HERE Presents Transit Lounge's YOU ARE DEAD. YOU ARE HERE., 6/5-22
As part of its 2012-2013 producing Season, HERE will present You Are Dead. You Are Here. Together, playwright Christine Evans, director Joseph Megel and media designer Jared Mezzocchi have formed Transit Lounge, and You Are Dead. You Are Here. marks the company's debut production. This world premiere plays a limited engagement June 5-22, with Official Opening Night on Sunday, June 9 at 8:30PM at HERE (145 Sixth Avenue, just below Spring Street).
Oscillating between present and past, You Are Dead. You Are Here. tells the charged story of an encounter between an American soldier and an Iraqi girl blogger. Inspired by the convergence of video-game environments, interactive technologies and military research, this media theater work incorporates animated landscapes from "Virtual Iraq," a virtual-reality program used in military training, PTSD therapy and rehabilitation.
You Are Dead. You Are Here. began in 2010 when director Joseph Megel commissioned Christine Evans to write a script for the Virtual Performance Factory as part of the CHAT Festival at UNC Chapel Hill. Evans wrote a short piece about a U.S. veteran haunted by video-game style flash-backs to Iraq. Inspired by the powerful response to the work, and with media designer Jared Mezzocchi joining in collaboration, the trio decided to work together on a full-length version. In 2010, they joined HERE as Resident Artists. Subsequently Dr. Skip Rizzo, creator of "Virtual Iraq," allowed the team to work directly with this cutting-edge software (designed for use in military PTSD rehabilitation therapy) and permitted media designer Mezzocchi to retool it for stage use. The newly-formed company Transit Lounge then developed You Are Dead. You Are Here. through its HERE residency and successive workshops at A.R.T., the Institute for Creative Technology in LA (where Virtual Iraq's creative team works), Georgetown University and U.N.C. Chapel Hill. At HERE this June, theater audiences will experience the animated landscapes of Virtual Iraq in live performance for the first time, woven into in a gripping, visually immersive 21st century war story.
You Are Dead. You Are Here. features performances by Anthony Gaskins, Kathreen Khavari and Kittson O'Neill with Scenic Design by Mellie Katakalos, Lighting Design by Robert Denton, Sound Design by Christopher Baine, Costume Design by Lana Duiverman and Stage Management by ElizaBeth Rogers. Heidi Nelson is Dramaturg/Outreach Coordinator and Transit Lounge Producer is Lanie Zipoy.
Originally from Australia, Christine Evans is an internationally produced and award-winning playwright now based in the U.S. Her play Trojan Barbie premiered at A.R.T., is published by Samuel French, won the Jane Chambers Award, the RISCA Playwriting Fellowship and the Plays for the 21st Century Award and has had multiple productions in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. Other plays include Weightless, All Souls' Day, Mothergun, Slow Falling Bird, Can't Complain, Fishbowl and My Vicious Angel. Her plays have been developed or produced in Australia at Belvoir St. Theatre (Sydney), the Adelaide International Festival of the Arts, Deck Chair Theatre, Spare Parts Theatre and the Australian National Playwrights' Conference; and in the UK at RADA, the Young Vic, Charing Cross Theatre, Questors' Theatre and Playbox Theatre. In the U.S. her work has been seen at A.R.T., Perishable Theatre, the Garage Theatre, the Playwrights' Center PlayLabs Festival, the Irish Repertory Theatre, Trinity Repertory Theatre, Boston Playwrights Theatre, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Cutting Ball Theatre, Kitchen Dog Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre, the Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Boston Playwrights Theater, the Process Series at U.N.C. Chapel Hill, Georgetown University, Resonance Ensemble, the hotINK International Festival of Plays, the Women's Project, Voice and Vision, Centenary Stage and elsewhere. Further honors include a Rockefeller Center Bellagio Residency Award, an Australian Fulbright Award, two Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (R.I.S.C.A.) Playwriting Fellowships and two MacDowell Colony Fellowships. Evans is a Core Member of the Playwrights Center and a Women's Project Playwrights Lab alum. She holds an M.F.A. and Ph.D. from Brown and is an Assistant Professor of Performing Arts at Georgetown University. Her plays are published by Theatre Forum, Smith & Kraus and Samuel French; her anthology War Plays is published by NoPassport Press.
