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Friday, October 21, 2016

In Context: Request Concert

A middle-aged, middle-class woman (Polish actress Danuta Stenka) goes about her well-worn evening ritual in Franz Xaver Kroetz’s devastating, wordless 1971 experiment in hyper-realism. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of related articles and videos. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #RequestConcert.

Program Notes

Request Concert (PDF)


Danuta Stenka (
Learn more about actress Danuta Stenka, a lauded veteran of Polish stage and screen who commands in solo silence for Request Concert.

Interview: Franz Xaver Kroetz (TheatreNotes)
An interview with the playwright from 2009, when he was 63. “Reality is so perverted in its unbelievable mercilessness that I as a poet become silent.”

Chapter 5: The Request Concert Project (Google Books)
An excerpt from Theatre and the World: Performance and the Politics of Culture by writer, director, and renowned critic Rustom Bharucha chronicling his nine stagings of Request Concert across Asia.


KONCERT ŻYCZEŃ - reż. Yana Ross (YouTube)Director Yana Ross discusses the production with TR Warszawa.

Now your turn...

What did you think? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #RequestConcert.


  1. Meditative. Well, it had a chance to be, but the format of having people stand and walk around seems to fight against the idea of the performance. I quickly moved up to the balcony to sit, and was engaged with the performance in a way I surely would not have had the opportunity to be had I stayed down on the main level. And by the way, the signs outside the theater said "Balcony opens 7:15, Main level opens 7:25" but in no way said anything about seating. Please, consider more information rather than hiding this information until show start. General admission shows at Fisher are fraught with these cryptic 'where do I go', 'where should I try to sit', 'do I stand' etc. issues every time. No advance notice of the layout of seating for shows! I don't understand this. You don't have to keep it a secret. I would not have shown up a half hour early to get good seats had I known this layout beforehand, and that you wouldn't be opening the theater until show time. It's common courtesy to let your paying audience know what the arrangements will be. I made a dash to the balcony not really because I couldn't stand but because HELLO it's cold out, and I had my coat and bag on me, and would not have had anywhere to store these for the performance and would have been standing bundled up for 80 minutes. At the very least, give people a head's up about 'hey you might want to check your coats, you'll be standing with them'. Nowhere on the site or in the lobby of the theater is this stuff ever posted. Harvey and Gilman never have these issues, because you have seating charts. Would it kill you guys to draw a map of what this looks like and tell us when the theater will open for these general admission shows at the Fisher?

  2. I didn't know I could go up to the balcony. I am short and by the time I got in, the entire playing space was surrounded by tall people. Many moved away -- whether they went to the balcony or left I don't know. I agree that being told "no seating here but available in the balcony" would have been helpful.

    The piece itself was pretty self-indulgent tedium.While she is quite compelling, Her pimple popping and toilet sitting is not interesting. And while it pretends to be hyper-realistic, when she gets out of bed for the final section, the kitchen area lights up on its own.