Hunter Theater Project Presents Isabella Rossellini In LINK LINK CIRCUS
Hunter College president Jennifer J. Rabb announced today that Hunter Theater Project will present Golden Globe Award-winning actress-filmmaker Isabella Rossellini in her one-woman, one-dog theatrical evening, Link Link Circus. The production will play April 18 through May 3, 2019 for 14 performances only at the Frederick Loewe Theatre at Hunter College, East 68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues. Tickets ($42, $15 for students with ID, with no service charge) are available starting Wednesday, March 20 at noon at www.huntertheaterproject.org.
Link Link Circus is a comedic and scientifically informed look at the link between humans and animals, via Darwin's theory of evolution. Rossellini, a vivid monologist, explores the brilliance of the animal kingdom in a show illustrated with her short comic films, home movies, and animation. Rossellini transforms herself into Aristotle, Descartes, a medieval theologian, B.F. Skinner, Charles Darwin and other prominent thinkers of the past, while her dog, Pan, plays various animals, assisted by Andy Byers (for performances April 18-April 26) and Caleb Lane (for performances April 27-May 3). Link Link Circus addresses the latest scientific discoveries about animal minds, intelligence, and emotions.
"I am very pleased that the newest Hunter Theater Project endeavor will feature our very own Isabella Rossellini, who is bringing her remarkable creativity as a performer to the Loewe Stage," said President Raab. "We have loved getting to know Isabella as she pursues her master's degree at Hunter, so it's entirely fitting that we are the place for Isabella to share her work with the Hunter and greater New York City community. Her unique show is a great follow-up to Uncle Vanya, the critically acclaimed production that launched the Hunter Theater Project."
Rossellini is completing a master's degree in Animal Behavior and Conservation at Hunter College and has received a PhD Honoris Causa from the Science Faculty at University of Quebec at Montreal. She has said that her true calling has always involved animals.
"I wanted to study and work with animals my whole life, but then modeling and acting happened, and I never had the opportunity," Rossellini states. "When I was a little girl and had my little dog, it felt like we understood each other so well. It prompted me then to ask questions about how much animals think and whether they feel emotion. I'm still asking."
Reviewing the production last year at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, The New York Times said that Isabella Rossellini in Link Link Circus "delivers a 'theatrical conference' about the nonhumans with whom we share this planet, using puppets, projected drawings and animated videos to illustrate her points. It is hard to deny how pleasurable Ms. Rossellini's company is. And have I mentioned there is a dog?"
Link Link Circus is Rossellini's first original performance since Green Porno, which was written with Oscar-winning screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, directed by Muriel Mayette, and based on the series of short films produced by the Sundance Channel. Green Porno toured to 50 cities in 2015. Reviewing the work at BAM for New York Magazine, Jesse Green wrote that Rossellini is "the best professor you could ever imagine: witty, lovely to watch," and that Green Porno is "about as much fun as you can have learning about the fun other creatures are having." The Hollywood Reporter called her performance "impossible to resist." Theatermania observed, "Staged with its tongue firmly implanted in its cheek, the evening enjoyably flits by with many belly laughs and a whole lot of knowledge."
In addition to Ms. Rossellini (Performer, Co-Director, Co-Producer), the creative team features Rick Gilbert (Set Design, Line Producer), Andy Byers (Set Design, Costume Design, Composer), Guido Torlonia (Co-Director), Bill Berloni (Animal Director), Fanny Karst (Ring Leader Costumes), Andy Smetanka and Courtney Pure (Animation), Gina Freedman (Props), Stacey Foster (Film and Audio Clips Editor), and Jason L. Miller (Technical Director).
Isabella Rossellini grew up in Paris and Rome. She made her screen debut in 1979 in the Taviani brothers' film Il Prato (The Meadow) and has appeared in numerous other films, most recently lending her voice to the blockbuster hit The Incredibles 2. Other credits include the American features Blue Velvet, White Nights, Rodger Dodger, Cousins, Death Becomes Her, Fearless, Big Night, and Joy. She has worked with a wide-ranging list of directors including Robert Zemeckis, David O. Russell, David Lynch, Robert Wilson, Taylor Hackford, Marjane Satrapi, and Guy Maddin.
She is also a successful television actress and filmmaker, with a keen interest in animals and wildlife conservation. Her award-winning series of shorts, "Green Porno," "Seduce Me," and "Mammas," offer comical and scientifically insightful studies of animal behavior. Rossellini's most recent work for television includes "Master of Photography," for European broadcaster SKY, and the American series "Shut Eye," for Hulu, released in December 2016. Her book, My Chickens and I, was released by Abrams Books in March 2018. Rossellini runs an organic farm in Brookhaven in association with the Peconic Land Trust and the Post Morrow Foundation. She is a mother of two and resides in Bellport, Long Island.
Andy Byers received his BFA at the Kansas City Art Institute and received an MFA in ceramics from Ohio State University in 2005. After moving to Brooklyn, Andy began a career in film as well as prototyping and installation work for companies such as Victoria's Secret, J Crew, American Express and Ann Taylor. In 2007, Andy began working with Isabella Rossellini on a series of short films entitled Green Porno as the Production Designer, Composer and Costume Designer. During their years in collaboration, 41 short films and two feature length films, Animals Distract Me and Green Porno Live, were created. After relocating to Los Angeles in 2012, his work continued to expand, working in advertising and film but additionally creating a music label, Cosmic Dreamer Music, with wife Sara Bright. His work and performances have been exhibited at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, Canada; Selfridges, London, England; Filmhaus Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, Germany; The Ulrich Museum, Wichita, KS; The Smithsonian National Zoo, Washington DC; 21C Museums in Durham, NC and Cincinnati, OH and The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, CA.
Caleb Lane has been acting professionally for over 15 years in movies, TV and theater. He is a graduate of Terry Knickerbocker's 2 Year Meisner Acting Program. His film credits include Miracle at Gate 213 with Lou Gossett Jr. and Shirley Jones. His TV credits include "The Forgotten" with Christian Slater and "Pretty Little Liars" on ABC Family.
Hunter Theater Project is a new theater venture connecting professional theater productions with Hunter College's students and faculty. It launched last September with Richard Nelson's celebrated, sold out production of Uncle Vanya. Under the leadership of Gregory Mosher, HTP Producer and Chair of the Hunter Theatre Department, the Hunter Theater Project supports Hunter's teaching, learning, and research mission by giving dramatic expression to subjects across the curriculum, as well as providing a new opportunity to New Yorkers to access professional, affordable theatrical productions.
Visit www.huntertheaterproject.org for tickets and performance schedule.