Gabri Christa’s MAGDALENA at Theaterlab



Photo by Kevin Yatarola.


MAGDALENA is an intimate multimedia solo performance by the award-winning filmmaker and a Guggenheim Fellow Gabri Christa. This work is a deeply personal account of experiencing Christa’s Dutch mother’s dementia, and an effort to piece together her past, marked by struggles with war, interracial marriage and unconventional motherhood. Born to a modest Dutch family, Magdalena survived the bombing of her hometown of Rotterdam during WWII and eventually married a middle-class Black man from the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao. When her memories started to fade, Christa took on the task of rebuilding her mother’s life through stories, dance, and images. The resulting 60-minute multimedia piece is part family album, part story of love and race, but above all, a reckoning with the harrowing consequences of a devastating illness that affects an increasing percentage of the world’s population.

Theaterlab, Sept 12-22, 2018

“A gem… The best kind of art is that done with great passion and you can tell that everyone involved in Magdalena is passionate about telling this story. From Christa’s initial inspiration to director Erwin Maas taking that inspiration and brilliantly bringing it to life, to De Lancey and his beautiful design choices, everyone worked with passion. And isn’t passionate theatre the best kind of theatre?” – Max Berry, Onstage Blog

“A tissue of fine and funny verbal detail  [with] passionate, energetic dancing.” – Elizabeth Zimmer, ChelseaNow

“Rich and moving… We’re lucky that she’s generous enough to invite the audience along.” – Carrie O’Dell, The ReviewsHub

“Remarkable … What makes it work so well is not only the supreme talent of the woman on stage and the two men behind the scenes (director Erwin Maas and dramaturg/designer Guy de Lancey) but the truth and tenderness with which such a deeply personal story is told.” – Cindy Sibilsky, BroadwayWorld

“An act of loving discovery, recall and reclamation… Christa is a gifted storyteller.” – Eva Yaa Asantewaa, InfiniteBody


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