Saint Genet

Promised Ends: The Slow Arrow of Sorrow and Madness

Who With Their Fear Is Put Beside Their Part
Who With Their Fear Is Put Beside Their Part

The author, director, and performance artist Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell and his group Saint Genet create visually stunning environments in which the performers transgress physical and psychological boundaries. In his “Theater of Cruelty”, he creates associative mythological spaces and overwhelming beauty which at any moment can tilt into pain, hysteria, and extreme emotions. Promised Ends: The Slow Arrow of Sorrow and Madness is the culmination of a three-year work process around the migration tragedy of the Donner Party, a group of settlers who crossed the US and had to endure unimaginable horrors after they were trapped by an early snowstorm in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Mitchell depicts a society on the edge that breaks taboos, but also provokes radical acts of caring. Fear, danger, death, and cannibalism. Or a new form of empathy? A physically and spiritually destroyed King Lear, inspired by Jean-Luc Godard’s and Akira Kurosawa’s cinematic interpretations of the tragedy, becomes the mouthpiece of this society. The lighting artist Ben Zamora and the kinetic object artist Casey Curran have created an installation environment that visitors can physically explore before an epic operatic performance is discharged by performers, dancers, and amateur and professional musicians including the composers Brian Lawlor and D. Salo. We become witnesses to a surreal vision that challenges both our common past and our unknown future, and rebels against the horror of the current political situation. On the merciless journey, we are trapped with Saint Genet and the Donner Party in the mountains and meet a “mad king on the heath saying ‘Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!’“

Artistic Team and Cast

Conzept, written and directed by Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell
Light Sculpture Design Ben Zamora
Light design John Torres
Installation and kinetic Objects Casey Curran
Choreography Matt Drews
Assistant Choreography Lavinia Vago
Composition Brian Lawlor, D. Salo
Costumes Robinick Fernandez
Costumes Production Jordan Christianson
Dramaturgy NKO
Technical Consultant John DeShazo
Sound Advisor Ryan Kelly
Video Alexander Nowak
Company Manager Sara Edward

With Baso Fibonacci, Matt Drews, Lily Nguyen, Lavinia Vago, Francesca Frewer, Adriana Cubides, Steffi Wieser

Musicians Brian Lawlor (Piano, Synths), Lukas Lauermann(Cello), Martina Bischof (Viola), Emily Stewart (Violine), Julia Pichler (Violine), Benny Omerzell (Keyboards)


Wiener Festwochen

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Tue, 16. May , 20:00
Wed, 17. May , 20:00
Fri, 19. May , 20:00
Sat, 20. May , 20:00



EUR 30,- / 20,- / 15,-


Passages in English


2 hr 30 min, no interval


16. May, 7.30 pm, Foyer Halle E+G im MuseumsQuartier

Discussion with the audience:

17. May, after the performance

Please note:

Admission 7.30 pm. The audience is invited to explore the installation before the
performance starts.

Holland Festival

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Westergasfabriek, Zuiveringshal West


Sat 10, Sun 11, Mon 12 June 2017 – 7.45 pm
Cinema het Ketelhuis with Anne Broere

Meet the artist

with Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell
Sun 11 June, after the performance
Moderators: Wieke ten Cate and Heske ten Cate