Jim Findlay's DREAM OF THE RED CHAMBER Set for Times Square, 5/9-17
Time Square Arts, in partnership with Allied Partners and Brickman Real Estate, will present Jim Findlay's Dream of the Red Chamber, a performance for a sleeping audience, produced by Collapsable Giraffe and 3-Legged Dog.
A literal dream play, the work is performed for an audience that is encouraged to experience the piece while they fall in and out of sleep at the iconic Brill Building in Times Square. This durational performance installation invites the audience to take an immersive journey through Cao Xueqin's 18th century Chinese novel "Dream of the Red Chamber"-an epic love story between a stone and a flower, framed by a dizzying series of metaphysical dreams.
Dream of the Red Chamber, a performance for a sleeping audience, directed by Obie-winner Jim Findlay and conceived and written by Findlay and Jeff Jackson, will take place in the heart of Times Square, in the basement of the historic 1931 Brill Building (1619 Broadway), a property of Allied Partners and Brickman Real Estate.
Performances run May 9-17. Afternoon/Evening Performances run May 9, 13-16, from 5pm-midnight. Overnight Performances will be held May 10 & 17 from 5pm-6am next day. Audiences may arrive at any time, depart at any time, and return at any time. Admission is free. Follow @TSqArts for any potential wait times.
The set, video, sound, and lighting design of Dream of the Red Chamber, a performance for a sleeping audience will transform the vast below grade space into an environment that advocates and facilitates sleep. The audience can choose to experience the work while lying and/or sleeping in one of the many beds that will fill the basement, or sit and watch from a more traditional chair, as the performers travel through the space and the story unfolds.
Jim Findlay said, "My artistic practice has always been driven by a desire to explore terrains that are ubiquitous but overlooked. I'm interested in what can happen when we get free from the idea that art is dependent on the transaction of the audience 'paying' attention. What if you don't pay? What if I don't ask? How little can we both do and still have something worthwhile happen?"
The Brill Building, built in 1931, is widely regarded as the mecca for songwriting, once home to many music industry legends including Elvis Presley, Carole King, Paul Simon, George Gershwin, Frank Sinatra, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, and Nat King Cole. This new work will energize and potentially summon (during the dream like state it encourages) the ghosts of legends that have haunted the halls of the historic Times Square landmark.
Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said, "Given the incredible history of creative output from The Brill Building, it's a testament to the new ownership that they are continuing that spirit by partnering with Times Square Arts on this cutting edge performance."
Eric Hadar, Chairman of Allied Partners, said, "Given the Brill Building's historical significance and importance in New York's artistic history, we are pleased to support this wonderful creative initiative."
Dream of the Red Chamber, a performance for a sleeping audience includes original music by Brooklyn-based band Elysian Fields and performances by Christina Campanella (Joe Diebes' BOTCH, Richard Foreman's BENITA CANOVA), James Dawson, Liz Sargent, Kaneza Schaal (Elevator Repair Service's The Sound and the Fury), and Rebecca Warner, with Okwui Okpokwasili (Bronx Gothic, Hippolyta in Julie Taymor's A Midsummer Night's Dream), Emily Pintel, Aleta Findlay, HyoJu Hong, and featuring Jennifer Charles, Kitty Louise, and Kate Moran (Robert Wilson/Philip Glass's Einstein on the Beach) on video.
The design team includes Josh Higgason and Jim Findlay (set & video), Jamie McElhinney (sound), Christopher Kuhl (lights), Enver Chakartash (costumes); other collaborators include Sissi Liu (dramaturg), Teresa Hartmann (stage manager), Maurina Lioce (assistant director), and Joel Bassin (producer).
