Monday, November 30, 2015

6 QUESTIONS: Abby Felder


Abby Felder, writer and co-creator of Pioneers Go East Collective's HILDEGARD (vision) took time out from rehearsals to answer our 6 Questions about the show, migraines and working at La MaMa. 

1. What was the inspiration for creating HILDEGARD (vision)?

Ever since I first read her work, I’ve been fascinated by this nun who had visions she believed were shown to her by God, and who despite living in medieval times wrote poetic philosophical texts and produced art and music that are attributed to her and still known today.

In Oliver Sacks’ book, Migraine, he discusses how Hildegard’s descriptions of her visions and of God, things like, “A fiery light, of the greatest flashing brightness, coming out of a cloudless sky,” are typical migraine aura, the hallucinations experienced during migraine that are caused by a wave traveling across the visual cortex of the brain that actually makes the process of sight, visible.

Her experience of migraine were at the root of her texts and artwork, and enabled her to transcend the limitations of her gender and role within her faith. In addition, the phases of a migraine cycle actually mirror a traditional dramaturgical arc, with a prologue of sorts, leading to a climax and resolution, and are frequently triggered by an emotional event. From this overlap the idea and structure of HILDEGARD (vision), in which one of her visions is brought to life, was born.

2. What was the most interesting thing you learned about Hildegard when writing the show?

It’s hard to point to the most interesting thing as she was such a polymath: in addition to being a mystic philosopher and artist and composer, she was a practitioner of early medicine, a gardener, and an agent of reform.

She was a powerful woman at a time when women did not have power, and it’s interesting how she not only survived, but thrived, in these circumstances.

One tactic for survival was she frequently presented herself as uneducated and ignorant, even though her work is in conversation with other philosophers such as Plato and St. Augustine.

In a letter she wrote to a fellow visionary (referred to in the script), she says to continue to work, she must make people think she is incapable of interpreting her own visions, so it is understood by the broader community that she is merely a mouthpiece of God, and not the originator of these very complex ideas. It shows how important creating work was to her.

3. Do you think of your work as political?

While the work we do at Pioneers Go East Collective has a social relevance, I don’t think of HILDEGARD as overtly political. In the piece Hildegard rejects a young nun named Richard is with whom historically it is known she had a relationship, possibly a romantic relationship. In the context of the show this act points to the sacrifices women in particular must make to achieve success- yes she has agency but at a cost. Though she is a medieval figure, this is a contemporary theme.

Ultimately all of our work circles back to the media we use, and in this piece, it is the creative process from which she derives her agency, making it a celebration of the importance of telling our stories through music, poetry, painting, etc as a way of experiencing fundamental truths and finding meaning in our lives.

4. Who inspires you? 

For this particular piece, Hildegard's writing, painting and compositions of course were the starting point, and Oliver Sacks- his discussion of migraine and its function in illuminating meaning in human experience is fascinating.

Migraine has been described as originating in the part of the brain that controls sleep- which connects to dreams and the unconscious- so a lot of additional inspiration was taken from the surrealists, including Jan and Eva Svankmajer, Czech visual and literary artists, and it was interesting to research symbols of unconscious expression outlined by Jung and Freud.

5. What was the last interesting book you read?

I’m in the midst of a couple books rights now, both as research for Pioneers Go East’s next piece about the textile industry in the American South at the turn of the 20th century. One is about Ella Mae Wiggins, a folk singer/songwriter who lived in Gastonia, North Carolina who wrote protest ballads about working conditions, called THE MARTYR OF LORAY MILL, and I’m rereading Carson McCullers’ beautiful book THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER.

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?

It's amazing- the spirit and energy of the place, not to mention the support of the La MaMa family are wonderful. Actually Ellen Stewart and Hildegard have some commonalities - they were both pioneering women who pushed the boundaries of artistic expression, so it seems really apt actually to be presenting this piece in this space.

