Dublin Theatre Festival


Robert Wilson

Born in Waco, Texas, Robert Wilson was educated at the University of Texas and Brooklyn's Pratt Institute. He studied painting with George McNeil in Paris and later worked with the architect Paolo Solari in Arizona.

Moving to New York City in the mid 1960's, Wilson found himself drawn to the work of pioneering choreographers George Bananchine, Merce Cunningham and Martha Graham, among other artists. By 1968 he had gathered a group of artists known as the Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds, and together they worked and performed in a loft building at 147 Spring Street in lower Manhattan.

In 1969 two of Wilson's major productions appeared in New York City: The King of Spain at the Anderson Theatre, and The Life and Times of Sigmund Freud, which premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

In 1971 Wilson received international acclaim for Deafman Glance, a silent opera created in collaboration with Raymond Andrews, a talented deaf mute boy whom Wilson had adopted. Wilson then went on to present numerous acclaimed productions throughout the world.Later came The Life and Times of Joseph Stalin a twelve hour silent opera performed in 1973. Wilson joined with composer Philip Glass in writing the landmark work Einstein on the Beach, which was presented at the Festival d'Avignon and at New York's Metropolitan Opera House, and has since been revived in two world tours in 1984 and 1992.

After Einstein Wilson worked increasingly with European theatres and opera houses. His productions were frequently featured at the Foetal d'Automne in Paris, the Shaubühne in Berlin and the Thala Theatre in Hamburg, among many other venues. At Schaubühne he created Death Destruction & Detriot (1979) and Death Destruction & Detriot II (1987); and at the Thalia he presented four groundbreaking musical works, The Black Rider (1991), Alice (1992), Time Rocker(1996) and Poetry (2000).

Wilson has collaborated with a number of internationally acclaimed artists, writers and musicians. He worked closely with the late German playwright Heiner Müller on the Cologne section of The Civil Wars (1984), Hamletmachine (1986) and Quartet (1987). With singer/song-writer Tom Waits, along with writer William S. Burroughs, Wilson created the highly successful production The Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets (1991). With David Byrne, Wilson staged The Knee Plays from The Civil Wars (1984) and later The Forest, in honour of the 750th anniversary of the city of Berlin (1988).

He worked with poet Allen Ginsberg on Cosmopolitan Greetings (1988) and with performance artist Laurie Anderson on his adaptation of Euripides' Alcestis (1986). Writer Susan Sontag joined Wilson in creating Alice in Bed (1993), and together they are developing a new work, Lady from the Sea. Recently Wilson collaborated with singer/song-writer Lou Reed on Time Rocker, which opened at Hanburgs Thalia Theatre in June of 1996, and Poetry premiered in Hamburg in January 2000.



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