A NEW THEORY OF VISION Opens 3/18 At Kraine Theater
Bob Jude Ferrante's comedy "A NEW THEORY OF VISION" opens March 18TH at the Kraine Theater
Spooky and hilarious things happen when philosophy professor Lee Krebs finds himself in cyberspace with his hero, the philosopher George Berkeley (Berkeley, who lived 1684-1753, wrote that people learn of reality only through their senses).
How do people relate to each other in altered reality? Can your mind can be rewired so it's completely different from others? As minds, are we all snowflakes? What is the sound of memory? How does imagination smell?
All these questions are asked and answered in Bob Jude Ferrante's surreal and poetic comedy "A New Theory of Vision" presented by Sanctuary: Playwrights Theater from March 18th through Apirl 11th at the Kraine Theatre. The production is directed by Cat Parker.
The play operates simultaneously on three levels: what we call reality, cyberspace, and the minds of the characters. The ground-breaking neutral set, designed by George Allison, is an integral part of the action, as digital projectors create the ambiance of different scenes in the play. The actors also have visuals projected on to them to show their thoughts or change their characters. This is downtown theater at its most imaginative.
"If you want to have fun in the theater, put on your goggles and shut everyone out. Theatre is isolation in a space of mutual communion; theatre takes place only in the mind," says Ferrante.
The computer is as much a character in the play as the brilliant young student, Erich Danton, who has Asperger's (a neurobiological disorder which impairs social interaction). Erich suggests using the computer for the stimulation project to bring Lee into cyberspace. There Lee meets his past and his future. His long time friend, Jane, may have died and may now only alive in Lee's mind. And Hariko, a beautiful Japanese woman, may only exist in online reality.
"We are constantly renewed as each new technology washes over us. We adapt, accept, incorporate the new into our beings until there is nothing left of the original us," says Ferrante.
Other characters include Lee's friend Ted, who insists Lee write another mainstream popular philosophy book so that he can maintain his chair at UC Berkeley. Ted's wife, Cara, is a psychologist, whose patient is Erich, and insists on being part of Erich's experiment.
Located at 85 East 4th Street (between Bowery and Second Avenue) the Kraine Theater is known for staging innovative plays. The play runs from March 18th through April 11th, Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $18, $12 students/seniors available from SmartTix at www.smarttix.com or call 212-868-4444.
Bob Jude Ferrante, managing director of Sanctuary: Playwrights Theatre, is a playwright, producer, and composer. His play "Twinges" played in New York to critical acclaim from BackStage and was a finalist for Actor's Theater of Louisville's Heideman Award. He is the author of ten full-length plays and thirteen one-act plays, and has written more than 200 songs.
Sanctuary: Playwrights Theatre, created by dramatists to showcase the work of bold new playwrights in Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway theaters, recently produced Six Nights: Written on the City, a series of site-specific works by Sheila Callaghan, Kia Corthron, Lisa D'Amour, Jason Grote, Sung Rno & Caridad Svich, as covered in feature articles in The Brooklyn Rail, gothamist and Scene4 magazine. About the world premiere of Food for Fish by Adam Szymkowicz the NY Times' Anita Gates said, "a fabulously weird and weirdly fabulous new comedy"; NYTheatre.com's Michael Criscuolo said, "A smart, well-done play... Catch it before it's gone."