The Bilbao Effect

Sunday 1 November, 7pm

The Bilbao Effect - a comedy that puts contemporary architecture on trial has its first public reading at The Architecture Foundation.

In The Bilbao Effect, playwright Oren Safdie tackles issues about contemporary architecture that Londoners have recently hotly debated following Sir Richard Rogers calls for a public inquiry into the Royals' influence following the cancellation of his Chelsea Barracks project. The play explores whether architecture has become more of an art than a profession, and at what point do the ethics of one violate the other. In short, this play puts contemporary architecture on trial with the public as its jury.

Safdie's previous play set in the world of architecture, Private Jokes, Public Places, received high critical praise when it first opened off-Broadway in New York. DJR Bruckner of The New York Times wrote, "A biting send-up of architects, a battle of wits between four sharply defined characters. The verbal dexterity alone is mesmerizing. An hour and a quarter of laughter." The New Yorker called it, "A scream, a short, tight play, and an X-acto-blade sharp comedy. Safdie exposes the emperor's new blueprints for all to see." Jessica Branch of Time Out NY wrote, "A biting satire with a humanist heart ...A take-no-prisoners comedy."

The Bilbao Effect was commissioned by the Canada Council for the Arts and will have its world-premiere production at the AIA Center for Architecture in New York in May, 2010.

A native of Montreal where he grew up in his father Moshe Safdie's famed Habitat '67, and a former architecture student at Columbia University, Oren Safdie wrote the film YOU CAN THANK ME LATER, co-starring Ellen Burstyn, Amanda Plummer and Mary McDonnell. His most recent play THE LAST WORD ran off-Broadway in 2007 at Theatre St. Clements, and starred two-time Emmy Award Winner Daniel J. Travanti ('Hill Street Blues'). Other plays include JEWS & JESUS, FIDDLER SUB-TERRAIN, and LA COMPAGNIE, which he developed into a pilot for CBS. He has also written for Metropolis Magazine, Dwell and The New Republic.

Please note: This event is a Play Reading, and not a full production.


Images: Private Jokes, Public Places by Oren Safdie