Peak Performances Presents Faye Driscoll's THANK YOU FOR COMING
Peak Performances continues its convention-defying 2018-19 season with two works from choreographer and director Faye Driscoll-this season's recipient of Peak's vital PeARL (Performing Arts Research Laboratory) residency-that propose politically transformative ideas by playfully reimagining the formalities of performance. Driscoll will stage the critically acclaimed Thank You for Coming: Attendance(2014) and Thank You for Coming: Play (2016) Oct 4-7, 2018, at the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University, including performances, on October 6 & 7, of the two works in a combined program. These humorous, exuberant performances turn the constructed relationship between the audience and performer into its own fluid medium, bringing them together in the co-creation of a new reality.
Of the artist and her work, Peak Performances Executive Director Jedediah Wheeler says, "Faye Driscoll is a game changer and the perfect artist for Peak Performances and the PeARL residency. She creates work that challenges one's esthetic equilibrium." As the residency recipient, Driscoll will receive funding, space, and the expertise of a first-rate production staff while she engages with Montclair State students and faculty through embedded opportunities such as discussions, lectures, workshops, and open rehearsals over the course of the 2018-2019 season.
Thank You for Coming is a series of works about how we are all wrapped up in each other whether we like it or not. In Thank You for Coming: Attendance, the premiere iteration, performers pass through ever-morphing states of physical entanglement and scenes of distorted familiarity. Sets are designed to break apart, musical scores are made from performers' stomps and voices, props are worn, used, and reused. Six virtuosic performers sing, talk, fight, frolic, and make love in bursts, teetering on the edge of high art and slapstick. Intimately staged in the round, Driscoll's direction creates a heightened and complex communal reality as audience and performers increasingly find themselves becoming one.
In the second installment, Thank You for Coming: Play, Driscoll uses the ritual of storytelling to explore our human reliance on stories to relate to one another and form identities as individuals and citizens. Play focuses on the shadows, gaps, repetitions, and stutters between what we say and what we do while we say it. This semi-fictional collective autobiography explores "who we are" as both mythically urgent and elusively empty. Utilizing a strange and enthralling collage of gesture, image, voice, and persona, where the physical and aural exist in a slippery relationship, performers ventriloquize, shape-shift, and speak through and for each other. Play lays bare the dichotomous experience of self and the performance of self and poses the question: how does language at once define and reduce our lived experience?
Thank You for Coming: Attendance includes performers Giulia Carotenuto, Sean Donovan, Alicia Ohs, Toni Melaas, and Brandon Washington. The creative team includes visual designers Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin, sound designer/original composer Michael Kiley, lighting designer and production manager Amanda K. Ringger, company/stage manager Alessandra Calabi, technical director Randi Rivera, artistic advisor Jesse Zaritt, choreographic assistant Nadia Tykulsker, and Sarah Thea Swafford (costume construction and alteration).
Thank You for Coming: Play includes performers Faye Driscoll, Sean Donovan, Lindsay Head, Paul Singh, Laurel Snyder, and Brandon Washington. The creative team includes sound designer Bobby McElver, musical directors Bobby McElver and Sean Donovan, original composers Sean Donovan, Bobby McElver, and Faye Driscoll, vocal arranger Sean Donovan, and lyricist Faye Driscoll, with additional lyrics by Sean Donovan, set designers Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin, garment and prop designer Jamie Boyle, lighting designer Amanda K. Ringger, artistic advisor Jesse Zaritt, dramaturg Amanda K. Davidson, company and stage manager Alessandra Calabi, lighting director Devin Cameron, rehearsal assistant Marina Fong, and producers Faye Driscoll with Aaron Rosenblum.
Performance Schedule and Ticketing
Performances of Thank You for Coming: Attendance and Thank You for Coming: Play will take place Thursday, October 4, at 7:30pm, and Friday, October 5, at 7:30pm, respectively. Thank You for Coming: Attendance & Play will be presented as a double-bill on Sunday, October 6, at 7pm and Sunday, October 7, at 3pm at the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University (1 Normal Ave, Montclair, NJ)
Tickets are affordably priced at $30 to see the individual pieces on Thursday or Friday only, or $45 for a package to see the two works over the course of those two consecutive evenings or as a double-bill on Saturday and Sunday. Individual tickets and packages can be purchased at www.peakperfs.org or 973.655.5112. Tickets are always free for Montclair State students.
About Faye Driscoll
Faye Driscoll is a Bessie Award-winning performance maker who has been hailed as a "startlingly original talent" (Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times) and "a postmillenium postmodern wild woman" (Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice). Her work has been presented nationally at the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Walker Art Center, The Institute for Contemporary Art/Boston, MCA/Chicago and BAM/Brooklyn Academy Of Music and internationally at La Biennale di Venezia, Festival d'Automne à Paris, Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, Melbourne Festival, Belfast International Arts Festival, Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens and Centro de Arte Experimental (Universidad Nacional de San Martín) in Buenos Aires. Driscoll has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Creative Capital award, a NEFA National Dance Project Award, MAP Fund Grant, a French-US Exchange in Dance Grant, Jerome Foundation Grant, a Foundation for Contemporary Art Grant, a Doris Duke Artist Award, and a US Artists Doris Duke Fellowship and is the recipient of the 2018 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award. She recently choreographed for Young Jean Lee's Straight White Men on Broadway and for Madeline's Madeline a film, currently in theaters, by Josephine Decker.
About Peak Performances
Peak Performances is a program of the Office of Arts and Cultural Programming at Montclair State University and has been honored by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts with an Arts Citation of Excellence and Designation of Major Impact. Programs in this season are made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.