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Almanac13: Marina McClure (Los Angeles, USA)

[alert heading=”The Contemporary Performance Almanac13″ type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]This post is part of a series of profiles on performance and performance makers from last year’s book, Contemporary Performance Almanac 2013, an overview of contemporary performance presented during the 2012/2013 season available for touring now. If you would like to be apart of this year’s book, Contemporary Performance Almanac 2015, you can join the project here.(DEADLINE NOV 14, 2014)[/alert]

Marina McClure (Los Angeles, USA)
Director Marina McClure creates highly visual live performances that blend new media with a dynamic physical vocabulary. Her collaborations with designers Drew Foster, Kate Fry and Simon Harding constitute The New Wild—an engine for telling visceral stories essential to our time. Our work confronts injustice and advocates for universal compassion. By examining cultural memory and questioning contemporary social norms, we challenge our audiences to expand their consciousness and become more powerful witnesses to the diversity of the American experience. Although our work exposes the grit and grime of humanity, our aesthetic is elegant and clean. Drawing from cinema, painting, dance, and sculpture, we animate textures onstage. Our productions are lush and eccentric. We want our audiences to feel as though they are witnessing a live staging of a painting, a dream, an emotion. We work with color, composition and scale. We heighten and subvert the familiar. We utilize spectacle. We place human figures in surprising and distorted landscapes to grapple with the turmoil of contemporary existence. We work as a company—designers and performers—to devise the physical vocabulary and aesthetic landscape of the piece, and operate in a constant tension of auteurism and collectivism.We are interested in timelessness and the human condition in both aesthetic and content. We believe that for humanity to grow, humans must be interested in change. Often our characters are limited in their capacities for change—they struggle and fail, and the mess is both devastating and beautiful.

Disciplines: Theater

Purgatory in Ingolstadt
by Marieluise Fleisserdirection by Marina McCluredesign by Drew Foster (scenic), Kate Fry (costume), Simon Harding (video), Anna Martin (lights), Erin O’Donnell (mask)A story of youth trapped in a closed society, Purgatory In Ingolstadt depicts a world dominated by church order and traditional gender roles. Bereft of stable mentoring, students bully, spy, embrace and reject each other in rapid succession. The action focuses on two young outsiders, Roelle and Olga, each of whom tries to escape the confines of their society—one with public delusions of grandeur, the other by allying herself with men who might help her. It is a rough and dirty play contained within an austere shell. Writing in 1926, a then 25-year-old Fleisser was responding to personal experiences in her hometown of Ingolstadt, Germany, capturing the post-war social tensions of the Weimar Republic. Her energetic script mixes expressionism, neo-realism, and religious references to destroy the guise of moral purity in her world. In so doing, she reveals a community based on fear, jealousy, apathy, and brutality, and foreshadows the rise of the Nazis. Our production is staged inside a large box with a fixed aperture through which the audience views all action. Trapped under white lights, the characters wear colorful period-style clothes. In this pristine, contained environment the cancer of human cruelty festers. The design and costumes warp. The staging is stylized and expressionistic. The churn of the action heightens into a near-continuous frenzy that the characters are powerless to change or escape.

Keywords: German, Youth, Bully, Religion, Surreal, Avant-garde

Production History: California Institute of the Arts



Photo: Scott Groller

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Caden Manson is a director, media artist, and teacher. He is co-founder of the media ensemble and network, blog, and publisher, He has co-created, directed, video- and set designed 18 Big Art Group productions. Manson has shown video installations in Austria, Germany, NYC, and Portland; performed PAIN KILLER in Berlin, Singapore and Vietnam; Taught in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Montreal, NYC, and Bern; the ensemble has been co-produced by the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Hebbel Am Ufer, Rome’s La Vie de Festival, PS122, and Wexner Center for The Arts. Caden is a 2001 Foundation For Contemporary Art Fellow, is a 2002 Pew Fellow and a 2011 MacDowell Fellow. Writing has been published in PAJ, Theater Magazine, and Theater der Zeit. Caden is currently an associate professor and graduate directing option coordinator of The John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

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