What if pregnancy was contagious? Or good housekeeping really was a matter of life and death? In this early work by Gertrude Stein, women navigate the worst of all possible worlds. Katherine Brook directs Pink Melon Joy in this lofty Williamsburg performance space for one weekend only, marking the first time the play has ever been performed in New York. When it was first produced in Philadelphia in 1992, Mark Lord imagined the rambling experimental text as a proto–Sleep No More, with the audience moving from room to room through a three-story mansion as a weekend getaway unfolds. Brook directs the post-WWI-set story differently, peopling her version with the equivalent of candy-colored Stepford wives on acid. By removing the social propriety, she’s able to tap into Stein’s meditations about feminine physicality and the downright weirdness of having another person growing inside of you. Comparisons between war and giving birth are neither subtle nor accidental.
Fri., June 27, 7 p.m.; Sat., June 28, 7 p.m., 2014