“Not What Happened” explores themes of memory and Vermont history

Aug-5-A-Not-What-Happened-SCMultiple Obie-winning writer Ain Gordon and director Ken Rus Schmoll premiere a work rooted in Vermont history. Inspired by the politics of reenactment—the recreation of the past for the present—“Not What Happened” is a duet between two women that could never actually meet: a tour guide in period costume working at a historic site and the person that guide represents. The evening-length work is accompanied by documentary artist Forrest Holzapfel’s photos of 19th-century artifacts and rural landscapes.

“Not What Happened” had a May 2011 workshop at the Playwright’s Center in Minnesota and writing time there in June 2012. Undergirding the development process in 2011-12 was a semester-long research period hosted by Vermont Performance Lab in partnership with Marlborough College and the Center for Creative Research. Gordon partnered with professors in history, anthropology, and theater plus students from all three disciplines.

“Not What Happened” premieres Sept. 6 and 7 at 8 pm at the FlynnSpace. Visit www.flynncenter.org for more information.

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