The Emperor Jones

The Emperor Jones is a play by Eugene O'Neill which tells the tale of Brutus Jones, an African-American man who kills a man, goes to prison, escapes to a Caribbean island, and sets himself up as emperor. The play recounts his story in flashbacks as Brutus makes his way through the forest in an attempt to escape former subjects who have rebelled against him.
An experimental video by Christopher Kondek and Elizabeth LeCompte showcases the production of the play by the New York-based performance troupe The Wooster Group, starring Kate Valk and Willem Dafoe.

Voice and movement predominate, bringing the expressionism of the play to a new level. These two figures are specific about their stances, poses, and movement patterns, throughout the stage space, both individually, and in relation to one another.
It is astonishing how a two-character play with an essentially bare stage and few props can produce such a concentrated effect. The flickering TV screen, unique projecting of voices, gamelan, gongs, ticking clock, and embroidered materials of the costumes, work mysteriously with the three performers to create a ritualistic drama that haunts its audience.
You can buy The Wooster Group Work Book

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