Site-Specific DEAD BEHIND THESE EYES Set for Sing Sing Karaoke, Begin. 8/29
Taking place inside an East Village karaoke bar, Sister Sylvester's Dead Behind These Eyes is a site-specific performance about pop music, love and apathy. Three characters rail against the world, mourning the 'big, bold important' lives they were supposed to live, drowning their sorrows in booze, song, sex and cigarettes. Inspired by Look Back in Anger, John Osborne's iconic play of dissatisfied youth, Dead Behind These Eyes juxtaposes spoken lyrics from Jeff Buckley, Talking Heads, Prince and other pop artists against video footage of political upheavals and social strife, including Peter Whitehead's rarely seen 1969 film The Fall, which documents New York in the late 1960s, and original footage of art actions performed during the Gezi Park protests by Sister Sylvester collaborators, Studio 4 Istanbul, Turkey. Dead Behind the Eyes attempts to explore political action, social participation and inertia through the microcosm of the modern-day karaoke bar.
Performances of Dead Behind These Eyes will take place at Sing Sing Karaoke (81 Avenue A) on August 29-31 at 7.30pm and September 3-5, 7, 10-14 and 17-19 at 7.30pm Tickets are $18 and can be purchased by calling 212.352.3101 or visiting www.abronsartscenter.org. Performance suitable for ages 21 and above.
Dead Behind These Eyes is created by the theater ensemble Sister Sylvester and features direction by Kathryn Hamilton, dramaturgy by Jeremy M. Barker and original music played live by Damon Pelletier. The cast features Daniel Kublick, Lori Parquet and Brandt Adams. Brian Oh provides video design.Sister Sylvester makes ensemble-based work that uses multi-disciplinary performance to create stories based in contemporary reality. Since 2008, they have made work in both site-specific venues as well as in theaters, keeping an investigation of the audience-performer relationship at the heart of their practice. The content of their work is concerned with power: how it is wielded within society at all levels and how language becomes a weapon in enforcing those hierarchies. They invite disruption into both the performance and the process, and look for dissonance and difficulty in text, image and sound. Sister Sylvester is interested in exploring/subverting and adapting traditional forms, (musical, sitcom, radioplay etc.) as well as creating a dialogue with performance practitioners of the past, in particular the formal and conceptual innovations of the 1960s Judson Dance Theater era artists, and the scale, collage techniques and political engagement of Reza Abdoh.
Kathryn Hamilton (director) is a director and writer based in NYC. With her company Sister Sylvester she creates new work in theaters and site-specific spaces. Most recently Sister Sylvester created 'Werner Herzog on Wrestlemania', a fictional documentary performance about climate scientists in Antarctica. Other productions include 'Ventriloquist Circle', performed in (and in response to) artist Kenny Scharf's Cosmic Cavern; and 'Hideouts for Time' based on text from Moby Dick, at Center for Performance Research. Sister Sylvester have been awarded a 2014 LMCC grant to develop a new performance in a karaoke parlor in downtown Manhattan. Kathryn is also working with Studio 4 to create a new performance and residency space in Istanbul. In 2013 she worked as creative director on 'Proust: A Nomadic Reading' - a week long festival featuring site-specific readings of Swann's Way for the French Embassy in New York, in celebration of the centennial of the first volume of In Search of Lost Time.
Jeremy M. Barker (dramaturg) is a contemporary performance critic and dramaturg based in New York. A contributing editor to Chance magazine and the former editor of Culturebot.org, his work has appeared online and in print in American Theater magazine, Theater magazine, Hyperallergic, and Bellyflop, among others. With Culturebot, he was commissioned to produce supplementary public programming around contemporary art by On the Boards (Seattle) and the Fusebox Festival (Austin), and has been a guest lecturer and/or speaker at the New School, CUNY, the Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival, and elsewhere. In 2013-2014, he produced No Ideas But In Things, an experiment in embedded criticism with the Seattle performance group zoe | juniper, funded in part by a grant from the Princess Grace Foundation.
Dan Kublick (performer) has appeared in new works by Ashlin Halfnight, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Eric Bland, Tracy Bersley, Jeremy Pickard, Jenny Connell Davis, Mikhael Tara Garver, Sister Sylvester and art.party.theater.company. Most recently he appeared in Toshiki Okada's Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise with the Play Company. He is a graduate of The Studio/New York and Princeton University and lives in Brooklyn.
Brandt Adams (performer) is a Brooklyn-based theater artist. With Sister Sylvester: The Screens, Play America, Look Back In... (Workshop). Other credits include The Maiden (LaMaMa, The Nerve Tank), Dispatches from (A)mended America (Epic Theatre Ensemble), All God's Chillun Got Wings (Civic Ensemble), Love in the Time of Channukah (Ars Nova), Faustus (Fault Line Theatre). In 2012, his play, Dispatches from (A)mended America, co-written with Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr., was produced by Epic Theatre Ensemble at the Theater at the 14th Street Y. He is, along with Simmons, a co-founder of Above the Fold, an investigative theater collaboration devoted to confronting issues of race and identity in the United States. He has been a visiting artist at Cornell University, and has led middle and high school students throughout New York City in creating and performing plays addressing ethical and social issues
Lori E. Parquet (performer) is an actor and playwright from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her acting credits include Macbeth (Off-Broadway), Dispatches From (A)mended America (Off-Broadway), Dog Act, Ajax in Iraq, Honey Fist (Flux Theatre Ensemble), and Murder In the Cathedral, Baal, Republic (Hoi Polloi). She made her international debut performing in Pillars of Society at Teater Ibsen in Skien, Norway. As a playwright, Lori was selected as one of six featured playwrights for season five of the Fire This Time Festival in January 2014.
Dead Behind These Eyes is made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.