The Wooster Group's EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS to Run 4/23-5/4
St. Ann's Warehouse will present a strictly limited return engagement of The Wooster Group's Early Shaker Spirituals: A Record Album Interpretation, April 23 - May 4. The remounting follows a sold-out world premiere at The Performing Garage last year and marks St. Ann's Warehouse's final presentation 29 Jay Street, before the organization moves to its permanent home in the historic Tobacco Warehouse in Brooklyn Bridge Park this fall.
Tickets, starting at $25, are available from www.stannswarehouse.org and by phone at 718.254.8779 (Tues. - Sat., 1pm - 7pm) or 866.811.4111 (24 hours). April 23 is a special benefit performance hosted by The Wooster Group and the historical museums at Hancock Shaker Village and Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon, and includes a post-show reception with the cast and company; tickets are $150. Early Shaker Spirituals will officially open on the night of the first performance, April 23.
Early Shaker Spirituals is a performance based on a 1976 LP of Shaker hymns, marches, anthems and interviews recorded by Sister R. Mildred Barker and the sisters of the Shaker community in Sabbathday Lake, Maine. Directed by Kate Valk, the piece features Cynthia Hedstrom, Elizabeth LeCompte, Frances McDormand, and Suzzy Roche. The performers channel the voices of the Shaker singers to give a new live rendering of all twenty tracks from side A of the album, with Jamie Poskin reading from the liner notes. Following the songs is a series of seven dances in which the singers are joined by Matthew Brown,Modesto Flako Jimenez, Bobby McElver, Bebe Miller and Andrew Schneider.
Early Shaker Spirituals features a set by Elizabeth LeCompte and Jim Clayburgh, lighting by Jennifer Tipton with Ryan Seelig, costumes by Enver Chakartashwith Christine Stevenson and Naomi Raddatz, and sound by Bobby McElver and Max Bernstein. Erin Mullin isStage Manager, Emily Rea isProduction Manager, Bill Kennedy is Technical Director, and Jamie Poskin is Assistant Director.
Early Shaker Spirituals returns to an artistic practice The Wooster Group Group has used throughout its history: working with record albums as source material for original productions, among them Hula (1981) and L.S.D. (...Just the High Points...) (1984). The piece also expresses the Group's long-standing interest in the Shakers, a millenarian, celibate, communitarian sect. In 1980, Elizabeth LeCompte, Kate Valk, and other members of the company visited the Sabbathday Lake Shaker community and met with Sister R. Mildred Barker. Around that time, the company first began listening to the record album that forms the basis for this new piece.
Early Shaker Spirituals garnered acclaim at The Performing Garage in New York (May 17 - June 15, 2014), at REDCAT in Los Angeles (January 21 - February 1, 2015), and at Z Space in San Francisco (February 5 - 8, 2015).
St. Ann's Warehouse is currently presenting the New York premiere of The Wooster Group's Cry, Trojans! (Troilus & Cressida), which concludes April 19.
Founded in 1975, The Wooster Group has made more than 30 works for theater, dance, film, and video under the direction of Elizabeth LeCompte. These works include Rumstick Road (1977), L.S.D. (...Just the High Points...) (1984), Frank Dell's The Temptation of St. Antony (1988), Brace Up! (1991), The Emperor Jones(1993), House/Lights (1999), To You, the Birdie! (Phèdre) (2002), Hamlet (2007), There Is Still Time . . Brother (2007), La Didone (2009), Vieux Carré (2011) andCry, Trojans! (Troilus & Cressida) (2014). The founding and original members of the Group are Elizabeth LeCompte, Spalding Gray, Ron Vawter, Jim Clayburgh, Willem Dafoe, Kate Valk and Peyton Smith. The Performing Garage at 33 Wooster Street in lower Manhattan is the company's permanent home, which they own and operate as part of the Grand Street Artists Co-op, a 1960s project of the Fluxus art movement. Visit www.thewoostergroup.org for more information.For over three decades, St. Ann's has commissioned, produced and presented an eclectic body of innovative theater and concert presentations that meet at the intersection of theater and rock and roll. Since 2001, the organization has helped vitalize the emerging Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood, DUMBO, where St. Ann's Warehouse has become one of New York City's most important and compelling live performance destinations. After twelve years at 38 Water Street, St. Ann's activated a new warehouse at 29 Jay, turning it into an interim home while the organization has launched a $31 million capital campaign to adapt the historic Tobacco Warehouse (45 Water Street) in Brooklyn Bridge Park-originally constructed in 1860, and roofless and in disrepair for decades-into a waterfront cultural center. Construction is nearly finished; St. Ann's is poised to move in and will begin its inaugural season there in fall 2015.
Through its signature multi-artist concerts and groundbreaking music/theater collaborations, St. Ann's Warehouse has become the artistic home for the American avant-garde, international companies of stature and award-winning emerging artists. Highly acclaimed landmark productions include Lou Reed's and John Cale'sSongs for 'Drella; Marianne Faithfull's Seven Deadly Sins; Artistic Director Susan Feldman's Band in Berlin; Charlie Kaufman and the Coen Brothers' Theater of the New Ear; The Royal Court and TR Warszawa productions of Sarah Kane's 4:48 Psychosis; The Globe Theatre of London's Measure for Measure; Druid Company'sThe Walworth Farce, The New Electric Ballroom and Penelope; Enda Walsh's Misterman, featuring Cillian Murphy; Lou Reed's Berlin; the National Theater of Scotland's acclaimed Black Watch; Kneehigh Theatre's Brief Encounter and Tristan & Yseult; Yael Farber's Mies Julie; Dmitry Krymov Lab's Opus No. 7; the Donmar Warehouse all-female Julius Caesar; Kate Tempest's Brand New Ancients; Tricycle Theatre's Red Velvet and, most recently, the National Theatre of Scotland's Let the Right One In. St. Ann's has championed such artists as The Wooster Group, Mabou Mines, Jeff Buckley, Cynthia Hopkins, Enda Walsh, John Tiffany and Steven Hoggett, Emma Rice and Daniel Kitson.St. Ann's Warehouse has been awarded the Ross Wetzsteon OBIE Award for the development of new work. The OBIE Award Committee honored St. Ann's for "inviting artists to treat their cavernous DUMBO space as both an inspiring laboratory and a sleek venue where its super-informed audience charges the atmosphere with hip vitality."