Variations on the Main
Variations on the Main
Playwright/director William Burke and composer Catherine Brookman return to JACK with a "theatrical séance for listening," co-directed by Burke and Bryn Herdrich. As the final show at JACK’s current location, the audience and performer will collectively strip the space of its contents over the course of the three-week run. Through this process of emptying, the team will strive to clear the air of distractions and ask us to help each other and take care of our brains in the most theatrical of ways.
From the artists: "We will try and fail and try again and ask for a commitment to our fellow humans sharing our air. Not a self-help cult...not a thing...just some floorboards and some real time."
Written by William Burke
Co-directed by William Burke and Bryn Herdrich
Composed by Catherine Brookman
Designed by Megan Lang
Produced by John Del Gaudio & Bryn Herdrich
Marisela Grajeda Gonzalez
March 14 - 30
William Burke: Keeners!
A DEEP SPACE PERFORMANCE RESIDENCY
I'm thrilled to announce I am the new co-chair of Soho Rep's writer/director lab with JACKIE SIBBLIES DRURY
March 24 - April 9 (Wednesdays - Saturdays, plus Monday, April 4). All shows at 8 pm
TICKETS: $18, in advance, or cash only at the door. $15 for the March 24 preview.
After turning JACK into a canine kennel for 2015’s "Comfort Dogs," and dramatizing the plight of a Times Square Elmo in "FURRY!!" (JACK, 2013), theater-maker William Burke returns to our venue with an audacious framework for his mystical texts. In "PIONEERS#goforth," Burke suspends actors Nikki Calonge, Zoë Geltman and Ugo Chukwu in a net above the audience for a play about making choices and the limitations placed on the experimental nature of our young. Composer/musician Catherine Brookman will provide live underscoring, employing her technical wizardry and ethereal voice.
With set designer Carolyn Mraz inverting the space, the audience views the performance from below, basking in beautiful, uninhibited youth and trying to balance the harmonies of the outdoors and the clanging silence of the indoors. This is a youth play. With a middle finger.
Featuring Nikki Calonge, Zoë Geltman and Ugo Chukwu.
Set design by Carolyn Mraz
Lights by Megan Lang
Costumes by Alice Tavener
Live music composed and performed by Catherine Brookman
stage managed and assist directed by Artem Yatsunov
Production: Gene Lee and Ann Marie Dorr
Produced by John Del Gaudio
“I graduated fifteen years ago with a degree in theater, but I wasn’t really doing anything with it. I was working at a theater box office. I was writing just enough so that I could tell people I was a ‘playwright.’ I’d tell my wife I was going to the coffee shop to write, but I’d end up just staring at the screen. I was about to give up completely. The city has a way of crowning young geniuses that makes you feel old. But my wife always had an unending belief that I had something to offer. It got to the point where even that belief was hard to hear because it made me feel like I was letting her down. Finally a friend of mine convinced me to do a small reading at his theater. He just kept bothering me about it. And when I finally agreed, so many other people stepped forward to help. I wasn’t living in the vacuum I thought I was. Once I lit the fire, people came and sat around it. So many people were willing to lend their craft to my idea. I’ve put on four plays in the past three years. They’ve all been very small productions. I’m much more frantic and stressed now. I lay awake at night wondering if I’m going to sell any tickets. But at least my life has urgency and purpose. My wife is proud of me. Though now I’m sure she wishes I wasn’t so absentminded. And that I’d remember to close the front door. And that our living room wasn’t always filled with props.”