Animal Magnetism


Mabou Mines

Directed by Lee Breuer and Terry O’Reilly

Written by Terry O’Reilly


25th Oct. 2018, 21:00

26th Oct. 2018, 16:00

27th Oct. 2018, 17:00

28th Oct. 2018, 14:00

WHERE: Ancient Courtyard Theatre 

Duration: 70 minutes (without intermission)

Performed in English, with Chinese and English subtitles 


…There are many companies that would be lucky to share in just a little of this kind of excess. 

— D. J. R. Bruckner, NY Times

About Animal Magnetism

Animal Magnetism is a love story between a chimpanzee and a rhinoceros. It’s a musical, it’s a comedy, it’s impossible.  

Totally redirected for this year’s Wuzhen Theatre Festival by veteran Mabou Mines playwright Terry O’Reilly and Mabou Mines Founder Lee Breuer, this next incarnation draws upon the cutting-edge New York puppetry of Jessica Scott to vamp and revamp their original collaboration.

Playing jazz with pop icons, movie plots and a wild assortment of musical forms from Bossa Nova to Rap, R&B and Rock, they weave together original songs and Eve Beglarian’s sweeping sound score into a story of two larger than life characters improbably attracted to one another dealing with forces far beyond their control.

About Lee Breuer & Terry O’Reilly

Lee Breuer

Mabou Mines Founding Artistic Director Lee Breuer is a writer, director, poet, playwright, adapter, lyricist, teacher, and filmmaker engaged in a lifelong process of incendiary experimental theater projects in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America.

Breuer has directed thirteen OBIE Award-winning performances, and received numerous awards including: OBIE Awards for Best Play, Directing, and Distinguished Achievement; The Edinburgh Herald Archangel Award for Sustained Achievement; a MacArthur Fellowship; and a Chevalier Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Terry O’Reilly

Terry O’ Reilly is a playwright, lyricist, performer and director. His work ranges from dancing in the companies of Trisha Brown, Simone Forte and Meredith Monk to directing minimalist opera about Nikola Tesla in Belgrade and Brooklyn Academy of Music to directing and co-writing (with Simon Wong) a children’s puppet play in Hong Kong and Guangxi based on US, African and Chinese folk stories. A 2014-2015 Fulbright senior scholar in the area of aboriginal ritual and theater at the Taipei National University of the Arts, he is based in NYC where his primary artistic work for more than four decades has been as an artistic director of Mabou Mines.

International work includes performances and directing productions in Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Taipei, Nanning, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, Western Europe, the Czech Republic, Poland, Serbia and Montenegro. IBEU award Best Director for David Ives' Tudo no Timing in Brazil. Publications include poetry inThe American Poetry Review and The Bribe playscript for Applause Books. SAG/AEA.


Directors: Lee Breuer, Terry O’Reilly

Scriptwriter: Terry O’Reilly

Music by Eve Beglarian

Production Design: Manuel Lutgenhorst adapted by Andy Sowers

Music Direction: Marie Incontrera

Additional music: Robin Lorentz, Bohdan Hilash, J. Danial Stanley

Lyrics: Robin Lorentz Terry O’Reilly J. Danial Stanley, Lee Breuer

Puppetry Designer/Director: Jessica Scott

Puppetry Director: Enrico Wey

Co-Director / Company Representative: Dodd Loomis

Video Design / Animation Programing: judsoN

Lighting Designer: Yi-Chung Chen

Foley & Percussion/Technical Director: Andy Sowers

Stage Manager: Mariana Catalina

Assistant TD / Design Assistant: Hao Bai

Poster Image Designer: judsoN

Puppet: Tin Tin

Performed by Enrico Wey, Stefano Brancato, Ashley Winkfield

With the Voice of: Sean Runnette

Puppet: Cheri

Performed by Jessica Scott, Kate Brehm, Rosalind Lilly

With the Voice of: Clove Galilee

Figures: El Jackal the buyer, Socrates, the Conductor

Performed by Terry O’Reilly

Premiere at St. Ann’s in Brooklyn, NY (April, 2000)

About Mabou Mines

Mabou Mines is an artist-driven experimental theater collective generating original works and re-imagined adaptations of classics. Work is created through multi-disciplinary, technologically inventive collaborations among its members and a wide world of contemporary filmmakers, composers, writers, musicians, choreographers, puppeteers and visual artists. Mabou Mines fosters the next generation of artists through mentorship and residencies.

In the summer of 1970, a group of artists—David Warrilow, Lee Breuer, Ruth Maleczech, JoAnne Akalaitis and Philip Glass—retreated to Philip and JoAnne’s house near Mabou Mines, Nova Scotia to create their first theater piece, Red Horse Animation. The company took the name “Mabou Mines,” and has since become not only a collective of artists, but of ideas and approaches.

The company was born out of the influences and inspirations of Europe’s seminal avant-garde theater collectives. Before arriving in New York in 1970, the would-be ensemble of Mabou Mines spent five years in Europe observing and studying the working methods of the Berliner Ensemble, the politics of the exiled Living Theater and the demands of physical training with Jerzy Grotowski. Since that time, Mabou Mines has created more than 120 works, and has been honored with more than 100 major awards.

Today, the Company includes four Artistic Directors: Founding Artistic Director Lee Breuer and co-Artistic Directors Sharon Ann Fogarty, Karen Evans Kandel and Terry O’Reilly; Artistic Associates: Maude Mitchell, Clove Galilee and David Neumann and a far-reaching network of collaborators.