Hotel Modern’s KAMP at St. Ann’s Warehouse
A highlight of this year’s festival is the American Premiere of an astonishing work of miniature theater: the Dutch company Hotel Modern’s Kamp, in which they recreate the entire Auschwitz concentration camp. The engagement is strictly limited to just six performances, which take place June 2—June 6, on the following schedule: Wednesday—Saturday at 7:30 P.M., and Sunday at 1:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M.
Holland’s Hotel Modern is known for blending drama, music, film and performance in evocative miniature performances that treat harsh subject matter subtly and sensitively. Kamp brings Auschwitz to life in a vast installation that fills the St. Ann’s Warehouse stage with such true-to-life features as over-crowded barracks, the haunting railway track, and the famous gateway with the slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei,” through which the prisoners passed every day on their way to “work.” Thousands of three-inch-tall, hand-crafted puppets representing the prisoners and guards, without dialogue, engage in the camp’s day-to-day activities—from sweeping and digging to the equally “routine” operating of the gas chambers and crematoria. Trains arrive, and selections are made. Events are played out in real-time physical manipulations of the tiny puppets and projected onto the set’s rear wall by the live performers, who move through the installation like giant war reporters filming daily camp life with handheld miniature cameras. Kamp is an extraordinary achievement that demonstrates the continuing marvels of puppetry’s capacity to document and interpret human myth and history. It especially hits home for Hotel Modern group member Pauline Kalker, whose grandfather died in Auschwitz. Holland’s Noordhollands Dagblad said of Kamp, “The performance is so gripping that when it ends the audience is unsure whether to clap or leave the theatre silently.”
Tickets to Kamp range from $35 to $50, with $25 student tickets and $10 discounts for Toy Theater Festival Pass-holders. Tickets are available online at http://www.stannswarehouse.org and by phone at 718.254.8779 (Tuesday—Saturday, 1:00 P.M.— 7:00 P.M.) or 866.811.4111 (extended hours Monday—Friday, 9:00 A.M.—9:00 P.M.; Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 A.M.— 6:00 P.M.). They can also be purchased at the St. Ann’s Warehouse Box Office at 38 Water Street Tuesday—Saturday, 1:00 P.M.—7:00 P.M.