September 5 to 17, 2017.
Theater for the New City (Community Space Theater), 155 First Avenue.
Presented by Theater for the New City (Crystal Field, Artistic Director) as part of Dream Up Festival 2017.
Tuesday, September 5 at 9:00 PM; Monday, September 11 at 9:00 PM; Saturday, September 16 at 2:00 PM; Sunday, September 17 at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM.
Tickets $15. Box Office: (212) 254-1109, www.dreamupfestival.org
Running Time: 55 minutes. Critics are invited to all performances.
Selected photos of shows in the Dream Up Festival are available for download at: https://photos.app.goo.gl/3lfCK2x77YlYMVwk2.
NEW YORK, August 7 — Iceland in the 19th Century was not exactly an idyll; it was an island nation of farming and fishing communities, pretty much cut off from the much of the rest of the world. Crime was rare and capital crimes rarer still. So the country’s criminal cases have become the stuff of legend, including the child rape case in Rifsaedasel of 1837, which is as infamous to Icelanders as The Manson Family is to Americans. Contemporary Icelandic playwright Hrafnhildur Hagalín revisits this infamous case with “Guilty” (2014), a verse play that gracefully and provocatively examines issues of obsession and mercy which cling to it to this day. Robert Greer, Artistic Director of New York’s August Strindberg Rep, discovered the piece, translated by Salka Gudmundsdottir, at a staged reading in Denmark in 2015 and resolved to bring the play to American audiences. Theater for the New City’s Dream Up Festival has made this possible, presenting the work September 5 to 17 as part of its eighth annual festival of edgy new works.
In the play, the hired hand on a subsistence farm on the rugged north coast of Iceland stands accused of adultery with the farmer’s wife. She has continued the relationship even after he has raped her young daughter. Her husband and daughter both testify against them. The penalty for adultery in 1837 is death. The play is the remembrance of all five characters, from different points in time. For the judge, it is a memory play and he reflects with astonishment and regret on the consequences of his ruling. This was his first case. The theme of the play is that obsession runs deep, but mercy runs deeper.