Writer and director Jim Findlay examines our relationship to plant life in the black comedy Botanica.
About the show: "Sealed in a human terrarium, two unorthodox botanists and a janitor unleash a flood of unusual findings and overturn the constraints of science and social norms. With the world premiere of Botanica, Findlay pursues his own unique theatrical vision following over 15 years of collaboration with innovative artists including The Wooster Group, Cynthia Hopkins, Ridge Theater, Bang on a Can, DJ Spooky, Ralph Lemon, and Collapsable Giraffe, among others."
20 performances of Botanica will take place January 28–February 25, 2012 (see schedule above) at 3LD Art & Technology Center. Critics are welcome as of January 30 for an official opening of February 1.
Tickets begin at $20 and can be purchased online at thisisbotanica.com or by phone at 800.838.3006. 3LD Art & Technology Center is located at 80 Greenwich Street in New York City.
Botanica tracks the scientific experiments and the developing relationship between two botanists sealed in a research facility—a human terrarium. They are joined by a janitor who seems unremarkable except for his curious habit of reading aloud to the plants the most salacious sections of erotic literary texts and his own self-penned blue poetry.
Initially the experiments seem to demonstrate an astonishing level of plant consciousness, but eventually the botanists hit a dead end. They decide to bring the janitor into their research. The introduction of this human subject reinvigorates their investigation but leads to unforeseen consequences and unleashes a flood of unusual findings that end in chaos as the constraints of science and social norms are overturned.
Source material for Botanica includes the French surrealist erotic literature of Louis Aragon, George Bataille and Colette Peignot/Laure; The Secret Life of Plants, both the 1973 best-selling book by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, and the controversial 1979 documentary film adaptation by Walon Green; and the scientific inventions and experiments of the turn-of-the-century Indian botanist Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose.
Findlay has been developing Botanica since October 2009 during workshops at 3LD Art & Technology Center, Invisible Dog, PS 122, CUNY/Martin Segal Theatre Center, and through a Princess Grace Foundation Work-in-Progress Residency at the Baryshnikov Arts Center.
Botanica directed by Jim Findlay and is written by Jeff Jackson and Jim Findlay. The company includes performers Ilan Bachrach, Liz Sargent, and Chet Mazur; Joel Bassin (Producer), Rob Besserer (Plant Design), Jim Dawson (Composer),, Peter Ksander (Set Design), Maurina Lioce (Stage Manager), Jamie McElhinney (Sound Design), Normandy Sherwood (Costume Design), and Jeff Sugg (Light/Video Design).
About the Artists
Jim Findlay (Writer and Director) works across specialties as a creator, director, designer, and performer with a constellation of theater, performance and music groups. He was a founding member and priMary Collaborator in both the experimentally groundbreaking Collapsable Giraffe and the internationally successful music/media performance company Accinosco/Cynthia Hopkins, as well as being an associate artist of The Wooster Group since 1994. Jim lives and works out of a studio in Brooklyn, NY.
Findlay has been involved in every aspect of all of the Collapsable Giraffe’s performance works including Damfino (Performing Garage 1998); 3 Virgins (ShowWorld 1999); Bend Your Mind Off (Collapsable Hole, 2000 and 2001); Witch Mountain/Black Tarantula (Collapsable Hole 2001); Letters from the Earth (Collapsable Hole 2005); and Pee Pee Maw Maw/Last Crash (Collapsable Hole 2008/2009). For Accinosco, and in league with longtime collaborator Jeff Sugg, Findlay has designed sets and video for Cynthia Hopkins' “Accidental Trilogy” -- Accidental Nostalgia (Bessie Award 2005), Must Don't Whip 'Um (2007), and The Success of Failure (Walker Art Center and St. Ann's Warehouse 2009). Jim also performed in all three works. Findlay has been an associate artist of The Wooster Group since 1994. From 1995 to 2003 Findlay led the technical team and designed sets for House/Lights (Bessie for Design 1999, Obie 1999) and To You, the Birdie! (Obie 2002).