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La MaMa in association 



HILDEGARD 

(VISION)

Created and Designed by Gian Marco Lo Forte, Abby Felder and John SullyDirected by Gian Marco Lo Forte; Written by Abby Felder; Composed by John SullyFeatured Performers: Marina Celander, Nehprii Amenii, Seth Gilman, Kamala Sankaram, Daniel Diaz, Tali Custer

December 3 - 20, 2015
Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30; Sundays at 2pm

La MaMa First Floor Theater
74A East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $18 Adults; $13 Students/Seniors; ten $10 tickets are available for every performance as part of La MaMa's 10@$10 ticketing initiative (advance sales only)

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Pasolini @ La MaMa


Although he is best known in the US as a filmmaker, Pier Paolo Pasolini, is known throughout Europe a leading intellectual, working not only in film but poetry, journalism, visual art, literature and theater. Pasolini wrote six plays, of which Pylede is one.





“The mark which has dominated all my work is this longing for life, this sense of exclusion, which doesn't lessen but augments this love of life.”
― Pier Paolo Pasolini




Pasolini often returned to classical texts: Medea, Oedipus Rex and the Oresteia, from which Pylade is derived. 


He was murdered, in 1975, by being run over multiple times with his own car and his body had been partially burned.  Although a male hustler was arrested and eventually confessed to the murder, other theories surrounding the murder exist.



"An artist, if he's unselfish and passionate, is always a living protest. Just to open his mouth is to protest: against conformism, against what is official, public, or national, what everyone else feels comfortable with, so the moment he opens his mouth, an artist is engaged, because opening his mouth is always scandalous." ―  Pier Paolo Pasolini



La MaMa presents

PYLADE
by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Directed by Ivica Buljan
English Translation of Pylade is by Adam Paolozza and Coleen MacPherson
Assistant Directed by Arthur Adair
Performed by Great Jones Repertory Company with Marco Mandić
Music composed by Michael Sirotta, additional music by Yukio Tsuji and Heather Paauwe

Thursday December 03 -  Friday December 18, 2015
Thursday - Saturday at 7pm; Sunday at 4pm

The Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa
66 East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors; ten tickets priced at $10 each are available for every performance as part of La MaMa's 10@$10 ticketing program (advance sale only).

Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

6 Questions - Video Edition: IVICA BULJAN (Part 1)

Ivica Buljan, acclaimed Croatian director, collaborates with La MaMa’s legendary repertory company, Great Jones Rep, including in the cast long time company member Mia Yoo and leading Slovenian National Theatre actor, Marko Mandić, in the U.S. Premiere of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s PYLADE. Based on the ORESTEIA, this contemporary interpretation of the Greek myth is a poetic, tragic meditation on democracy, consumerism and the struggle for real social change. The rhythm and emotion of Pasolini’s text, translated into English by Adam Paolozza and Coleen MacPherson, is heightened by the music and movement incorporated into this production by Ivica Buljan and Great Jones Rep.

Ivica took time out from rehearsals to answer our 6 Questions, in our first-ever video edition. This is Question #1:






La MaMa presents
PYLADE
by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Director Ivica Buljan
English Translation Adam Paolozza and Coleen MacPherson
Assistant Director Arthur Adair

Music Composer Michael Sirotta
Additional Music Yukio Tsuji and Heather Paauwe
Light Designer Mike Riggs
Costume Designer Ana Savić Gecan
Company Coach George Drance
Dramaturg Zishan Ugurlu
Stage Manager Zulivet Diaz

Great Jones Repertory Company Performers Eugene the Poogene, Maura Donahue, Cary Gant, John Gutierrez, Valois Mickens, Tunde Sho, Chris Wild, Mia Yoo and Perry Yung
Special Guest Artist Marko Mandić

December 03 - December 18, 2015
Thursday - Saturday at 7pm, Sunday at 4pm

The Ellen Stewart Theatre

66 East 4th Street

(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors; ten tickets prices at $10 available for every performance as part of La MaMa's 10@$10 ticketing initiative.

For Tickets and info: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

PYLADE Poster

PYLADE poster designed by Nicky Lindeman and Mirko Ilić

Ivica Buljan, acclaimed Croatian director, collaborates with La MaMa’s legendary repertory company, Great Jones Rep and leading Slovenian National Theatre actor, Marko Mandić, in the U.S. Premiere of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s PYLADE. Based on the ORESTEIA, this contemporary interpretation of the Greek myth is a poetic, tragic meditation on democracy, consumerism and the struggle for real social change. The rhythm and emotion of Pasolini’s text, translated into English by Adam Paolozza and Coleen MacPherson, is heightened by the music and movement incorporated into this production by Ivica Buljan and Great Jones Rep.


