Gus Van Sant

In the 1960s, Andy Warhol sparked a radical shift in the art paradigm, generating a debate about what was truly important in American society. Popular culture became art, turning everyday objects into icons, such as the Campbell soup can.

Film director Gus Van Sant ventures into his first creation for the stage, a musical theater show inspired by Andy Warhol and his overwhelming talent for elevating images into icons, all while achieving worldwide celebrity status as persona and artist.

Gus Van Sant recreates the beginning of Warhol’s career through a fictional narrative built from facts and memories, but also from imagination. Actress Edie Sedgwick, who died prematurely, North-American writer Truman Capote and art critic Clement Greenberg are some of the characters played by teenagers and young actors who, by taking on a different age, experiment with identities against the backdrop of Pop Art’s birth.

In “Trouble”, Gus Van Sant’s sensitivity, closeness and charisma rekindle our belief in being together and forming a collective or a movement strong enough to change the world.

Text, direction, music: Gus Van Sant
With: Carolina Amaral, Diogo Fernandes, Francisco Monteiro, Helena Caldeira, João Gouveia, Lucas Dutra, Martim Martins, Miguel Amorim, Valdemar Brito
Artistic collaboration: John Romão
Musical direction: Paulo Furtado / The Legendary Tigerman
Vocal direction: Francisco Pessoa Júnior and João Henriques
Set design: José Capela assisted by António Pedro Faria and images by José Carlos Duarte
Costumes: Joyce Doret assisted by Luana Portella
Light design: Rui Monteiro
Sound design: João Neves
Choreographic collaboration: Sónia Batista
Assistance direction: Teresa Coutinho
Stage manager: Inês Carvalho e Lemos
Technical director: José Rui Silva
Production: BoCA
Executive production (creation): Francisca Aires
Executive production (touring): Filipe Metelo / Patrícia Soares
Co-production: National Theatre D. Maria II (Lisbon), deSingel (Antwerp), Festival Romaeuropa (Rome), Onassis Foundation (Athens), Kampnagel (Hamburg), Théâtre de la Cité – CDN Toulouse Occitanie, Teatro Calderón
Supports: Suspenso, Teatro Thalia

“Trouble” is a commissioned project by BoCA Biennial of Contemporary Arts 2021

What the press says

“A flamboyant and preposterous comedy” – New York Times

“It is a curious time for Van Sant to make the jump to musical theatre. (…) He refers to a Warhol interview from 1971, where the artist is convinced that movies are over” – The Guardian

“Pop art in a beautiful “Trouble”. The project, matured over thirty years by Gus Van Sant, mixes real facts and fiction in an oiled Broadway show, where Warhol’s debut in art is unfolded” – Libération

“It’s odd to see such a deliberatively queer biography played and written, for the most part, so ‘straight’” – Art Review

“First play written and directed by the filmmaker, focuses on the first steps of the young Andy Warhol in New York. And it is indeed a trouble. The real trouble the show arouses is due to the age of the actors. Performed by very young actors around 20 years old, casted in Portugal. This induces a real distance with the reported facts.” – Les Inrockuptibles

“Van Sant’s musical is not a linear or a lack of humor story. The portrait is built from a discontinuous narrative.” – El País

“Van Sant tells it as a campy musical: Again and again, the actors leave their characters and drive the plot forward with vocal numbers, with pathetic rock, strumming novelty songs, in between with satirical tips. In its artificiality it is genuine in a very peculiar way.” – Nach Kritik


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