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Richard Foreman, Filmmaker

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May 18, 2015
May 18, 2015
Segal Theater

Richard Foreman; Photo courtesy of the artist

Monday, May 18
Segal Theatre
All Day Screenings

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

Join us for the very first retrospective of Richard Foreman’s work for film, in addition to films about Richard Foreman, and an evening panel discussion with the artist. The legendary New York auteur-du-theatre stopped working for the theatre and now considers himself a filmmaker.

Richard Foreman has written, directed, and designed over fifty of his own plays both in New York City and abroad. Five of his plays have received Obie awards as Best Play of the Year—and he has received five other Obie’s for directing and for “sustained achievement”. He has received the annual Literature award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a Lifetime Achievement in the Theater award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN Club Master American Dramatist Award, a MacArthur Genius Fellowship, and in 2004, was elected officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France.

Screenings Schedule:


  • Mindflux (2010) by Ryan Kerrison- 52 mins
  • City Archives (1977) – 28 mins
  • Strong Medicine (1978) – 81 mins
  • Out of the Body Travel (1975) – 42 mins
  • Once Every Day (2012) – 67 mins
  • Total Rain (1990) – 27 mins
  • Radio Rick in Heaven and Radio Richard in Hell (1987) – 12 mins


  • MY NAME IS RAINER THOMPSON AND I’VE LOST IT COMPLETELY (2012) by Elliot Caplan – 83 mins
  • Conversation with Richard Foreman and Frank Hentschker
  • Untitled (2015) – 20-min excerpt from his work-in-progress

Retrospective curated by Richard Foreman in collaboration with Graduate Center CUNY Ph.D. Student in Theatre, Eylul Fidan Akinci (Turkey), and Frank Hentschker.

MindFlux (2010) by Ryan Kerrison
52 mins | Documentary

Explores the wildly creative universe of internationally acclaimed experimental artist Richard Foreman, an icon who bypassed rewards of traditional success to do his art. Perseverance is a key theme that’s both timely and enduring.


City Archives (1977)
28 mins| Short

Foreman produced City Archives, a labyrinthine collage of image and language, at the invitation of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. The tape centers on the perspective of an outsider — the foreigner as Other — towards a city and its artifacts. Foreman’s signature visual and verbal puns and carefully composed compositions result in an often humorous dialogue on the role of documents as evidence, and the relationship of text and image. While questioning the positions from which one views information, Foreman constructs and then deconstructs the central metaphor of an archive as a receptacle of information and knowledge.


Strong Medicine (1978)
81 mins | Film

Adaptation of Foreman’s plays around the character Rhoda, a hysterical heroine who feels oppressed by the people around her. She suffers through her birthday party, goes to see a doctor, plans a vacation, argues a lot and even breaks the fourth wall.


Out of the Body Travel (1975)
42 mins | Short

A “young woman who finds herself surrounded by the relics of Western culture” is the subject of Richard Foreman’s formal tableaux. The narration centers on a young woman’s struggle to find a relation between her body and her self as mediated by language. The text is a poetry of formal relations that carries personal and historical implications, including the desires of the woman paradoxically voiced by a male narrator. The title suggests the vivid virtuality of dreaming; scenes repeatedly refer to both reading and sleeping.


Once Every Day (2012)
67 mins | Film

The legendary New York auteur-du-theatre Richard Foreman returns, thirty years after Strong Medicine, to a full-length film. Shot in just six days, Foreman uses his performance work as a matrix for fascinating collage of images, sounds, and ideas for a film with a well-hidden plot — edited over a period of one and a half years.


Total Rain (1990)
27 mins | Film

Experimental film made for television in which playwright/director Richard Foreman explores his relationship with actors, and also examines the impact of William Faulkner’s The Sound and The Fury on his work, most especially the character Quentin Compson.


Radio Rick in Heaven and Radio Richard in Hell (1987)
12 mins | Short

This short movie was part of Richard Foreman’s play, Film Is Evil: Radio Is Good. This play takes place in some other time and some other place. “The Last Filmmaker in the World” is on display in a zoo that is also a radio station, allowed only to make films promoting the idea that “Film is evil and Radio is good.” Patronized and tormented by “The Owner of the Radio Station” and her associates (as well as a pair of fascist Zookeepers), the Filmmaker attempts to plead his case to the audience and hold onto his own values, even as the case against Film as a positive force is presented with greater clarity and increasingly violent force.


83 mins | Documentary

A close look at the making of Once Every Day, a film by Richard Foreman.