The for/word company to Present Local Debut of PATIENCE WORTH
The for/word company will present a limited engagement run of Jennifer Schlueter's Patience Worth on May 19-20 at 8 p.m. in the Barnett Theatre, 1813 N High St., Columbus, OH 43210.
Inspired by and built from archival materials about Pearl Curran and her Ouija-board created alter-ego, Patience Worth, Schlueter's play explores fragmented identity, sublimated love affairs, a nagging desire for fame, and the limits of credulity.
Pearl Curran, an early-twentieth-century St. Louis housewife, spent over two decades dictating the words of Patience Worth who, she believed, was speaking to her through an Ouija board. This dictation was painstakingly transcribed (and in some cases, published) and today safely resides in the archives of the Missouri Historical Society.
Patience Worth is a multimedia performance event, created in collaboration with animator and motion capture expert Vita Berezina-Blackburn from the Advanced Center for Computing Arts and Design (ACCAD) and features the groundbreaking use of Unity software by John Luna. During its world premiere performance at the Kranzberg Arts Center in St. Louis in March 2017, this multimedia work was presented at the annual conference of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology.
Patience Worth was developed in a series of residencies at ACCAD, and, as a text in August 2013 at London's Tristan Bates Theatre as well as in January 2014 at Available Light Theatre's Next Stage Initiative. Schlueter, whom Chicago Tribune calls "wistful, poetic and wise," serves as joint artistic director for the for/word company. According to the ensemble's website, their mission includes the prioritization of "the physical and emotional investigation of the material at hand, creating a textured live performance of material not initially intended as spoken dialogue."
Patience Worth is directed by Jennifer Schlueter and Sarah Ware, starring Emily Bach, Mandy Fox, Christina Ritter, Christopher Marlowe Roche, and Kevin McClatchy. The production team includes Vita Berezina-Blackburn (production and animation design), John Luna (projection systems design), Brad Steinmetz (scenic design), and Caitlyn Trevor (music and sound design). Alice Grischenko, Lakshika P. Udakandage, Jeremy Baker and Thomas Heban (animation design) also belong to the show's production crew.
Jennifer Schlueter is a playwright, director, and scholar motivated by a fascination with the limits and possibilities of the archive, and the challenges to fair use, copyright, and creative transformation that this work can engender. Her plays have been staged in Chicago, Seattle, St. Louis, Cleveland, Columbus, Eugene, Lexington, Off Broadway in New York (59E59), and London (on BBC Radio 4). Her scholarly work has been published in TDR, Theatre Survey, Theatre Journal, and in several edited collections. She is currently the Associate Chair and and associate professor in the Department of Theatre at The Ohio State University, where she is an award-winning teacher of studio courses in playwriting, adaptation, devising, and solo performance, as well as seminars in American popular culture.
More information about the for/word company is available at www.for-word-company.net.