Richard Foreman, a six time Obie Award
winner and one of the most influential figures in Amerian drama
, is widely considered the foremost avant-garde
playwright in the world today. Highly influenced by Gertrude Stein
and her concentration on the importance of the moment
in theater, Foreman founded the Ontological-Hysteric Theater in 1968 to house his particular form of stagecraft. Since then, he has written, designed, and directed thirty original works which have been presented in the U.S. and throughout Europe
. He continues to produce one new play a year in New York, the most recent of which was Bad Boy Nietzsche
which chronicled the philosopher
's mental deterioration toward the end of his life.
Foreman describes his own work as a "polyphonic theater in which all elements work to fragment each other so that the spectator is relatively free from empathy and identification and instead may savor the full 'playfullness' of theatrical elements, even though the subject matter of these plays is anguished and aggressive in the extreme. My goal has always been to transcend very 'painful' material with the dance of manic theatricality."
The next production to open in New York, Now That Communism is Dead My Life Feels Empty, will begin performances in January, 2001 at The Ontological-Hysteric Theater located in the St. Mark’s Church at 2nd Avenue and 10th Street