The Hotel Savant, a theatre company based in New York City, explores the livid, the uncertain, the magical and sublime: the seminal ideologies of history and mythology and their impact on contemporary narrative. Helmed by Artistic Director John Jahnke, they are committed to mounting or developing one original work per year, utilizing a variety of performance techniques that include pageantry, dance and tableau. In addition they are dedicated to reviving obscure and rarely performed texts that correlate to present day topics.

During its Process Space residency, Hotel Savant will work on incorporating the original music for Funeral Games, by Viennese composer Fennesz, into the overall structure of the show. The group will also work on the final design of the stage set, inspired by jungle gyms, building an initial version to be tested by the actors and dancers.

Funeral Games is an original theater piece by Hotel Savant Artistic Director John Jahnke, with an emphasis on video, tableaux, athletics and music (by renowned Viennese composer Fennesz). Inspired by Book XVI of Homer’s The Iliad, Funeral Games wryly explores the highly debated relationship between the warrior Achilles and his beloved Patroclus, during the epic Trojan War. Although the nature of this relationship, so central to the narrative of The Iliad, has long been a topic of dispute amongst mythology purists, it has rarely been explored theatrically in an isolated and contemporary context. Employing a bitingly modern tone, the original script investigates such present-day issues as the repression of gays in the military, gay marriage, aggressive quests for celebrity and fame – all informed by the backdrop of an imprudent war. Funeral Games opens February 14, 2013 at The Ellen Stewart Theater at La Mama.

Image credit: courtesy of the artist