Photo credits: Johan Persson
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International Theater Series

Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord: The Suit

Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 7:30 pm
Power Center

Please note: The artists have requested to perform the work with no late seating break. While we will make every effort to seat latecomers at an appropriate moment during the performance, late seating can be very disruptive to your fellow audience members and the artists, and late seating is not guaranteed. Please allow ample time for parking. For tips, visit

There are shadows lurking in the periphery of even the most jovial surroundings. And there is no one better to explore these shadows with than the legendary stage and film director Peter Brook, whose 71-year career at the Royal Shakespeare Company, London’s West End, Paris’s Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, and countless other companies and has irrevocably changed contemporary theater. The Suit “brims with a gentle effervescence and musicality that you associated with entertainments usually described, a bit dismissively, as charming,” says the New York Times. “Yet even as it draws you in like the gregarious host of an intimate party, this story of adultery in apartheid South Africa is quietly preparing to break your heart.” Brook’s tender production articulates the nuances of life’s highs and lows through a tale of simmering resentment that is less about betrayal than forgiveness – and the devastating heartbreak that can befall humans who are unable to forgive.

New this season, “Tune In” to UMS for a brief pre-performance talk. Just 15 minutes long, the “Tune In” will offer interesting information and provocative questions for thinking about, listening to, and watching the performance. With Michael Kondziolka, UMS director of programming. “Tune In” begins at 7 pm, Michigan League Room D (3rd floor).

Where does inspiration come from? What makes an artist tick? Join us for a post-performance Q&A and get a glimpse into the lives and minds of the artists that bring creativity to the stage. Must have a ticket to this evening’s performance to attend.

Program Book [PDF]

Peter Brook’s contributions to theater have spanned stage, film, and literary worlds.

Among his many honors, he has won two Tony Awards, one in 1966 for his production of Marat/Sade, the other in 1984 for The Tragedy of Carmen. Brook’s lifetime achievements have been recognized several times, including an honorary membership to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Kyoto Prize in Creative Arts and Moral Sciences, and an Olympia Prize for Man and Culture.

Peter Brook renovated and re-opened Theatre Bouffes du Nord, an experimental theater in Paris, France, in 1974. His tenure there ended after 36 years in 2011.

We welcome Theatre Bouffes du Nord for their UMS debut performance.

2/17: The Emperor of Sophiatown: Peter Brook Does Can Themba – Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of Comparative Literature, History of Art, Philosophy and Art & Design Daniel Herwitz lectures on South African writer Can Themba, whose short story inspired The Suit.

2/12, 2/13, 2/15: The Tightrope, a film about the life and work of Peter Brook, will be screened at the Michigan Theater on February 12 at 4 pm, February 13 at 4 pm, 7:45 pm, and 9:45 pm, and February 15 at time TBA.

Film Synopsis:

Peter Brook is one of the world’s most respected and revolutionary directors of contemporary theater. To help his actors achieve extraordinary performances, he has a special exercise, called “the Tightrope,” which evolved over decades of experimentation and practice into a process of transformation that makes theater real and new for actor and audience alike. In this quietly eloquent and unique film, director Simon Brook, Peter’s son, reveals how the Tightrope works its dramatic alchemy.

86 minutes. Not rated. English and French with subtitles. 

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Ticket Information


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