Joseph Megel (director) is Artist-in Residence at U.N.C. Chapel Hill in Performance Studies where he runs the Process Series: New Works in Development. He served for six years as Artistic Director of Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey and is Co-Executive Producer of Harland's Creek Productions. Megel directed Guillermo Reyes's Men on the Verge of a His-Panic Breakdown Off-Broadway at the 47th Street Theatre (Outer Critics Circle Award), in Los Angeles (Ovation Award Winner) and elsewhere. He directed Jennifer Maisel's award-winning The Last Seder in Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Further directing credits include David Hare's adaptation of Mother Courage (The Justice Theatre); Parade (U.N.C.); Peter and the Wolf (Jewish Theatre of the South); The Goat, Nixon's Nixon and The Last Two Minutes of the Complete Works of Henrik Ibsen (all at Manbites Dog Theater, Durham); Men on the Verge II - The Self Esteem Files (Borderlands Theatre, Tucson; Teatro Bravo, Phoenix); the North American premiere of Women's Minyan (Theater Or, Durham); the Off-Broadway production of Free Market (The Working Theatre); Voodoo Dreams for the Institute of the Performing Arts (Most Innovative Production - Arizona Republic); the NY premiere of The Lizard of Tarsus; The Blood Knot (Off-Off Broadway, 78th Street Lab); Radium Girls (Star Ledger 1999-2000 Best Play List, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey) and The Seductions of Johnny Diego at Arizona State University (Best Production Zoni Award). His direction in North Carolina has garnered multiple year-end best awards from the News & Observer, The Independent and Triangle Theatre Review.? In Los Angeles, Mr. Megel was Artistic Director of Theatre of N.O.T.E. for 15 years and Co-founder and Artistic Director of A Renegade Theatre Ensemble and Words Across Cultures. Further honors include several Drama-Logue Awards, two NAACP Theatre Awards nominations and a special commendation from Mayor Bradley. He holds an M.F.A. from U.S.C., an M.A. from the University of Cincinnati's Conservatory of Music and a B.S. in Speech from Northwestern University.
Jared Mezzocchi (multimedia director and designer) holds an M.F.A. from Brooklyn College for Performance and Interactive Media Arts. He is a 2012 recipient of a Princess Grace Theater Fellowship (nominated through HERE) - the first Projection Designer ever to receive the honor. His adaptation of The Lost World at Andy's Summer Playhouse won Best Original Play in the New Hampshire Theater Awards. Recent video design credits include: A Trip To The Moon (Synetic Theater); The Mountaintop (Milwaukee Rep), The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Woolly Mammoth Theater), Astro Boy (Studio Theater) and The Glass Menagerie (Arena Stage, D.C.). Jared tours nationally and internationally with Caden Manson's Big Art Group (The People, Fleshtone, SOS, The Sleep, Cityrama), and has recently worked with The Builders Association (Jet Lag 2010), Rob Roth (Screen Test), Untitled Theater Company #61 (Hiroshima: Crucible of Light, Velvet Oratorio, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) and 3-Legged Dog (Outdoor Projections, Spygarbo 2011, New Georges GERM project). He regularly directs at Andy's Summer Playhouse in Wilton, NH (The BFG, The Lost World 2011, Dick Tracy 2010, Donkey Xote 2009) and directs original works throughout the NYC area (Stoplight 2007, Projectionist 2010, Poppa God Bless 2011/12). He will media design Trade Practices with Kristin Marting in Fall 2013. He has taught multimedia courses at NYU's Playwrights Horizons and the Performance and Interactive Media Arts MFA program at Brooklyn College. Jared recently moved to Washington D.C. to create both undergraduate and graduate curricula in Projection Design for the Theater Department at the University of Maryland College Park.
Since 1993, the OBIE-winning HERE, Kristin Marting, Artistic Director and Kim Whitener, Producing Director, has been one of New York's premier arts organizations and a leader in the field of producing and presenting new, hybrid performance viewed as a seamless integration of artistic disciplines - theater, dance, music and opera, puppetry, media, visual and installation, spoken word and performance art. Standout productions include Basil Twist's Symphonie Fantastique and Arias with a Twist, Hazelle Goodman's On Edge, Trey Lyford & Geoff Sobelle's all wear bowlers, Young Jean Lee's Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven, Corey Dargel's Removable Parts, Taylor Mac's The Lily's Revenge and Yoav Gal's Mosheh, among many others. HERE is also co-producer with Beth Morrison Projects of the new PROTOTYPE annual festival of opera-theatre and music-theatre. HERE's work is challenging and alternative and offers audiences the opportunity to feel that they are part of something new and fresh.
The HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP) has been HERE's core program since 1998. HARP commissions, develops and premieres new hybrid performances. Through HARP, the Resident Artists are given the opportunity to develop their projects for up to three years through free works-in-progress showings, workshop presentations in HERE's annual CULTUREMART festival, culminating in full-scale productions.
Each season, HERE premieres several of these Resident Artist productions as mainstage works. These innovative projects are grown in a diverse artistic community where artists also receive career development resources and hands-on training. HARP has been widely recognized as a unique model for artistic development for the field to emulate.
In honoring HERE with the 2009 Ross Wetzsteon Award, the OBIE Committee noted, "it's become increasingly hard for artists to find a place to take risks, a safe haven where they can develop daring new work. One theater has regularly bucked the trend, making its mission to ensure that artists have a home for their research and development, and that theatregoers can sample the exciting results."
You Are Dead. You Are Here. plays June 5 - 22 at 8:30pm, Tuesday - Sunday (no performances Monday). In honor of its 20th Anniversary Season, HERE has established a new ticket-pricing initiative aimed at keeping performances accessible to all: tickets are $10 in advance, and $20 on the day of show. Student Rush FREE with ID. Tickets can be purchased at www.here.org or by calling (212) 352-3101 or at the HERE Box Office (5PM until curtain on show days).
HERE is located at 145 Sixth Avenue (just below Spring Street, entrance on Dominick).
For more, please visit www.here.org.