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11 September 2001

Written by Michel Vinaver
Directed by Robert Cantarella
World Premiere

Presented in association with the Théâtre Dijon Bourgogne.

A landmark international collaboration between the CalArts Center for New Performance and the Théâtre Dijon Bourgogne culminates with the world premiere of French playwright Michel Vinaver’s 11 September 2001, staged by Robert Cantarella, director of the National Dramatic Center of Dijon.  A dramatic oratorio composed of newspaper and documentary accounts, 11 September 2001 was written by Vinaver in English as a meditation on the events of 9/11.

“All the world was witness to this live event,” notes Vinaver, “the shock was amazing — with reverberations that blinded us.” Vinaver constructs a textual cantata from thematic “melodies”, a chorus, and “recitatifs” made specific by taking on character roles — from victims, to journalistic observers, to Bin Laden and Bush. 

Performed in multiple variations by an ensemble cast, Cantarella’s daringly physical production takes on complex and shifting perspectives. “Theater works on the invention of a new understanding,” says Cantarella. “Vinaver’s text produces a theory from this history, and creates a poetic collage.” Canterella’s production defies conventional gestures of representation. Instead, he crafts a constantly shifting landscape of feeling that dramatizes consciousness in catharsis.

Funded in part by Étants Donné, The French-American Fund for the Performing Arts, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Association Francaise d’Action Artistique, and Cultural Services of the French Embassy of the United States.

Performance History

REDCAT, Los Angeles, 2004
Théâtre de Colline, Paris, 2006
Frictions Festival of Théâtre Dijon Bourgogne, France, 2006
Center Dramatique National de Montpellier, France, 2006

Production Team

Michel Vinaver, Playwright
Robert Cantarella, Director
Genevieve Verseau, Production Liaison
Alexandre Meyer, Composer
Madeleine Bernatchez, Scenic Design
Leah Piehl, Costume Design
Jesse Prince, Lighting Design
Badger Koon, Sound Design
Adam Howarth, Sound Design
Josh Fleitell, Video Design
Jeff Teeter, Video Design
Justin Schlegel, Stage Manager
Rachel Manheimer, Assistant Stage Manager
Bill Ballou, Production Manager
Pooja Sharma, Assistant Production Manager
Eric Holden, Technical Director
Carol Bixler, Producer (CNP)
Meredith Lynsey Schade, Assistant Producer
Jonathan Ahmanson, Ensemble
Jorge Castaneda, Ensemble
Celeste Den, Ensemble
Max Eugene, Jr., Ensemble
Ayana Hampton, Ensemble
Cindy Im, Ensemble
Andrea LeBlanc, Ensemble
Carla Nassy, Ensemble
Ariane Owens, Ensemble
Hilario Saavedra, Ensemble
Cecily Strong, Ensemble
Jin Suh, Ensemble