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Opening Date: Oct 21, 2023

Closing Date: Oct 23, 2023

Running Time: 01:25

L'Etang Show Site Icon

Playing @

New York Live Arts

219 West 19th Street New York City, NY 10011

View theatre details
Adaptation of an early work by the Swiss writer Robert Walser, L’Etang (The Pond, der Teich) reveals an intricate tale of filial love by distributing the roles between the actresses, Adèle Haenel and Julie Shanahan.

L’Etang is a family drama that stands out from the rest of Robert Walser’s work (1878–1956): it is a private text that the young writer had offered to his sister and the only one that he ever wrote in Swiss German. A boy who feels unloved by his mother and, at the lowest point of his despair, pretends to commit suicide in order to see her love for him one last time. What are the real issues here? What is being played out between the lines and on stage? What are the different levels of language, from narrative to words, whether formulated or not, which make up our perception, our understanding and our exchanges? These questions—which have long been at the heart of Gisèle Vienne’s work— create mise en abymes through Robert Walser’s text and the staging strategy: Adèle Haenel and Julie Shanahan embody one and two characters respectively while lending their voices to the others. 

Several levels of perception of reality and temporality, interiority and exteriority coexist. In examining the conventions of the theater and the family, L’Etang notably raises the question of the shared representation of reality, the social norm and what we see. This piece is created in memory of Gisèle Vienne’s long-time collaborator, actress Kerstin Daley Baradel, who died in July 2019, and with whom, in collaboration with the team, she had developed this work so intimately.

Part of the Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels Festival in New York.
Covid Banner Icon

COVID-19 Safety Information

Masks are optional but encouraged.

Performance Schedule:



Adèle Haenel & Julie Shanahan


Gisèle Vienne

TDF Tickets Offers:

TDF member tickets:

Not currently available for this show

Listed atTKTS


Full-price tickets

$15 - $35


Box Office

Lobby level; accessible


The ground floor restrooms and theater are wheelchair accessible.

Directions Subway

1 to 18th Street. 2/3, F, M, L and A/C/E to 14th Street.


Elevator to all floors


None on premises


The lobby is accessible via the double doors to the left of the revolving door at 219 W 19th Street.

Wheelchair Info

The first floor lobby is a communal public space and wheelchair accessible via the street facing double doors next to the main entrance at 219 W 19th Street. Theater, dressing rooms and 3rd floor studios are accessible by elevator. Restrooms throughout the building and theater are wheelchair accessible.

Directions Bus

M11, M2

Directions Driving

Street parking only

Folding Armrests

None available


Street parking only

Water Fountain

Lobby level; wheelchair accessible

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Public Transportation

Subway Icon

By Subway:

1 to 18th Street. 2/3, F, M, L and A/C/E to 14th Street.

Bus Icon

By Bus:

M11, M2