La MaMa presents
PYLADE 
by Pier Paolo Pasolini

Director Ivica Buljan
English Translation Adam Paolozza and Coleen MacPherson
Assistant Director Arthur Adair      

Music Composer Michael Sirotta   

Additional Music Yukio Tsuji and Heather Paauwe 

Light Designer Mike Riggs      

Costume Designer Ana Savić Gecan
Company Coach George Drance     
Dramaturg Zishan Ugurlu     
Stage Manager Zulivet Diaz


Great Jones Repertory Company Performers Eugene the Poogene, Maura Donahue, Cary Gant, John Gutierrez, Valois Mickens, Tunde Sho, Chris Wild, Mia Yoo and Perry Yung


Special Guest Artist Marko Mandić 
December 03 - December 18, 2015

Thursday - Saturday at 7pm, Sunday at 4pm 


The Ellen Stewart Theatre


66 East 4th Street


(between Bowery and Second Avenue)

New York, NY 10003 

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors; ten tickets prices at $10 available for every
performance as part of La MaMa's 10@$10 ticketing initiative. 

For Tickets and info: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Hildegard (vision) is a Time Out Critic's Pick!



Time Out New York has named Pioneers Go East Collective's Hildegard (vision) a Critics' Pick!

"The 12th-century composer Hildegard Von Bingen was a botanist and (some historians say) an epileptic given to trances and visions that were ruled by Pope Eugene III to be divinely inspired. The Pioneers Go East Collective has set out to replicate her exaltations of religious fervor in an hourlong immersive performance and installation piece that runs for a dozen performances in December."
Don't miss the World Premiere of this theater-music work, running from December 3 - 20, 2015 at The First Floor Theater @ La MaMa.

And here is a first look at the show:



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La MaMa in association 

HILDEGARD 
(VISION)

Created and Designed by Gian Marco Lo Forte, Abby Felder and John SullyDirected by Gian Marco Lo Forte; Written by Abby Felder; Composed by John SullyFeatured Performers: Marina Celander, Nehprii Amenii, Seth Gilman, Kamala Sankaram, Daniel Diaz, Tali Custer

December 3 - 20, 2015
Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30; Sundays at 2pm

La MaMa First Floor Theater
74A East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $18 Adults; $13 Students/Seniors; ten $10 tickets are available for every performance as part of La MaMa's 10@$10 ticketing initiative (advance sales only)

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

BroadwayWorld on Pasolini's PYLADE at La MaMa


BroadwayWorld covers the US premier of PYLADE by Pier Paolo Pasolini. Directed by Ivica Buljan, the cast includes leading actor of the Slovenian National Theatre, Marco Mandic joining members of The Great Jones Repertory Company, including La MaMa's Artistic Director, Mia Yoo,  Perry Yung, Cary Gant, Eugene the Poogene, Maura Donahue, Valois Mickens, John Gutierrez, Chris Wild and Tunde Sho.


"Pasolini's PYLADE, a contemporary reinterpretation of the relationship between Pylades and Orestes from Greek mythology and the ORESTEIA, is a poetic, tragic meditation on democracy, consumerism, and the struggle for real social change. The rhythm and emotion of Pasolini's text, translated into English by Adam Paolozza and Coleen MacPherson, is heightened by the music and movement incorporated into this production by Buljan and GJRC, to create a total theatre of movement, text, spectacle and music. "The re-construction" of democracy was of principal interest to Pasolini," stated Mr. Buljan."

PLYADE plays The Ellen Stewart Theater from December 3 - 18, 2015 for 10 performances only.



La MaMa presents

PYLADE

Written by Pier Paolo Pasolini
English Translation of Pylade is by Adam Paolozza and Coleen MacPherson
Directed by Ivica Buljan
Assistant Directed by Arthur Adair
Performed by Great Jones Repertory Company with Marco Mandić
Music composed by Michael Sirotta, additional music by Yukio Tsuji and Heather Paauwe

Thursday December 3 - Friday December 18, 2015
Thursday - Saturday at 7pm; Sunday at 4pm

The Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa
66 East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors; ten tickets priced at $10 each available for each performance, in advance only, as part of La MaMa's 10@$10 ticketing program!

