Cal Performances presents State of Siege this weekend, a play by Albert Camus, and presented by the Paris-based Theatre de la Ville. It tells the darkly allegorical story of a small town fearing and facing a plague, and the totalitarian regime that rises up in response. Artistic and Executive Director of Cal Performances, Matías Tarnopolsky says it’s part of the programming strand called “Vaulting Walls,” aiming to challenge audiences’ preconceived notions.

There’s more information about the play at the Cal Performances website.

Tarnopolsky describes the play as “a work that just becomes more relevant every day… a theatrical version directed by Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota their artistic director, of Albert Camus’s State of Siege which begins darkly and just gets darker… To quote Demarcy-Mota, he describes State of Siege as ‘a distorted mirror of a nightmarish future in which a city is reduced to silence and submission to authority.’ It’s brilliant. Incredibly powerful, and the most visceral mirror on which to reflect on issues of our day.” It’s a work that Camus wrote in 1948, showing how fear could be manipulated into control of the population. “These are works that we hope challenge you to think anew about things that you might have felt were settled,” Tarnopolsky says. “Challenge you to explore new ideas, through the works on our stages. We’ve come up with a great idea: we’re having a Catharsis Café in the lobby, so that you’ll be able to sit and talk with your friends about what you’ve just experienced, so like all great art it provokes conversations and that’s what we hope to do. Conversations that lead to change.”

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