If you’re wondering what might have been if Theatre de la Jeune Lune hadn’t suddenly imploded a little more than a year ago, now’s your chance to find out — sort of.
This week, two of the company’s former top guns — Dominique Serrand and Steven Epp — are presenting five performances of a work they had been talking about doing at Jeune Lune before the company folded in June 2008.
“If course, all the circumstances changed and it has evolved into something quite different,” said Epp, who wrote and will be performing the 90-minute, one-man piece, “The House Can’t Stand.” Serrand directed and designed the work, which is being presented at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis.
Epp portrays a woman in the show. But don’t think Epp’s performance is something akin to Benny Hill or the cross-dressing comics of Monty Python. “It’s not a drag show,” Epp said. “It’s not about that world at all.”
What world is it about? Our world in metaphor, which is what Jeune Lune aspired to reflect in many of the company’s original pieces over the decades. Describing what the piece is about can be left to the aftermath of opening night.
The performances are also being billed as the birth of a new theater company, but Epp explained that as more of an ambition. “It’s a way to get our work launched and to find if there’s an audience for it,” he said, adding that there has been talk of establishing a nonprofit organization with a different model — more agile, without a season of plays or real estate to support.
Serrand talked about the same thing a year ago in a departing statement after the June Lune company was dissolved. “Building upon our artistic legacy, and facing a different future, we are exploring ways to reinvent an agile, nomadic, entrepreneurial theatre with a new name,” he wrote.
No name yet, but this is a start. “The House Can’t Stand” gets a preview performance Wednesday and officially opens Thursday. There’s a “gala” performance on Friday that includes food and drink (tickets cost $100 to that one), a performance on Saturday and a final show on Sunday. Details, along with online ticketing, can be found here.
In a way, the Southern Theater marks a return to what Jeune Lune started out doing back in the 1970s. Back then, Jeune Lune was a homeless group of like-minded performers, and the Southern frequently was one of the venues it used. So it’s back to the future.