The Birth of the Poet

December 3 – 8, 1985

Premiere US Premiere
Production Language English
Country of Origin United States
Description Part of 1985’s Next Wave Festival, The Birth of the Poet was reviled at its premiere: the audience (those who hadn’t already walked out) barraged the actors with boos, and the next day's reviews unanimously echoed the audience’s rage. The Birth of the Poet is considered one of the most panned shows of the Next Wave. Kathy Acker’s scatological text told a sexually charged tale of apocalypse that jumped between an atomically blasted New York of the future, ancient Rome, and Iran in the 1980s. Richard Foreman’s direction added another layer of meaning with its many references to the avant-garde of the past, while Peter Gordon’s score was an unceasing collage of noise and incidental music that often worked against the actors’ speech, and David Salle’s sets played with the line between realism and abstraction. Certainly, there was a lot to absorb in this prickly, punky, neo-Dada melting pot (or meltdown, depending on who you ask).  
Identifier 1985f.00384