Lecompte Essay

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Elizabeth LeCompte Life Before ‘The Performance Group’ • Born on April 28, 1944 in Summit, New Jersey. • Was interested in arts since a young age and attended various performances throughout New York City, including ballets and various works performed by the Metropolitan Opera. • Attended Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY and graduated in 1967 with a B.S. in Fine Arts. • First got actively involved in theatre at Skidmore which helped her transition from Fine Arts to Theatre. • “I studied painting for four years, did some photography for a while, then gravitated to theater because there was not as much happening in painting as there was in theater. I mean happening in the broadest political sense. At the time painting was very separate from real issues…. I think of what I do in the theater as painting on a very large scale.” The quote above enlightens us about LeCompte’s desire to make something that is her own. Art that involves current affairs. She wanted to bring out art in a manner that involved what was going on in the REAL world and incorporate it. LeCompte breaks the barrier of the social norm of the way theatre is structured on a usual basis and brings a fresh take with her. (What is the director’s aesthetic from your point of view?) The Performance Group • Three years after graduating from college, LeCompte joined Richard Schechner’s Performance Group, an experimental theatre group based in New York City at The Performing Garage on Wooster Street. • LeCompte started off as the graphic designer of the company and also enjoyed painting for the company. • In 1971, LeCompte worked as Schechner’s assistant and acted in the Performance Group’s production, Commune. During Schechner’s absence, LeCompte took over as director of the production and was the interim manager. LeCompte still acted in
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