Norbert began performing in theater in the late 60’s, and even became a founding member in various theater groups, one of which is still very active today -- The Odyssey Theater Ensemble. I have included photos and descriptions of the plays where available. All photos on this page were provided by Norbert.
The Merry Street TheaterNorbert started here back in 1968 withDon’t Step on a Line
Written in the late 1960's, Jean Claude van Itallie’s The Serpent traces the chaotic state of modern man to Genesis and original sin. Representations ofpolitical assassinations and various monologues diagnose America as a sick society weakened by war, turmoil, and lonely individuals. The Garden of Eden, complete with the Serpent, is van Itallie's meeting place that connects the fall of modern society to the fall of Adam and Eve. He suggests that society can heal when we "revisit" the Garden of Eden and recover our lost innocence through hope and by connecting with ourselves and one another.
As Dr. Faustus in Dominus MarlowProVisional Theater
The SerpentOdyssey Theater Ensemble, 1970-72
Theater of Social ChangeThis was the first play for the ProVisional Theater group. Xa - A Vietnam Primer is the history of the people of Vietnam. It is performed on a large map of the country outlined in tape. In alternating scenes, the performers speak directly to the audience as themselves or read a narrative history of Vietnam. Others use dance-like movements to act out various armies and rearrange the tape as borders change.
The American Piece (below) is a collective work developed by the ProVisional Theater’s Don Opper and Susan Yankoowitz who devised the characters of The Fragmented One, The Worrier, The Self-Punisher, The Leaner, The Self-Lover, The Drifting One, The Never-Satisfied One, and The Cynic. All of these characters are represented in a series of movements and expressions. Norbert had the role of the Self-Punisher.
The Threepenny Opera, 1970-72, The Odyssey Theater EnsembleThe Threepenny Opera proclaims itself "an opera for beggars," and it was an attempt both to satirize traditional opera and to create a new kind of musical theater based on the theories of two young German artists, composer Kurt Weill and poet-playwright Bert Brecht. In a brief prologue following the overture, a shabby figure comes onstage with a barrel organ and launches into a song chronicling the crimes of the notorious bandit and womanizer Macheath, "Mack the Knife." The setting is a fair in Soho (London), just before Queen Victoria's coronation.Norbert had the role of Macheath in this production.
“The Three Penny Opera played in conjunction with van Itallie's The Serpent for a year to critical success around 1970. It put the Odyssey Theater on the map.” (Norbert Weisser)