Presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, The Graduate Center, CUNY, the sixth-annual Prelude Festival celebrates the explorers and visionaries of NYC’s theatre and performance scene. Below are some highlights of the 3 day festival.
Dan Safer / Witness Relocation
The Panic Show
Thursday, October 1
4-4.30pm | Elebash Hall
The Panic Show dives into Panic. Panic attacks, mass hysteria, the stress of being late to the airport, trying to “get a hold of yourself”, fight or flight, and self help and relaxations techniques, as well as material inspired by “Panic Room”, that mess of a film starring Jodie Foster. It is a wild ride with dances, dark confessions, confetti blown through a fan, people getting shoved inside boxes, and real time performance tasks that both refer to panic and actually cause it in the performers.
Witness Relocation combines dance & theater with the energy of a rock show, exploding contemporary culture into intensely physical, outrageous, poetic, and sometimes brutal performances in order to question the assumptions of the modern day experience. The company formed in 2000 and is led by director/choreographer Dan Safer. They’ve created over ten original productions, engaged in a two year residency at the renowned Patravadi Theatre in Bangkok, and performed in theaters, nightclubs, rock videos, and on a Thai TV Soap Opera. They are based in New York City, and work internationally.
John Jesurun + Black-Eyed Susan
Thursday, October 1
5.30-6pm | Segal Theatre
Black-Eyed Susan plays Elizabeth I of England as revealed through her private diaries. She struggles with a revolving set of presences to disentangle, un-write and finally rewrite her own biography. These intensely reflected histories include her perceptions regarding her five estranged children, their fathers, her own father, her hidden relationship with Buddhism and finally her disastrous attempt to invade North Africa. She inter-reacts with the kaleidoscopic array of ideas and characters through Jesurun’s multi-dimensional use of language and video. Jesurun and Black-Eyed Susan are long time collaborators having first worked together in Jesurun’s 1984 production of Red House.
Black-Eyed Susan was an original member of Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company. Has appeared in work by Ethyl Eichelberger, Stuart Sherman, Mabou Mines, Roslyn Drexler, Jim Neu, Charles Allcroft, Stephanie Fleischmann, John Jahnke.
John Jesurun: Writer,Director,Designer. Chang in a Void Moon, Deep Sleep,Faust/How I Rose. Guggenheim, MacArthur, Rockefeller fellowships. Recent work: Philoktetes /Soho Rep,Harry Partch’s Opera Delusion of the Fury/Japan Society. Firefall/Dance Theater Workshop. Two new collections of texts on PAJ and NoPassport Press.
Bruce High Quality Foundation
Art History with Benefits
Friday, October 2
4.45-5.15pm | Segal Theatre
Art History with Benefits continues a series of educational works produced by the Bruce High Quality Foundation. These works aim to invest educational materials with the creative metaphors of art, to further the agenda of a regenerative pedagogy, and liberate arts education from the ballistics of professionalism. They were conceived within the bigger set of educational concerns that contextualize the opening of the BHQFU, a tuition-free, unaccredited art school starting this fall in NYC.
The Bruce High Quality Foundation, the official arbiter of the estate of Bruce High Quality, is dedicated to the preservation of the legacy of the late social sculptor, Bruce High Quality. In the spirit of the life and work of Bruce High Quality, we aspire to invest the experience of public space with wonder, to resurrect art history from the bowels of despair, and to impregnate the institutions of art with the joy of man’s desiring. Professional Challenges. Amateur Solutions.
Bellona, Destroyer of Cities
Saturday, October 3
4.15-4.45pm | Elebash Hall
Following Untitled Mars, the first installment of his trilogy: Simulated Cities/Simulated Systems, Jay Scheib directs Bellona, Destroyer of Cities, based on Samuel Delany’s epic science-fiction masterpiece Dhalgren. A second moon has appeared in the sky, the sun swells, and somehow this once mediocre city is now filled with burning buildings, sexual outlaws, and streets that rearrange themselves— and about to be forgotten forever.
Jay Scheib, Director; Tanya Selvaratnam, Producer; Peter Ksander, Scenic Design; Miranda k Hardy, Light; Oana Botez Ban, Clothes; Catherine McCurry, Sound; Performed by Sarita Choudhury, Caleb Hammond, Mikéah Ernest Jennings, Jon Morris, April Sweeney, Natalie Thomas, and Greg Zuccolo
Jay Scheib’s upcoming productions include Evan Ziporyn’s new opera A House in Bali at Cal Performances in Berkeley, Puntila und sein Knecht Matti at Theater Augsburg, Germany and Bellona, Destroyer of Cities at The Kitchen in New York. Recent productions in New York include the Obie Award-winning Untitled Mars (This Title May Change), This Place is a Desert, and Addicted to Bad Ideas. Scheib is Associate Professor of Theater at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
WHA!? Whatever, Heaven Allows
Saturday, October 3
7.15-7.45pm | Elebash Hall
WHA!? Whatever, Heaven Allows bends the theatrical melodrama taking as it’s point of reference Douglas Sirk’s 1955 film All that Heaven Allows and exploring the language and themes of Paradise Lost.
Featuring: Eric Dyer, Erin Douglass, Maggie Hoffman, Joseph Silovsky, Mark Jaynes, Aaron Harrow.
Radiohole is a collaborative founded in 1998 by Maggie Hoffman, Scott Halvorsen Gillette, Erin Douglass and Eric Dyer. The company is based in Brooklyn. Radiohole has performed at PS122, the Collapsable Hole and around Europe. It’s most recent work, ANGER/ NATION, was performed at the Kitchen in September 2008. WHA!? Whatever, Heaven Allows is the companies 10th work. Radiohole’s work is situated in the liminal space between theater, art and party. The company is know for making elaborate use of high technology in the lowest manner.
View Prelude09’s full schedule here.