Peter Rose
Berlin Zoo

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by Kathleen O'Steen

VARIETY MAGAZINE, Friday, August 13, 1989 Los Angeles, California

The differences between East and West, communism and capitalism, the inside and the outside, realities of structure and boundaries…these are some of the issues addressed in Peter Rose's solo piece, "Berlin Zoo." The production, which has been playing around the country and in Europe over the last Five years, enjoyed a limited run at Highways and most recently made the move over to The Powerhouse Theater. The story involve's Rose's own trip through West German in 1980-81 working with The Polish Lab Theater of Grotowski. What he found in Berlin was the Bahnhof (train station), An anachronism sitting in the midst of westernised civilization because it was operated by The East Germans. "It was there like a post-war remnant, a decrepit 1945 train station," he said. Yet the Banhof began to take on greater dimensions in Rose's mind, standing as a focal point Of separation, crossroads and different realities. It also turned out to be the take-off point for "Berlin Zoo," an artistic study of boundaries and structure. The piece is not bound exclusively to Berlin," Rose said. "It is meant to relate to a Political imposition or structure that is either left there or built. It's about those barriers that keep people from going through doors, many of which are dead barriers," he said. "It's about borders we all have to cross." Rose, a founder of New York's Performance Space 122, thus created a piece that took advantage of his training with Yiddish Theatre to create a fictional odyssey of one man looking for the boundaries and then attempting to break through. It incorporates real and fantasy images with movement, music and text. Production is scheduled to run at The Powerhouse on Saturday nights through August 26th. It is directed by Patricia Pretzinger.


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