Brill Building (1619 Broadway, NYC)
Afternoon/Evening Performances: May 9, 13-16 from 5pm-midnight (last entry at 11pm)
Overnight Performances: May 10 & 17 from 5pm-6am next day (last entry at 5am)
Arrive any time, depart any time, return any time FREE; www.TimesSquareNYC.org/Dream or www.dreamoftheredchamber.com
About the Artists
Jim Findlay (co-writer, director, and co-designer) works across boundaries as a director, designer, visual artist and performer. He was a founding member of the Collapsable Giraffe and Accinosco/Cynthia Hopkins, and is a frequent collaborator with Bang on a Can, Ralph Lemon, and Ridge Theater. He worked with the Wooster Group as a company member and designer from 1994-2003. Recent productions include The Whisper Opera (Director and designer), Botanica (writer and director - featured in The New York Times 2012 theater roundup as one of "The Year's Most Galvanizing Moments), David Lang's Love Fail (set and video design), Annie Dorsen's A Piece of Work (set and video design), and David T. Little/Royce Vavrek's Dog Days (set and video design). Meditation, the video installation which he created in collaboration with Ralph Lemon, was recently acquired by the Walker Art Center for its permanent collection. His work has been seen at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, BAM, Arena Stage, A.R.T. and over fifty cities worldwide including Berlin, Istanbul, London, Moscow, and Paris. He has received three Obie awards, two Bessie awards, a Lucille Lortel award, and a Henry Hewes award.
Jeff Jackson (co-writer) is a novelist, playwright, and editor. He is the author of the novel Mira Corpora, published this fall by Two Dollar Radio. It was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and appeared on "Best of 2013" lists in slate, salon, flavorwire, and the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography. It was positively reviewed in the Wall Street Journal and Bookforum, and received advanced praise from Don DeLillo and Dennis Cooper. Mira Corpora will also be published in the UK, France, and Italy. Jackson's short fiction has appeared in Vice, Guernica, and The Collagist, the anthology Userlands, and been performed in NYC and Los Angeles by New River Dramatists.
He edited the literary anthologies Topograph and The Portable Lentricchia. Five of Jackson's plays have been produced by the Obie award winning Collapsable Giraffe in New York including Botanica, Witch Mountain/Black Tarantula, and Damfino. He is the recipient of fellowships to the MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Baryshnikov Arts Center.
About Times Square Arts: Times Square Arts, the public arts program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world's most iconic urban places. Through the Square's electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas and popular venues, and the Alliance's own online landscape, Times Square Arts invites leading contemporary creators to help the public see Times Square in new ways. Times Square has always been a place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the Arts Program ensures these qualities remain central to the district's unique identity. Generous support of Times Square Arts is provided by ArtPlace America and ArtWorks. Visit TimesSquareNYC.org/arts for more information. Follow us on Twitter @TSqArts and Instagram @TSqArts
About Collapsable Giraffe: The Collapsable Giraffe (Producer) aims to energize a new audience for live theater by producing and presenting unique events that openly engage, grapple with, and expand the terrain of what live performance is now and will be in the future. Focusing on bold experimentation in form, content, and technology the Giraffe supports and develops the projects of company artists Iver Findlay, Jim Findlay, and Amy Huggans, as well as many unaffiliated artists, hosting residencies and performances by Elevator Repair Service (first workshop performances of Gatz), Big Dance Theater, Cynthia Hopkins, Stew and Heidi Rodewald, National Theater of the United States (NTUSA), Banana Bag and Bodice, Hoi Polloi, and many others. This project marks the company's return to Times Square after having last produced the pioneering show 3 Virgins in 1999 at Show World. This adaptation of a play by a 10th century female playwright Hrotsvita was the first "legit" show in that space and inspired a wave of other theater companies to follow. www.collapsablegiraffe.org
About 3-Legged Dog: 3-Legged Dog exists to produce new, original works in theater, performance, media and hybrid forms. Working out of a strong literary tradition, our mission is to explore the new narrative possibilities created by digital technology, and to provide an environment for our artists to create new tools and modes of expression so that they can excel across a range of disciplines. 3LD Art & Technology Center creates and supports challenging large-scale art within a financially sustainable environment. Its goals are to create viable growth oriented business models for experimental art production, revitalize the experimental tradition in New York by improving the working conditions and quality of production, and foster a community of artists who work cooperatively and aggressively to address their own barriers. In order to achieve these goals, 3LD creates, re-distributes and re-imagines resources that drive core cost reduction while increasing capacity and revenue. www.3ldnyc.org
Pictured: Jim Findlay's Dream of the Red Chamber; Photograph by Matt Pokoik.