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anatomy theater

About the show

New York City Premiere

Based on actual 18th-century texts, anatomy theater follows the astonishing progression of an English murderess: from confession to execution and, ultimately, public dissection before a paying audience of fascinated onlookers. Through the miracle of opera, she sings through it all.

anatomy theater conjures a time when “specialists” traveled from town to town in pre-modern Europe, conducting public dissections of the corpses of executed criminals, seeking evidence of moral corruption in the interior of the human body. It is a moral dissection, with images of bodies and environments projected on scrims, 4 singers – a lecturer, a demonstrator, the caretaker of the anatomy hall, and the corpse itself – 9 musicians and a text drawn from surviving documents and period moral tracts.  Written by Pulitzer Prize–winning composer David Lang and world-renowned visual artist Mark Dion, anatomy theater is a darkly humorous, tuneful and grisly theatrical event.

anatomy theater is a part of our fifth annual PROTOTYPE Festival, co-produced with Beth Morrison Projects. For more information on the artists, works and events in this year's festival please visit the PROTOTYPE website.


Composer: David Lang

Librettists: Mark Dion and David Lang

Director: Bob McGrath

Conductor: Christopher Rountree

Scenic Designer: Mark Dion

Lighting Designer: Chris Kuhl

Video Designer: Bill Morrison

Projection Designer: Laurie Olinder

Sound Designer: Garth MacAleavey

Costume Designer: Alixandra Gage Englund

Rehearsal Pianist/Vocal Coach: Mila Henry


Sarah Osborne: Peabody Southwell

Joshua Crouch: Marc Kudisch

Baron Peel: Robert Osborne

Ambrose Strang: Timur

With the ICE International Contemporary Ensemble

A Ridge Theater Production. Developed and Produced by Beth Morrison Projects. Development support provided by BRIC and MassMoCA.

Commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects, Ridge Theater, Justus & Helen Schlichting, Linda & Stuart Nelson, Paul King, Marla Mayer & Chris Ahearn. Additional commissioning support provided by BRIC, Nancy & Barry Sanders and Miles & Joni Benickes. anatomy theater is funded, in part, by an award from The National Endowment for the Arts - Art Works, and by public funds from The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional funding was provided by the Multi-Arts Production Fund (MAP), the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts and New Music USA.

anatomy theater premiered at LA Opera in a Beth Morrison Projects production in June 2016.

Co-presented with BRIC

Photo credit James Matthew Daniel


January 7-14
Tues - Sun @ 8PM

At BRIC House

Running time 75 mins

Show dates


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