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Art and War in NY

14 Dec

We’ve started rehearsals at HERE for our CultureMart show, You Are Dead. You Are Here. . It’s exciting to see other artistic responses to war in NY right now that also eschew the earnest and journalistic approach that often frames theatre about “real things”.

One is Haroun Farocki’s show at MOMA, Images of War (At A Distance)
and the other is Pure War/ The Madness of the Day at TheaterLab (just til Saturday this week).

Space and performance

22 Nov

In talking with Erik Ehn this morning, I’m reminded again of the centrality of space–and the way we conceive of it–to theatre.

This is Erik, writing on the Soulographie blog: “Conversation comes up again and again around the idea of space… I have just about no understanding of Hegel and Heidegger, but I think I’m more on the side that space is more important a ground of being than time. Our experiments have a handle on duration – we’re steaming ahead there. But the political, economic and architectural spaces of theater, while also finding reform, are begging for a radical break. Our body is breaking down, our meme is weakening to the point where it can no longer include death, and without death (mortality, mourning) we ain’t live, and sure aren’t performance.” Continue reading

Dates for performance

22 Nov

I’m looking forward to the next step in building YOU ARE DEAD. YOU ARE HERE. with my collaborators Joseph Megel and Jared Mezzocchi. We’ll be putting up the first act of the show, with full media, at HERE’s CultureMart in January 24th and 25th, 8:30 p.m.–more on that soon. Here’s our teaser trailer:

New Teaser: You Are Dead. You Are Here. from JaredMezzocchi on Vimeo.

Meanwhile, check out media designer Jared’s work and process in his blog, where he writes about his recent design process on A Child Shall Lead Them: The Night of the Hunter.

Working with the ICT, home of Virtual Iraq

21 Sep

We had an amazing visit with the 3 of us taking YOU ARE DEAD. YOU ARE HERE. to the Institute of Creative Technology in L.A. These are the guys that designed Virtual Iraq and are inventing other therapeutic uses for virtual technologies. YOU ARE DEAD. YOU ARE HERE. is repurposing Virtual Iraq to theatrical, multi-media narrative (away from its primary use as a therapy tool) and there’s much to learn from the collaboration with the designers and therapists. Here’s their take on our visit, from the ICT blog:

Reading with digital media

26 Aug

Friday’s reading in L.A. should be exciting! A quick preview from our last workshop:

Come along if you’re in town, and please RSVP here.

Australian Theatre Writers’ blog

29 Jul

Cristin Kelly, expat American dramaturg in Australia, has started a blog interviewing Australian playwrights–
check it out here. It’s a kind of sister website to playwright Adam Szymkowicz’ blog series, “I interview playwrights”.

Play size and shape

24 Jul

I was reminded, in conversation with director Dominic D’Andrea recently, that my most recent full length play started life as a one-minute play. (Dominic runs the one-minute play festival that’s gone viral nationally). Sometimes you don’t know the size of something til it emerges–as the mothers among us can ruefully attest! Anyway, I wrote several one-minute plays at Dominic’s request, thinking something like “Humph. How can a real play actually be only a minute long?” and to my surprise, discovered that it can–as a raindrop refracts an entire world in the surface tension that forms its curve.

Of the three plays I wrote, Continue reading

You are dead. You are here. video

13 May

Here’s a rough edit of the work we’ve been doing on YOU ARE DEAD. YOU ARE HERE. (a ghost story for the digital war age).
This is a 3 minute video trailer of a staged reading at UNC Chapel Hill (with multi-media).

Media design by Jared Mezzochi, direction by Joseph Megel, script by Christine Evans. Performed by Jeri-Lynne Schulke, Trevor Johnson and Marie Garlock. Huge thanks to Skip Rizzo and team at the Institute for Creative Technologies for giving us access to their Virtual Iraq software to use in this work-in-progress. Out of Time & Place: An Anthology of Plays by Members of the Women’s Project Playwrights Lab, Volume 1 (9780578060163): Alexis Clements, Christine Evans: Books

12 May Out of Time & Place: An Anthology of Plays by Members of the Women’s Project Playwrights Lab, Volume 1 (9780578060163): Alexis Clements, Christine Evans: Books.

In The Archive and The Repertoire, Diana Taylor makes the excellent point that what’s archived (as distinct from in rep or on stage) remains in historical memory and accessible to wider audiences across space and time.  This is one of the reasons we decided to anthologize the work of the 2008-2010 Women’s Project Playwrights’ Lab. 

A shout-out to my amazing co-editor (and book producer) Alexis Clements for getting these lovely books out into the world, and to all the writers for their plays.  If you’re teaching contemporary plays and looking for more robust representation of women playwrights, these two anthologies are a good starting point.

You Are Dead

18 Apr

Just got back from a wonderful time in Chapel Hill with director Joseph Megel and media designer Jared Mezzocchi, working with local actors and crew on a two week workshop of You Are Dead. You Are. Here.

It’s a play I’m writing, working collaboratively with Joseph and Jared in the room, that takes as inspiration and starting point the use of video game and V.R. technologies in military training and rehab. Skip Rizzo, designer of Virtual Iraq, generously gave us access to the software which we’re using in the performance. It began life as part of the Collaborations in Humanities and Technology (CHAT) Festival at UNC last year, and Joseph, Jared and I decided to continue work on the (then) 15 minute piece to develop it into a full-length work for eventual production and touring.

Jared did amazing work with this previously unknown software and live and pre-recorded video to create an immersive world ranging from the V.R. therapy room to the cyber-space from which a young girl blogs from Fallujah. The two worlds–the veteran and his therapist, and the young Iraqi girl’s–are joined through the etheric membrane of cyberspace, where the material shock of war trauma resonates, replays and eventually connects in the present.

After the workshop and audience response, I think I can say: this one has legs. We were thrilled to have veterans in the audience and to hear their encouragement, and were heartened by the wide range of people who responded strongly to the work.

Looking forward to developing it at HERE arts center in NY, where we have a 3 year residency as the Virtual Performance Factory. Photos etc. to come!