New DeLillo Adaptation Gets World Premiere at Duke

Friday, December 22, 2017

Don DeLillo’s 2001 novella, The Body Artist, is at once a ghost story and a love story that takes its only two characters on a journey into a spare, seductive outpost of grief, time and love.  DeLillo himself gave director/writer Jody McAuliffe permission to adapt The Body Artist for the stage. A full professor of the practice in Duke's Theater Studies department, McAuliiffe had connected with DeLillo previously when she adapted and directed Mao II for Theater Previews at Duke and conducted an especially rare interview with DeLillo in 1999. Collaborating with acclaimed set designer and Duke alum Jim Findlay — by now a Duke Performances regular through his work with David Lang and Hiss Golden Messenger — McAuliffe staged a workshop performance of her script at New York’s Abrons Arts Center in 2017.

Duke Performances presents the world premiere of the production this January, with both audience and action on the same stage at Reynolds Industries Theater. Tavish Miller plays the changeling, and Rachel Jett — the artistic director of the National Theater Institute and premier American practitioner of the movement system created by Moscow theater director Andrei Droznin — plays the haunted, haunting body artist.

Presented by the Department of Theater Studies at Duke University with Duke Performances, the premiere will run three nights only, and the January 26th and 27th performances are already sold out.  Limited seating is still available at Duke Performances for the Thursday, January 25 show at 8:00pm.