“The Town Hall Affair” The Wooster Group at REDCAT

Photo by Paula Court.
Photo by Paula Court.

Opening tomorrow night, The Wooster Group’s newest work The Town Hall Affair delves into the revolutionary fervor of feminist thinking and art “happenings” of 1970s New York. The piece is based on the Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker film Town Bloody Hall, a documentary of a 1971 panel that featured feminist thinkers and activists— including Germaine Greer, Jill Johnston, and Diana Trilling — with Norman Mailer serving as an immoderate moderator.

During the stage show, special focus is given to radical lesbian Jill Johnston, who attempted to subvert the event.

REDCAT, Calarts’ downtown center for contemporary arts, presents The Wooster Group’s new work The Town Hall Affair from March 22 to April 1, 2017.

The Town Hall Affair is based on Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker’s film Town Bloody Hall, which documents a rowdy 1971 debate on Women’s Liberation held at Town Hall in New York City. The debate participants included distinguished critic Diana Trilling, “saucy feminist” Germaine Greer, “radical lesbian” Jill Johnston, and Norman Mailer acting as immoderate moderator.

In The Town Hall Affair, the Group both re-inhabits the original film and derails it, redirecting Mailer’s pugnacious propensities onto himself and spinning out into Jill Johnston’s vision of a radical future.

Featuring performances by Ever Chakartash, Ari Fliakos, Greg Mehrten, Erin Mullin, Scott Shepherd, Maura Tierney, Kate Valk.

Directed by Elizabeth LeCompte.
Based on the film Town Bloody Hall by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker

In addition to the performers, the ensemble includes: Zbigniew Bzymek (additional video), Enver Chakartash (assistant director, costumes), Matthew Dipple (assistant director), Eric Dyer (Tour Technical Director) Gareth Hobbs (sound), Bona Lee (production manager), Erin Mullin (stage manager), Ryan Seelig (lighting), Joseph Silovsky (technical director), Eric Sluyter (sound), Jennifer Tipton (lighting), and Robert Wuss (video and projections).


The Town Hall Affair is supported by piece by piece productions and the National Endowment for the Arts Art Works program.


Photo by Paula Court.
Photo by Paula Court.


The Town Hall Affair

The Wooster Group


631 West 2nd Street,

Los Angeles CA 90012


March 22 to April 1, 2017.

More information here.  


About The Wooster Group:

Founded in 1975, The Wooster Group has made more than 40 works for theater, dance, film, and video under the direction of Elizabeth LeCompte. These works include Rumstick Road(1977), L.S.D. (…Just the High Points…) (1984), Frank Dell’s The Temptation of St. Antony(1988), Brace Up! (1991), The Emperor Jones (1993), House/Lights (1999), To You, The Birdie! (Phèdre(2002), Hamlet (2007), There is Still Time . . Brother (2007), La Didone(2009), Vieux Carré (2011), Cry, Trojans! (Troilus & Cressida) (2014), and The Room(2015). The founding and original members of the Group are Elizabeth LeCompte, Spalding Gray, Ron Vawter, Jim Clayburgh, Willem Dafoe, Kate Valk and Peyton Smith. The Performing Garage at 33 Wooster Street in lower Manhattan is the company’s permanent home, which they own and operate as part of the Grand Street Artists Co-op, a 1960s project of the Fluxus art movement. The company regularly tours worldwide, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.


REDCAT, CalArts’ downtown center for contemporary arts, presents a dynamic and international mix of innovative visual, performing and media arts year round. Located inside the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles, REDCAT houses a theater, a gallery space and a lounge. Through performances, exhibitions, screenings, and literary events, REDCAT introduces diverse audiences, including students and artists, to the most influential developments in the arts from around the world, and gives artists in this region the creative support they need to achieve national and international stature. REDCAT continues the tradition of the California Institute of the Arts, its parent organization, by encouraging experimentation, discovery and lively civic discourse.


For current program and exhibition information call 213-237-2800 or visit

Location/Parking: REDCAT is located in downtown Los Angeles inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex with a separate entrance at the corner of West 2nd and Hope Streets. Parking is available in the Walt Disney Concert Hall parking structure. $9 event rate or $5 for vehicles entering after 8:00 pm on weekdays.

Street Address: 631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles CA 90012

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


Follow us

Follow ArtsBeat LA on social media for the latest arts news.