Jay Scheib’s In the Jungle of Cities

About the Project

The inaugural season of the MIT Performing series culminated with a work-in-process presentation inspired by Bertolt Brecht’s genre smashing play, In the Jungle of Cities. Presented by the Center for Art Science & Technology (CAST), and directed by Professor Jay Scheib in collaboration with the student class ensemble of Theater Arts’ 21M.842 Live Cinema Performance, In the Jungle of Cities chronicles a battle of violent determination between a lumber-dealing businessman and an impoverished bookseller. Precariously pitched between success and squalor, capital and pain, self-loathing and an overwhelming desire to flee from reconciliation at all costs, this new prototype for a performance of In the Jungle of Cities is a multi-platform cautionary tale on the true virtues of thick-skinnedness. Staring Luke Eure, Maxwell Fishelson, Rionna Flynn, Maude Gull, Ziad Mansour, Michael Sanabria, and Jessie Xiao and styled by Shanise DeSilva.

“You are about to witness an inexplicable wrestling match between two men and observe the downfall of a family that has moved from the prairies to the jungle of the big city.” – Bertolt Brecht, from the prologue of In the Jungle of Cities.

“Look, my body is numb. My skin’s like a scar. A person’s skin in its natural state is too thin for this world. That’s why people do what they can to make it thicker. But once you start it doesn’t stop. It gets thicker and thicker. Like a piece of leather, for example, and it stays that way.” Shlink, from In the Jungle of Cities.


Past Events

In the Jungle of Cities
A Works/Process Presentation inspired by Bertolt Brecht’s genre-smashing play
Performed by the students of 21M.842 Live Cinema Performance

May 17, 2019 / 7:00pm
MIT Theater, W97
345 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA

Starring Luke Eure, Maxwell Fishelson, Rionna Flynn, Maude Gull, Ziad Mansour, Michael Sanabria, and Jessie Xiao.

Styled by Shanise DeSilva, lit by Kevin Fulton, production assistance from Ben Compton, production coordination by Miguel Flores, and with administrative support from Alexa Torres.

Produced by Susan Wilson and directed by Jay Scheib.


Internationally known for genre-defying works of daring physicality and the integration of new (and used) technologies in live performance, Jay Scheib is a Professor for Music and Theater Arts and Curator of the MIT Performing Series.

Scheib’s current productions include the West End musical “Bat Out of Hell” after the album by Jim Steinman at the London Coliseum/English National Opera and a new opera based on Ingmar Bergman’s film “Persona” which was produced by Beth Morrison Projects and premiered at National Sawdust in New York followed by performances at the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum in Boston and in 2017 with LA Opera at RedCat. Scheib’s recent mashup of Heiner Goebbels’ Surrogate Cities with Richard Wagner’s Götterdämmerung played to rave reviews at the Wuppertal Opera House in Germany.

Named Best New York Theater Director by Time Out New York in 2009, and one of the 25 theater artists shaping the next 25 years of American theater, by American Theater Magazine, Scheib is a recipient of the MIT Edgerton Award, The Richard Sherwood Award, a National Endowment for the Arts/TCG fellowship, an OBIE Award for Best Direction and the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship.

More about Jay Scheib.