Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wunderbaum Will Roll in with 'Detroit Dealers'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wunderbaum Will Roll in with 'Detroit Dealers'

Article excerpt

Wunderbaum theater company has played everywhere from an outdoor plaza in Tehran to railway stations in Flanders, Belgium. Next stop: Pittsburgh, to perform the world premiere of "Detroit Dealers" Feb. 23-25, part of the Distinctly Dutch Festival's four months of programs.

The multidisciplinary company merges drama, documentary, music and visual arts and drew the attention of the REDCAT Theater in Los Angeles for a residency in November 2010. The trip to the Pittsburgh Cultural District will be Wunderbaum's second to America.

The story it brings to the States, described as "an industrial family tragedy in the age of smoke and fume," is personal and global. It focuses on the American car industry through the eyes of Arie Bart, company member Walter Bart's grandfather and a Dutch General Motors' Opel car dealer who lived in Detroit during the 1950s auto boom.

"Detroit Dealers" tackles societal, environmental and economic issues, made accessible through the prism of one family's story.

"I like the idea of premiering it in Pittsburgh, because it was an industrial town that has turned itself around, and now you have an up-and-coming city with a different kind of economy, based more on technical industry," Mr. Bart said by phone this week.

He's seen the fourth-floor, brick-walled space of the Trust Education Center, 805-807 Liberty Ave., only in photographs, but he likes what he sees for the 90-minute performance.

"It will give a different feel to the whole performance having it in a more intimate, rougher space than a normal theater," Mr. Bart said. In the Netherlands and on tour, "we work more on site- specific projects, shopping centers and abandoned buildings, but it's hard because you have to build everything. I like very much things I've seen of the space in Pittsburgh."

Watch for more on Wunderbaum's "Detroit Dealers" and other Dutch Festival events as they continue through May. …

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