The Collected Works is a brand-spanking-new theater producing company formed by Stanford and Berkeley alums who are hell-bent on bringing exceptional, experimental performance to the West Coast theater scene. Together with the Performance Art Institute they present Princess Ivona, the 1935 Absurdist comic play by Witold Gombrowicz. The story involves a silent, awkward young woman whose strangeness fascinates a Prince to the point that he proposes to her, and is a brilliant and often hilarious examination of the role of power and desire.
Other highlights include textile artist Latifa Medjdoub's abstract knitted-fiber sculpture built on a computerized loom for the performance and local singer and string player Meredith Axelrod (The Get Happy String Band) who performs old American songs from the '20s and '30s as part of the production. As the story unravels ever deeper, the audience follows as they physically travel further into the large warehouse space over the course of the play. Expect to be literally and metaphorically moved.
Princess Ivona runs Thu.-Sat. at 8 p.m. through Feb. 9 at the Performance Art Institute, 75 Boardman, S.F. Admission is $20-$30.