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Monday, November 23, 2015

Stage Buddy Reviews UNDEFINED FRACTION by Loco7



Jackie Danziger covers the world premiere of UNDEFINED FRACTION by Loco7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company.

"The most captivating stars of the show are undoubtedly the dynamic puppets (designed by Federico Restrepo and Becky Hubbert) made from an eclectic mix of materials - soft fabrics, hard metals - in a wide variety of sizes ranging from the petite to the gigantic, and employed using varied techniques including bunraku and marionette. The craftwork is inspiring and the puppeteering is impressive."

Read the full review: HERE


La MaMa in association with Loco7
UNDEFINED 
FRACTION

By Loco7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company (USA/Colombia)
Conceived By Federico Restrepo & Denise Greber
Directed, Choreographed & Designed By Federico Restrepo
Music Composed by Tareke Ortiz

November 19 - 29, 2015
Thursday - Saturday at 7pm; Sunday at 4pm
(no performance on Thursday Nov. 26th)

The Ellen Stewart Theatre
66 East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Video Preview: UNDEFINED FRACTION

Undefined Fraction by Loco7 from La MaMa on Vimeo.
Video by Theo Cote.


La MaMa in association with Loco7
UNDEFINED 
FRACTION
By Loco7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company (USA/Colombia)
Conceived By Federico Restrepo & Denise Greber
Directed, Choreographed & Designed By Federico Restrepo
Music Composed by Tareke Ortiz

November 19 - 29, 2015
Thursday - Saturday at 7pm; Sunday at 4pm
(no performance on Thursday Nov. 26th)

The Ellen Stewart Theatre
66 East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

2015 La MaMa Puppet Series Continues Thru Nov. 29th

 
La MaMa's 2015 Puppet Festival from La MaMa on Vimeo.
Music by Tareke Ortiz

The La MaMa Puppet Series continues with 
Undefined Fraction
No Need For a Night Light on a Light Night Like Tonight
Coffeehouse Chronicles: Contemporary Puppet Theatre
and La MaMa Kids: Punschi!


6 Questions: Gian Marco Lo Forte


Pioneers Go East Collective brings their latest piece, Hildegard (vision) to La MaMa from December 3 - 20, 2015.  Artistic Director, Gian Marco Lo Forte, and director of Hildegard (vision), took time out from rehearsals to answer our 6 Questions:


1. What was the inspiration for creating Hildegard (vision)?

Reflecting on the circumstances in which Hildegard Von Bingen lived: Hildegard was a medieval woman who - with determination and courage - was able to be an artist and spiritual leader in a male dominated world.

On a personal level I was drawn to her world from the record of Hildegard’s letters about her love for her pupil Richardis; I was intrigued to explore how same sex intimacy could exist in the medieval time…in a convent: How acts and feelings can be directly related to unfulfilled love and prohibited sexuality in the Medieval time; and how the notions of queerness translates to another time in history.


I am drawn to stories of men and women who are on the periphery of society who have made positive changes in society that we don’t always recognize or remember  today or simply positive effects that we take for granted.


2. What is important to you about Hildegard’s story?

Locating Hildegard in history and presenting her story and emotional life with immediacy without recreating a replica of that world at that time. The work is designed as a visual and sonic installation that’s an homage to Hildegard’s music and paintings; thinking deeper the work should speak to us privileged artists etc as how exceptional Hildegard had to be to commit her life to spiritual endeavors that translated in artistic works (in music, literature, paintings).

3. How do you use technology in the show?


By tracing the physiological symptoms of a migraine that lead to the hallucinations that illuminated Hildegard, the Pioneers Go East creative team has started distilling design elements that could speak about that state of being. Sound, lights, video are orchestrated to skew our perceptions as viewers and listeners drift and experiences alongside Hildegard the environment that’s morphing.


4. Who inspires you?


I have many heroes and folks that inspire me: Artists, Social activists, teachers who work to help others;  I see many amazing people around me in NYC in schools, hospitals, people working in social services. Who has at heart others inspire me...I forget to mention all the artists who continue to work  pro bono: I know many; and all the artists I collaborate with work on projects bc they have passion, they love what they do...


5. If you could take a trip anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go?

A bike trip in Iceland on the Ring Road.

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?


La MaMa is many contrasting things: You may arrive at La MaMa by chance or are drawn here by reading about it in theatre history books… but what La MaMa does best is encourage people grow in a myriad of  ways and directions, and sometimes after experiencing La Mama, you end up far away from theatre.  Ultimately La MaMa for half a century - wow! -has been and continues to be a hub of hundred plus American and international artists coming here each year to create bold and courageous works to serve downtown arts and theatre community at large.

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La MaMa in association 
HILDEGARD 
(VISION)
Created and Designed by Gian Marco Lo Forte, Abby Felder and John SullyDirected by Gian Marco Lo Forte; Written by Abby Felder; Composed by John SullyFeatured Performers: Marina Celander, Nehprii Amenii, Seth Gilman, Kamala Sankaram, Daniel Diaz, Tali Custer


December 3 - 20, 2015
Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30; Sundays at 2pm


La MaMa First Floor Theater
74A East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003


Tickets: $18 Adults; $13 Students/Seniors; ten $10 tickets are available for every performance as part of La MaMa's 10@$10 ticketing initiative (advance sales only)


For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Roots of Inspiration: Undefined Fraction and La Vida es Sueño

La Vida es Sueño was first published in 1635, as a philosophical allegory regarding the human situation and the mystery of life. Pedro Calderón de la Barca was a dramatist, poet and writer of the Spanish Golden Age. His work being regarded as the culmination of the Spanish Baroque theater. As such, he is regarded as one of Spain's foremost dramatists and one of the finest playwrights of world literature. 
The World Premiere of Loco7's Undefined Fraction opens at La MaMa Thursday, November 19th at 7pm in the Ellen Stewart Theatre! This original piece is inspired by Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s Spanish-language play, La Vida es Sueño. 
Federico Restrepo and Denise Greber conceived the performance after reading the Spanish Baroque text to express their reaction to Calderón de la Barca's famous words. The production is certain to inspire audiences both familiar and new to the work. Federico Restrepo directed, choreographed, and designed the production with music composed by Tareke Ortiz. Come see this original production as a part of the 2015 La MaMa Puppet Series:

"¿Qué es la vida? Un frenesí.
¿Qué es la vida? Una ilusión,
una sombra, una ficción."
What is life? A madness. What is life? An illusion, a shadow, a story.


"El mayor bien es pequeño;
que toda la vida es sueño,
y los sueños, sueños son."
The greatest good is little enough: for all life's a dream, and dreams themselves are only dreams.

"Y estoy temiendo, en mis ansias,
que he de despertar y hallarme
otra vez en mi cerrada prisión?"
And if I still fear I may wake up and find myself once more confined in prison?

"Pues el delito mayor del hombre es haber nacido.
For man's greatest crime is to have been born.

"Sueña el rey que es rey, y vive
con este engaño mandando,
disponiendo y gobernando."
The king dreams he is a king,
And in this delusive way
Lives and rules with sovereign sway.

"Sueña el rico en su riqueza,
que más cuidados le ofrece;
sueña el pobre que padece
su miseria y su pobreza."
Dreams the rich man of riches and fears,
The fears that his riches breed;
The poor man dreams of his need,
And all his sorrows and tears.

"Yo sueño que estoy aquí
destas prisiones cargado,
y soñé que en otro estado
más lisonjero me vi."
I dream I am bound with chains,
And I dreamed that these present pains
Were fortunate ways of old.



La MaMa in association with Loco7
UNDEFINED 
FRACTION
By Loco7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company (USA/Colombia)
Conceived By Federico Restrepo & Denise Greber
Directed, Choreographed & Designed By Federico Restrepo
Music Composed by Tareke Ortiz

November 19 - 29, 2015
Thursday - Saturday at 7pm; Sunday at 4pm
(no performance on Thursday Nov. 26th)

The Ellen Stewart Theatre
66 East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $25 Adults; $20 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE