The Beat Goes On! VISIONS OF KEROUAC Premieres in Oslo
This year, Grusomhetens Teater ("The Theater of Cruelty") celebrates 25 years of activity. Most recently, this independent physical theater company premiered its 26th evening-length production, "I is another" - Rimbaud in Africa, written & directed by company artistic director Lars Øyno, on 26 January. The company also made its US debut with Fjeldfuglen ("The Mountain Bird"), Grusomhetens Teater´s world-premiere staging of Henrik Ibsen´s 1859 opera libretto featuring original music by Filip Sande, at the Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa in New York City in 2-5 March.
Their latest performance,Visions of Kerouac, is described as a "movement-theater concept-album", by its director Brendan McCall, who has been the Producer for Grusomhetens Teater since 2014. Produced by McCall in association with Grusomhetens Teater, Visions of Kerouac someone besides the artistic director has staged a production with the company.
Inspired by various prose and poetic writings of American writer Jack Kerouac (1922-69), the iconic King of the Beat Generation, Visions of Kerouac is a highly physical and musical performance highlighting themes which thread throughout his novels, and which continue to resonate today: rebellion, questioning of authority and anti-consumerism, the existential quest for meaning, and the celebration of vernacular idioms through art--making everyday experiences creative. Just as Kerouac translate hard bop jazz music into an original writing style ("spontaneous prose"), Visions of Kerouac merges various improvisational structures into the performance-experience. The actors speak, sing, and play both musical instruments and found objects, as well as move through set and "open" structures of improvisation. In addition to composing original music and voice-coaching, music director Kristin Norderval deploys various technological sources for the soundscape in Visions of Kerouac--digital, reel-to-reel tape, vinyl, acoustic, and electric. The acting ensemble is a theater-band.
Visions of Kerouac is performed by members Hanne Dieserud, Live Marianne Noven, Per Bogstad Gulliksen, Filip Amundsen Stav, and Dushinka Andresen. Costumes by Cheyann Benedict, lighting by Jan Skomakerstuen, and publicity by Claudia Lucacel.
Finally, no two performances of Visions of Kerouac are the same. For each of Visions of Kerouac´s 10 performances at Grusomhetens Teater´s newly renovated space at Hausmania, 10 different guest artists will perform a short "show-within-the-show" inspired by Allen Ginsberg´s poem "Howl". For this Norwegian run, guest artists are Henriette Blakstad (theater), Øystein Elle (music), Brendan McCall (spoken word), Karen Mikalsen (contemporary dance), Kristin Norderval (music), Rolf-Erik Nystrøm (music), Ørnulv Snortheim (music), Arild Stav (music), Espen Wensaas (music), and Lars Øyno (theater).