Woolfing It Down

Lauren in Room: to the write-house
photo: AJ Zanek/Wexner Center
Lauren in Room: to the write-house

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Room
Directed by Anne Bogart, text adapted from Virginia Woolf's works
by Jocelyn Clarke
Classic Stage Company
136 East 13th Street
212-677-4210

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Bogart's previous portraits, both the successful and those less so, have been of artists whose medium was the external and visual world: Welles, Warhol, Robert Wilson. (One hopes she didn't choose Woolf because her last name also began with W.) In each case she was able to find a physical life that began in the artist's own work, and in each case that physicality was the piece's strongest asset; only in Bob, where the available words were sparsest, were the text and its visualization in perfect balance. But Woolf's lasting achievement is all words, and while Room's great pleasure is that it lets us hear and ponder many fine Woolfian words, it brings along with them the frustration of not having found a physical shape in which those words can live. The room of their own that they require is within a human mind, and unless we find a space in which they can reverberate there, we literally can't see them, despite all the care and effort Bogart and her colleagues have put into urging us to do so.

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