PlayCo Presents William Burke's IS IT SUPPOSED TO LAST?

Presented live in monthly installments beginning January 28.

By: Jan. 21, 2021

PlayCo Presents William Burke's IS IT SUPPOSED TO LAST?

PlayCo presents William Burke's Is it Supposed to Last?, an iterative performance series co-directed by Burke and Bryn Herdrich and presented live in monthly installments beginning January 28.

At a time when our isolation and uncertain futures amplify the need to take care of ourselves and others, the performance dizzily spins around the question, "What happens when the nurturers are unable to nurture the people who need them?" Featuring Carolina Đa?- and Jehan O. Young, these presentations of Is it Supposed to Last? expand on initial performances last August in PlayCo's Mini-Commissions program, with an artistic team that also includes Sugar Vendil (composer/performer), Carolyn Mraz (co-designer), Cheyanne Williams (co-designer), Aaron Gonzalez (video systems designer) and Jenny Beth Snyder (project manager).

Is it Supposed to Last? is a play-but also a streamer-stuffed, Neil Diamond-enhanced, currently-but-perhaps-not-always Zoom-captured party celebrating the good parts of people, a ritual of friendship, and an exorcism of the repeating bile that comes in between. Each installment will progress from the last, with performers appearing in different locations across New York City, incorporating the existing conditions at the time to play with our changing experiences of isolation, weather, and communing. Audience members are encouraged to take part in the performances as they evolve over five months.

Says Bryn Herdrich, "What are the excuses we use to simply make it okay to have a conversation with each other, to tell our friends we love them and they're important to us? We should all be able to just sit and talk, but we can't do that all the time so we throw parties and pretend birthdays are real and buy a bunch of streamers and decorate a room or have dinners or play cards. We do these things to create spaces where we feel like we can say the things we can't say in everyday life. Is it Supposed to Last? is an attempt for the collective of theatermakers and audience to mutually care for each other while acknowledging the limitations of that in this moment. We suspect we will not be successful, and so each iteration is a new attempt to get at that within the boundaries of what is possible in that moment on that day."

William Burke writes, "We'll try again...and again...and again...and again....bigger, a little different, but not enough, with more sparkle and color, not that it heals, but it makes things more fun by the end. You'll be a little changed. Hope it's for the better."

PlayCo Founding Producer Kate Loewald says, "In this five-month-long approach to the play William and Bryn and their collaborators will respond in real time to the very fluid conditions we're living in, regarding everything from whether or not we can be together to the ways seasonal change impacts our interactions in these moments. WIlliam's work in general is interested in how we gather as people and how we treat each other as people, and I'm excited to return, every month for five months, to see how the world is being reflected through his work."

Is it Supposed to Last? continues PlayCo's 2020-2021 virtual season. Approached from varied perspectives, and brought to life in singular form-bending strokes, works this season have built on and played with the inherent symbolism of virtual performance-how, by design, it reflects the everyday navigation of intimacy and isolation of lives lived on screen. Is it Supposed to Last? follows Amir Nizar Zuabi's intimate This Is Who I Am (performed live via Zoom in two actors' kitchens), directed by Evren Odcikin, and presented with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in association with American Repertory Theater at Harvard University, Guthrie Theater, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. This season, PlayCo also partnered with MAX (Media Art Xploration) on their production of Onur Karaoglu and Kathryn Hamilton's participatory melodrama of camaraderie, sex, betrayal, and the digital theater of life in a pandemic, Read Subtitles Aloud. In March, PlayCo will partner with Japan Society to present a new version of a previous PlayCo world premiere, remounted for an interactive digital presentation; details to be announced soon.

The first performance will begin at 8:00pm EST on Thursday, January 28, 2021, and will run approximately one hour. The performance is free, but space is limited so an RSVP is required to attend.

Attendees will receive an event confirmation within 48 hours of form submission, and PlayCo will provide all confirmed participants with the Zoom log-in information for the event no later than January 26. A waiting list will be available once the event reaches capacity.

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