by Elizabeth LeCompte.

The production was a New York Times Critics Pick, was nominated for a 2019 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience, and was included in ‘Best Theater of The Year’ lists in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Nothing short of transcendent. An extraordinary masterclass in listening.

The New York Times

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This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Media Sponsor: KUT-FM

Jan 26, 7:30 PM

Jan 27, 7:30 PM

Jan 28, 7:30 PM

Jan 29, 7:30 PM