Showing posts from October, 2019

A Performance for One

photo: Untitled Theater Company #61 A Performance for One is a ten-minute performance - a sort of performance - from Untitled Theater Company #61, conceived by Edward Einhorn and Yvonne Roen, and written and directed by Mr. Einhorn. It’s an intriguing example of New York's creative avant-garde sensibility. It’s designed for an audience of, well, one. He sits in a small space with the performer - in my case Ms. Roen - who speaks to him for nearly ten minutes about her memory of her father’s hands. It’s not actually her memory, she points out, but the memory of the writer, Edward Einhorn. But “The writer,” she tells her audience, “has abandoned us.” There’s a lovely passage about this memory becoming our memory. Some of the monologue is a discussion of the role of the audience, the audience as performer, experiencing the actress’ experience of the performance, as she experiences his. The audience member, who is sitting nearly knee-to-knee across from the actress, is i

Theater in the Dark: Carpe Diem

Theater in the Dark: Carpe Diem is one of those creative, cutting edge theater productions that New York is so good at nurturing. It’s conceived and directed by Erin B. Mee and produced by her company This is not a Theatre Company at the TheaterLab space, off-off-Broadway.   For this show, audience members are blindfolded and then led into the theater, which, we learn later, is a large room with tables and chairs by them, as if for dinner. As we sit, we’re led through experience a series of olfactory, gustatory, aural and sometimes tactile experiences, in ten “scenes”. In each scene, something to eat or drink is placed in our hands. Here’s the outline: Scene Name: Drink Smell: Jasmine  Taste: Green Tea Scene  Name: Gather Ye Rosebuds Smell: Rose Petals  Taste: Turkish Delight Scene Name: Dance of Chocolate Smell: Vanilla  Taste: Chocolate Scene Name: Bottle-Vase Smell: Lavender  Taste: Wine Scene Name: Do I Dare? Smell: Perfume  Tas

Sugimoto Nunraku Sonezaki Shinju - The Love Suicides at Sonezaki

photo: Michelle Tabnick Bunraku puppetry, a traditional Japanese form, established itself in the 17th  century. Its three elements are the familiar large puppets, narrators (or chanters), and shamisen musicians (the shamisen is a three-stringed instrument resembling a guitar). The proper name for the form is ningyō jōruri ( bunraku is a 19th-century name). Jōruri refers to the narrative chanting in the play and ningyō means puppet . The master playwright of the bunraku was Chikamatsu Monzaemon. In the early 18th century he introduced believable characters to Japanese puppetry who dealt with the real-world situations that his audience faced: the conflict between feudal tradition and human nature. Chikamatsu (as he is known) produced The Love Suicides at Sonezaki in 1703. The play recounts the story of 25-year-old Tokubei and his 19-year-old lady friend Ohatsu (who happens to be a courtesan). Like Romeo and Juliet, they can’t be together, so they kill themselves at Son