Monday, January 30, 2017

6 Questions: Jason Trucco


Jason Trucco is the co-director of Hi-Fi / Wi-Fi / Sci-Fi  Predictions Past, Present, & Future took time out of technical rehearsals to answer our 6 Questions.  Hi-Fi / Wi-Fi / Sci-Fi runs February 2 - 19 at The Downstairs @ La MaMa.

1. How did your working with CultreHub come about?

The simple answer is meeting Billy Clark, CultureHub's artistic director. And the discovery that he's more than a dynamic artistic director, he's an artist with guts and imagination. My life is enriched when I collaborate with fabulous people and Billy is one of those rare guys.

Yes, Billy & I talked about these plays that we're now directing together upon our meeting. For me, these early La MaMa plays had inspired the whole adventure of my professional life. Pleasingly, for Billy, there were obvious personal connections, too. His artistic development was rooted in La MaMa's legacy and he was already investigating technologies that these plays anticipated in the generation before they were possible, when they were science fictions. CultureHub's day to day is investigating the future of dramatic storytelling, art & technology.

One example of Billy's connection, take the possibility of live telepresence performances with Seoul Institute or the Arts in Korea, which Billy had been developing for years. Camera Obscura, one of the short plays in our Hi-Fi / Wi-Fi / Sci-Fi collection, written in 1968, tells the story of two lovers endeavoring to communicate by the same telepresence means. And the play questions how the challenges therein work. 

Amazing to think about, Billy had been experiencing those challenges first hand in the same place where Robert Patrick had imagined them as science fiction on stage a generation ago. And Billy decided to join me in a mission to re-stage these classics for a new generation of experimental theater audience with superstars from downtown theater's past, present, and future. Our electric cast includes Augustine Machado, who performed at the Cino, and Valois Mickens, a longtime member of La MaMa's Great Jones RepetoryCompany, along with Great Jones' latest generation, John Gutierrez and CulturHub's Yeena Sung. Three generations of inspiring people form our ensemble.

2. What was interesting to you about Robert Patrick's work?

Yes, Robert Patrick is my favorite playwright. And the plays that I love most are his one man, one woman mini-plays. The maestro takes a traditional situation and tells it in a brand new way. He'll tell a love story backwards. He makes me laugh like hell. Most experimental of New York's experimental playwrights.

3. How are you integrating the use of technology into the piece?

All art is technology. Even paint. That's how I approach it. And, as the title of our show suggests, we are putting hi-tech next to low. Make believe, raw wood sets, telepresence, immersive A/V. We're really mixing it up, as appropriate for a show about past, present, and future.

In Hi-Fi / Wi-Fi, we have explored new technologies that may change how people think about theatre. As you know, live telepresence in a work about the ways technology -- Skype, FaceTime, video conferencing -- enhances and conflicts with communication between two lovers. Yes, that's on the surface. And there are many ways that we've used, or custom developed new technologies, that may not be apparent to a person at first.  Consider this: The text describes a five second delay, which mixes the lovers up. We, meaning our ensemble of lovely and talented artists and technologists at CultureHub, took the reading literally and rehearsed with a homemade audio video system with a lag that was five seconds exactly. The technology drove the actor's pace and performance. It changes the play reading dramatically!

4. What is the last good book you read?

Exodus by God, as told to Moses. Yes, I really find the Bible to be worth reading again and again. And this book contains the script for the world's most successful ongoing work of interactive storytelling, the Passover Seder. 

Also, ExercisesDes Styles by Raymond Queneau, a story fragment told ninety-nine different ways. 

5. Who inspires you?

Thankfully, my life is filled with inspiring people. The person I've been shaking my head in amazement about lately is Sang Min Chae, our technical specialist on Hi-Fi / Wi-fi / Sci-Fi. Sang Min is a visiting student intern from Korea's Soul Institute of the Arts. On the night that he arrived from Korea, he began working with me and Billy on a very challenging technical glitch with my good friend and collaborator, Allee Willis. She's a very vocal Grammy, Emmy, Tony Nominated and Tony Winning, Webby award winning performer. And he saved our necks. 

Computers are divas, very demanding of special attention. Sang Min has a way of approaching every creative and technical challenge as an opportunity to be excellent. He stays as long as it takes to finish the play to its best shape for showtime. He wears many hats, cinematography, projection, model making, Virtual Reality, editing, lighting, programming. And he's courageous in trying new approaches. He's humble, strong, communicative. And, mostly, he's a joy to be around. We all laugh a lot. 

The guys on the last play called him Slam Dunk. And he's saved our necks more than once, with an unexpected yet appropriate solution to any challenge we meet. Experimental playmaking is all about meeting challenges creatively. Sang Min is an inspiring new gunslinger in experimental theater town.

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

Working at La MaMa means finding an artistic family.  Yes, there are other wonderful places to work.  And, likewise, there are many wonderful old ladies worth visiting but you still visit your grandmother, even if she lives further than those other old ladies. You know how visiting your grandmother is somehow different? 

La MaMa, boldly led in Ellen Stuart's legacy by Mia Yoo  -- with the most talented office of artist slash every other job -- is a family business. Like my grandparents operated. And, while many institutions claim to support groundbreaking work but don't have the stomach to test ideas in front of an audience until they have been tested elsewhere, La MaMa is continuing a tradition of always being new.

