HERE Presents SOUNDSTAGE With Rob Roth Live And Rebecca Hall On-Screen
HERE opens its 2018-2019 season with the commissioned world premiere of Soundstage, a live theater and film hybrid created and performed by HERE resident artist Rob Roth alongside his on-film counterpart, actor Rebecca Hall.
Running September 13-29, Soundstage is an audio and visual poem that meditates on the concept of the artistic muse. Through a queer lens, Soundstage creates a haunting world where sound, time, gender, and fantasy transform. It uses original text, songs, and the language of cinema to create a voyeuristic theatrical experience, inviting the audience to observe the private world of two characters that possibly exist in each other's imagination.
Soundstage employs a live camera and dolly system that uses interchangeable film lenses as it moves around the stage. Over the course of four episodes based on the colors of Alchemy (yellow, red, white, and black), this mysterious film crew captures intimate details of the performance as the two characters begin to merge into one. These characters live in an ambiguous, pre-internet era: a time before the gay rights movement, during which one's true persona could only take shape within personal and hidden spaces.
"Throughout my career, I've been fascinated with the archetype of the strong female lead character as both a reflection and salvation for gay men," says Roth. "While a struggle with isolation and self-exile has been part of gay life, it seems less common for a younger generation. In my work, I hope to reveal a hidden history of queer individuals who came before, many of whom are no longer with us, who used fantasy as a means of survival and existence."
Soundstage represents the second episode in a triptych of 'female lead' studies that began with the award-winning visual rock spectacle, Screen Test (2004-2010).
Soundstage features text by Jason Napoli Brooks and Rob Roth, music by Yair Evnine, Rachelle Garniez, and Kamala Sankaram with lyrics by Rob Roth, and butoh choreography by Vangeline.
The creative team for Soundstage includes Kristine Kruta (live music arrangements), Michael Girandola / Trent Ermes (live cinematography) Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (lighting designer), Chelsie McPhilimy (media designer), Frank Oliva (set designer/consultant), Kelsey Brewer (props master), David Quinn (costume design for Rob Roth), Jaqueline Valega (mannequin design), Ana Mari de Quesada (production manager), Scott Davis (assistant director), and Chanelle Larios (stage manager).
The creative team for the films includes Roth (director), Adam Carboni / Michael Girandola (directors of photography, Danika Casas / Chris Yoon (film scenes production), Kelsey Brewer (art direction), Nate Buchik (film editing), Kate Bilinski (sound mixing), Mikey Rossiter / The Mill (color), Anne Trotman / The Mill and Roth (FX), Wendy Nichol (Rebecca Hall's wardrobe), Veronica Ibarra / Sarah Patch (makeup), Kitty Boots (stylist), and Isaac Davidson for Wigbar (hair).
Performances of Soundstage will take place September 13-29 (see above schedule) at HERE, located at 145 Sixth Avenue, just below Spring Street. Critics are welcome as of September 15 for an official opening on Monday, September 17 at 8:30pm. Tickets are priced at $15 previews, $25 general, and $45 premium and can be purchased by visiting here.org or by calling 212-352-3101. In person sales at the box office after 5pm only on performance days and two hours prior to curtain for matinees. For Group Sales, contact email@example.com.
Rob Roth is a multi-platform artist and director based in New York City who works in a variety of media utilizing theater, film, audio, and installation to create richly textured and poetic work. His visual language springs from his initial training as a painter, and his mysterious works of deconstructed narrative flicker through a decidedly queer lens onto the subconscious.
For more than twenty years, Roth has regularly collaborated with some of New York City's most progressive performance artists and theater troupes, including Narcissister, Justin Vivian Bond, Julie Tolentino, Big Art Group, Vangeline Theater, Amber Martin and Edgar Oliver. His original theater pieces include the award-winning Screen Test (PS 122), The Mystery of Claywoman - Screening and Lecture (featuring Amy Pohler, Alan Cumming & Ruth Maleczech), and Craig's Dream, an ongoing performance piece in which Rob plays his own alter ego, "Craig." Even while directing short films, such as Junkie Doctors, and directing music videos for a variety of artists, Roth has always kept a foot firmly planted in the underground progressive nightlife arena with legendary club nights like Jackie 60, Click + Drag and The Black Party. His unique dark vision has served him well in some of the more commercial projects he's taken on as well, for such artists as Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Blondie and David Bowie.
Roth's explorations of a cinematic language and form within live performance consistently result in works of haunting imagery influenced by queer culture, renaissance painting, classic Hollywood films, mythology, and metaphysics. Through those recurring themes, his work plumbs the depths of humanity, personae, and the ultimate common denominator of death.
Roth recently directed the politically charged music video 'Doom or Destiny' by Blondie featuring Joan Jett which received several 'Best of 2017' lists. He also performed at Atlas Obscura's site-specific Into the Veil event at Greenwood Cemetery.
Photo Credit: Aleck Venegas