For the record, The Wooster Group, that prototypical, transgressive downtown New York theater company that permanently pissed off playwright Arthur Miller—and gave the theater and film world artists such as Elizabeth LeCompte, Willem Dafoe and Spalding Gray—never did The Diary of Anne Frank. The very thought is just absurd enough to give Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern a jumping-off point for an homage to one of the more twisted theater troupes on record. "You can't not be influenced by their work if you're a company doing new, edgy theater pieces," says artistic director Jay O'Berski. "Their people bridge the worlds between the commercial and the experimental."
Two years ago, O'Berski, managing director Dana Marks and playwright John Justice cold-called founding member Kate Valk while they were visiting New York. The four of them wound up hanging out in a loft at the Performing Garage, where Valk gave their project her blessing. In this staging of the group's great "lost production," excerpts from an ersatz '80s soap opera get mashed up with entries from the diaries of Anne Frank—and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and autobiographical monologist Spalding Gray. "It's amazing how they overlap," O'Berski says. "The same themes keep coming up."
A sextet including Jeffrey Detwiler, John Jimerson and Tamara Kissane play Wooster stalwarts including Gray, Dafoe and LeCompte. Jim Haverkamp's video preview is at bit.ly/WOOSTRAF. —Byron Woods