Just as Robert Patrick is the most experimental of the experimental playwrights, CultureHub is the most experimental of La MaMa's experimental companies. Within a legacy of experimenting: that's where I feel most at home.


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La MaMa and CultureHub present

Hi-Fi / Wi-Fi / Sci-Fi
Predictions Past Present and Future
Written by Robert Patrick
Directed by Billy Clark and Jason Trucco

February 2 - 19, 2017
Thursday - Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 3pm
*additional performance Monday, February 6th at 8pm

The Downstairs @ La MaMa
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



Friday, January 27, 2017

Video Preview: Hi-Fi / Wi-Fi / Sci-Fi

 
Behind the Scenes at HIFi | WiFi | SciFi from La MaMa on Vimeo.

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La MaMa and CultureHub present
Hi-Fi / Wi-Fi / Sci-Fi
Predictions Past Present and Future
Written by Robert Patrick
Directed by Billy Clark and Jason Trucco

February 2 - 19, 2017
Thursday - Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 3pm
*additional performance Monday, February 6th at 8pm

The Downstairs @ La MaMa
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, January 26, 2017

First Look at DAVID'S FRIEND










 All photos by Minji Lee
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La MaMa presents
DAVID'S 
FRIEND
Written and performed by Nora Burns
Directed by Adrienne Truscott

January 27 - February 5, 2017
Fridays and Saturdays at 10pm; Sundays at 6pm

The Club @ La MaMa
74A East 4th Street
(between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $20 Adults; $15 Students/Seniors

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Reviews are IN for AdA: Author Directing Author





"This is a celebration of art that is not to be missed." ~ Iris Wiener, TheaterLife.com


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La MaMa presents
AdA: 
Author Directing Author 
written and directed by:
Neil LaBute, Marco Calvani and Marta Buchaca

January 19 - February 05, 2017

Thursday - Saturday at 7pm; Sunday at 4pm
Added performance Monday, January 23 at 7pm (press opening)

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

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

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

6 Questions: Nora Burns from David's Friend



David's Friend is a fast-paced multi-media solo show from Nora Burns that celebrates friendship, fun, freaks, fag hags, youthful passion, changing times, aging, emotions, memories, music and Manhattan! Nora took time out of her day to answer these 6 questions about this upcoming production in The Club at La MaMa!


  1. Who is David?

David was my best friend who I met dancing on a speaker of a gay disco in Boston when we were 17 in 1979. He died of AIDS in 1993.



2. What did you learn from creating the show?

About 2 years ago I was suddenly hit with this terrible sadness at the loss of my friend and I wanted to do a show to celebrate our friendship and his life. I think a lot of people who lived through the age of AIDS are experiencing a sense of mourning as the PTSD wears off. I’ve been traveling around workshopping the show and I always have people come up afterward and tell me that they’re going through the same thing.

3. What should audiences expect from David's Friend?

Well, as I’ve said, it’s a celebration, it’s not a memorial, and I want it to be fun and funny and have as much life as David did. It’s also a love letter to New York City, my wonderful home, and disco, the music that beats my heart.

4. What is the biggest change you've seen in New York City in your time here?

It’s gotten a lot safer and cleaner and more expensive and homogenized and crowded, but it still feels like home.

5. What is the last good book you read?

The last 2 books I read were amazing! Christodora by Tim Murphy, a very fun and fascinating novel about New York City and AIDS and the lives and paths people take, and Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, incredible. I’m obsessed with slavery and the fact that this country acts like it was so far in the past and not part of our present.

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

I love La Mama! I’ve seen so many amazing productions here over the years, it’s part of my New York. I remember my old roommate directing Jackie Curtis in Champagne here in the 80’s and my comedy group The Nellie Olesons performed here in the early 90’s so it’s nice to be back.











David’s Friend

January 27 - February 05, 2017

David’s Friend is a fast-paced multi-media show is a celebration of friendship, fun, freaks, fag hags, youthful passion, changing times, aging, emotions, memories, music and Manhattan. David’s Friend is a coming of age story, a love story, a loss story, and a New York story, a story we all know and experience in some way, and, as David would say, “a story that just gets better with the telling.” 

Tickets & More Info Online: http://lamama.org/davids_friend/


Sunday, January 8, 2017

AdA: Author Directing Author - 3rd Edition


AdA: Author Directing Author returns for it's third edition - this time the theme is POWER.  This time Neil LaBute and Marco Calvani and joined by a third playwright/director: Marta Buchaca.

“I don’t know what I can save you from”
By Neil LaBute
Directed by Marco Calvani
with Richard Kind & Gia Crovatin
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“After the Dark”
By Marco Calvani
Translated by Allison Eikerenkoetter
Directed by Marta Buchaca
with Margaret Colin & Gabby Beans
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“Summit”
By Marta Buchaca
Translated by H.J. Gardner
Directed by Neil LaBute
with Victor Slezak & Dalia Davi

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La MaMa presents
AdA: 
Author Directing Author 
written and directed by:
Neil LaBute, Marco Calvani and Marta Buchaca

January 19 - February 05, 2017

Thursday - Saturday at 7pm; Sunday at 4pm
Added performance Monday, January 23 at 7pm (press opening)

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

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

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE