Mies Julie was the hands-down, must-see hit and Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award-winner at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Building upon a rich history of importing standout Edinburgh productions and major international companies to America in recent years, St. Ann's Warehouse (Artistic Director, Susan Feldman; Executive Director, Andrew D. Hamingson) will present this American Premiere (and the Baxter Theatre Centre's American debut), which adapts the August Strindberg classic to post-apartheid South Africa. Performances will take place November 8 – December 2, marking the official opening of the new St. Ann's Warehouse at 29 Jay Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn.
Critics are welcome as of the 3:00 P.M. performance on Saturday, November 10 for an official opening on Monday, November 12. Please note: Mies Julie contains strong adult themes and nudity, and is recommended for audiences 16 and up.
Mies Julie is written and directed by Yael Farber, based on August Strindberg's Miss Julie, and produced by the Baxter Theatre Centre at the University of Cape Town (CEO and Artistic Director, Lara Foot) in association with South African State Theatre. In the smoldering kitchen of a remote estate 18 years after the election of Nelson Mandela, a single night, both brutal and tender, unfolds among a black farm laborer (John, played by Bongile Mantsai), his "master's" daughter (Julie, played by Hilda Cronje), and the woman who has raised them both (Christine, played by Thoko Ntshinga). The visceral struggles of contemporary South Africa are revealed as a deadly attraction spirals out of control between John and Julie who battle over power, sexuality, mothers and the land. Haunting and violent, intimate and heartbreaking, the struggles take place among the characters and with their ancestors, laying bare questions of what restitution and freedom can really mean and what losses can and cannot ever be recovered.
The production features sound design and music written, and performed live on stage, by the brothers Daniel Pencer (saxophone, electronics) and Matthew Pencer (laptop, live foley, sound effects). The traditional Xhosa musician Tandiwe Nofirst Lungisa sings and plays multiple instruments, and figures as a ghostly ancestral presence in the cast. Patrick Curtis designed the set and lighting and Birrie le Roux designed the costumes.
In addition to the Best of Edinburgh distinction, Mies Julie won the Edinburgh Fringe First and Herald Angel Awards. The Scotsman called the show "a runaway hit," The Independent's four-star review said it "thrums with menace and passion" and deemed it "electrifying," and The New York Times described it as "raw and unapologetic in dealing with both the lingering political wounds and the sexual dynamics between the two central characters." St. Ann's Warehouse Artistic Director Susan Feldman found the production so captivating that, just two weeks after she saw it at the festival, St. Ann's made a deal to bring Mies Julie and the Baxter Theatre Company to New York as the inaugural production at 29 Jay St.
The Baxter's Mies Julie is the latest of numerous stellar shows and International Artists St. Ann's Warehouse has introduced to New York audiences following immense acclaim in Edinburgh: The National Theatre of Scotland's Black Watch and Beautiful Burnout; Druid's productions of Enda Walsh's The Walworth Farce, The New Electric Ballroom and Penelope; Daniel Kitson's The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church and It's Always Right Now, Until It's Later.
Mies Julie premiered at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, and was produced in association with the National State Theatre, Pretoria.
Tickets are $40- $75 and are available online at www.stannswarehouse.org and by phone at 718.254.8779 (Tuesday-Saturday, 1:00 P.M.-7:00 P.M.) or 866.811.4111 (extended hours Monday-Friday, 9:00 A.M.-9:00 P.M.; Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 A.M.-6:00 P.M.). They can also be purchased at the St. Ann's Warehouse Box Office at 29 Jay Street (Tuesday-Saturday, 1:00 P.M.-7:00 P.M.).