Erebus and Terror

Winter Alert

Yeah, I know, everyone’s having a collective snowgasm in the snowpocalypse, but, should you decide to put your head outside your cave, there are some theatrical events happening this weekend that should make the snowjob of digging out worth your while. First of all, Thursday night, Jan. 13th, the Yale Cabaret, led by Andrew Kelsey and Tara Kayton, resumes its 2010-11 season with a play entitled Erebus and Terror, directed by Devin Brain, last year’s co-artistic director of the Cab.  Brain’s anticipated return to the Cab also marks a return to a work, conceived by Yale School of Drama acting major Alexandra Henrikson and written and created by the cast, that was originally scheduled to end the Cab’s 2009-10 season.  The wait was worth it, we suspect, especially as the play dramatizes events in the Arctic.  The current conditions in New Haven couldn’t be more propitious.  The title refers to the names of the steamships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, commanded by Sir John Franklin on his doomed search for the Northwest Passage in 1845.  Among the 2,3999 books aboard ship was a copy of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare—a fact that may be significant for how the play dramatizes the snowbound experience of the 128 men on the expedition.  The play, the Cab website tells us, “is a journey north in search of songs and stories frozen in ice”—but you need only journey through the wintery wastes to 217 Park Street in New Haven to hear them.  Shows at 8 p.m, Thurs., Fri., Sat., late shows Fri. and Sat. at 11 p.m. Call: 203-432-1566;

And on Sunday, Jan. 16th, a special event takes place at the Long Wharf Stage II.  A dramatic reading of an adaptation of Torture Team by Philippe Sands, directed by Gordon Edelstein, and featuring the star power of Vanessa Redgrave, Lili Taylor, Jeff McCarthy, Jay O. Sanders, and Harris Yulin.  Taking attorney Sands’ book Torture Team, described as “an All the President’s Men for the 21st century,” as its starting point, the play investigates the degree of complicity on the part of the Bush administration in the tortures of Guantámo Bay, using a variety of media—clips of Judgment at Nuremberg, presidential statements, interviews, Murat Kumaz’s memoir of his incarceration at the U.S. detention facility—to dramatize the events and their context.  Sands’ book has been praised as a formidable work of investigative journalism that lays the basis for a charge of war crimes against the Bush administration.  Redgrave, known almost as well for her activism as for her acting, and Sands will both participate in discussion of the controversial claims of the work after the performance. 7 p.m. For information: