The Further Adventures of the Wooster Group’s Kate Valk
2 Mar 2012
“I’ve never worked not in concert. I am part of an ensemble. It’s a responsive thing.” —Kate Valk
Legendary avant-garde performer Kate Valk is up for a professional challenge. During the 2011–12 theater season, Valk—the only original member of New York’s Wooster Group still performing with the company—acted in Richard Maxwell’s innovative staging of O’Neill’s early plays, joined the directorial team for a co-production of Troilus and Cressida with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and collaborated with director Peter Sellars and dancer Michael Schumacher on a performance of sacred Buddhist texts. Theater magazine editor Tom Sellar talked with the actor about these exciting new ventures.
Kate Valk is a founding member of the Wooster Group, a New York-based theatre collective started in 1974, and she has performed with the group for nearly four decades. Wooster has become synonymous with productions that “subvert the text” and make use of elements such as video screens on stage, voice-overs, and a mixture of high and low cultural references. Valk’s notable performances include Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones (1993), House/Lights (1999), and Hamlet (2006). Most recently, she played Mrs. Wire in the Wooster Group’s production of Tennessee Williams’ Vieux Carré, with performances in Europe, Canada, and Brazil.