La MaMa E.T.C. presents the world-premiere of Triple Shadow's new multimedia theater production, BREATH ON THE MIRROR, beginning previews May 6 prior to its official press opening May 9 at La MaMa E.T.C. (74A E. 4 St.) in Manhattan. BREATH ON THE MIRROR is conceived by director Beth Skinner and composer Edward Herbst, whose previous Triple Shadow productions ALICE: END OF DAZE, SEA CHANGE, ARCTIC CIRCLE and ENCIRCLING TIDES have been presented at La MaMa and internationally in Cairo, Budapest, Italy, Mexico and elsewhere.
BREATH ON THE MIRROR is set in the last year of Albert Einstein's life as he looks back at himself as a young man during the period of his greatest creativity when he first conceived the theory of relativity. Featuring real-time video projections by Paul Clay (a Drama Desk Award winner for RENT and Bessie Award winner), BREATH ON THE MIRROR explores the elusive nature of time.
Hovering between consciousness and dreams, Einstein watches himself and his first wife Mileva Maric struggle to connect. Past, present and future co-exist amidst a menagerie of surreal characters, reflecting Einstein's and Mileva's revolutionary conception of reality. This blend of theater, live music, real-time video, masks and puppets, creates a shifting reality in which Einstein questions his--and our--perceptions, existence, and possibility for survival.
The production coincides with the 100th anniversary of Einstein's paper on critical opalescence which answered the perennial child's question "Why is the sky blue?"
BREATH ON THE MIRROR is conceived by director Beth Skinner and composer Edward Herbst, with video and lighting design by Bessie and Drama Desk-winner Paul Clay (RENT), additional video and film by Nico Herbst, masks and puppets designed by WindRose Morris, and scenic design by Obie Award-winner Jun Maeda.
The cast includes Mari Andrejco, Gabrielle Autumn, Andrew Belcher, Lucy Kaminsky, Richard Saudek, Edward Herbst and Chang-Jin Lee.
Director Beth Skinner has received numerous grants from the NEA Theater, Opera-Musical Theater and Multidisciplinary Programs, NY State Council on the Arts, and Massachusetts Cultural Council, collaborating with artists from Japan, China, Korea, Indonesia, Romania, Hungary and Russia. She is a certified teacher of Skinner Releasing Technique, originated by her aunt, Joan Skinner. She has studied and performed mask-dance theater in Indonesia with I Nyoman Kakul and other masters, and researched traditional and experimental performance practice, sponsored by the Indonesian Dance Academy in Bali.
Composer-musician Edward Herbst has performed his solo vocal improvisations in Montreal (Traditions Musicales du Monde), Switzerland (Theatre Grutli, Geneva), and Mexico (Festival Cervantino). He was commissioned by Sardono Kusumo's experimental Indonesian dance-theater company to collaborate on Maha Buta as well as Sardono's film, "The Sorceress of Dirah." His book, "Voices in Bali: Energies and Perceptions in Vocal Music and Dance Theater," was published by Wesleyan University Press. His most recent appearance at La MaMa was as a solo performer at the November 2009
Gala celebrating La MaMa founder Ellen Stewart on the occasion of the renaming of the Annex as the Ellen Stewart Theatre.
Paul Clay designed the set for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical RENT, and has done design work for such noted artists and companies as Mabou Mines, Tom Noonan, HAl Hartley, Louis Andriessen and David Dorfman.
Jun Maeda received an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Set Design in 1981. He has worked with Andrei Serban, Joseph Chaiken, John Jesurun, Ellen Stewart, and among others, The Talking Band.
BREATH ON THE MIRROR developed out of Triple Shadow's collaborative residencies with Hungarian and Romanian artists in Chiapas, Mexico and at the Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico. This three-year "Time and Shadow Project" was an exploratory partnership with Artus/Company Gabor Goda and Toaca, directed by Nona Ciobanu, which led to collaborative research and workshops. The project was funded by NEA
Multidisciplinary Program and the Trust for Mutual Understanding. Each company has been developing its own individual production based on the collective intercultural explorations, and BREATH ON THE MIRROR is the result of Triple Shadow's distinct creative work.
Previous productions by Skinner and Herbst presented at La MaMa E.T.C. include ALICE: END OF DAZE, SEA CHANGE, ARCTIC CIRCLE and ENCIRCLING TIDES. They have performed at the Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre in Egypt, at Festival Pantelleria, Italy, in Chiapas, Mexico and Budapest, Hungary.
Scheduled through May 23, BREATH ON THE MIRROR performs at La MaMa E.T.C. (First Floor Theatre) Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 general admission. ($13 for seniors/ students) and can be reserved by calling La MaMa ETC box office at 212 475 7710 or online at www.lamam.org.
PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Clay
LUCY KAMINSKY and GABRIELLE AUTUMN
LUCY KAMINSKY and GABRIELLE AUTUMN