Bock, Jacqmin, Grote and Kelly Selected for Sundance Labs

News   Bock, Jacqmin, Grote and Kelly Selected for Sundance Labs Plays by Adam Bock, Laura Jacqmin and Jason Grote will be developed in the Sundance Theatre Labs at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and Governors Island in New York harbor.

The two labs temporarily replace the annual July lab in Utah while the Sundance Resort undergoes upgrades. As with the annual Utah lab, the East Coast sessions offer playwrights, directors, composers and librettists the opportunity to work with dramaturgs and full casts on their works in progress.

"The current season represents a departure from our history and is unquestionably one of Sundance Institute's most innovative,” said Sundance Theatre Institute artistic director Philip Himberg in a statement. "The Lab at MASS MoCA is a fascinating collaboration between Sundance Institute and a major cultural institution that shares our values. The Lab on Governors Island is our first non-residency program, allowing local writers to work in a retreat setting during the day and return to their homes each night. We expect to learn a great deal about how best to support these artists as we take a step away from the familiarity of our fantastic Utah home and collaborate with new partners."

The MASS MoCA lab will run March 28-April 11. The works include:

  • A Small Fire by Adam Bock, directed by Trip Cullman. "A Small Fire asks us: When life hands you a big change, how do you respond? Do you try to return to the way things were, or do you take a chance and change even more? People love and hate change, because it demands that we be clear about who we are, and who we want to be."

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  • Bwagamoyo by Shailja Patel, directed by Liesl Tommy. "Bwagamoyo charts a voyage from colonial Zanzibar to Kenya’s 2008 post-election violence, by way of the male body. Drawing on the history of the artist's father, born and raised in Zanzibar, and Patel's personal involvement with Kenya’s post-election crisis, Bwagamoyo shows how the architecture of Empire is codified on the bodies of men. How the stories of our bodies are intimately mirrored in the larger Body Politic, and our national histories. Bwagamoyo is the second work in Patel's four-part opus, Migritude."
  • Out of Orbit by Jennifer Maisel, directed by Jackson Gay. "A mother and her teenage daughter. The Jet Propulsion Lab Scientist and the underachiever. Sara lives on Mars time, spearheading the Mars Rover Expedition, visiting a planet she cannot touch, while her daughter, Lis, on earth time, falls under the spell of the cyber-cypher Edgar2330. Sometimes it takes being worlds apart for an exploring woman and a longing-to-be-explored girl to find each other in our increasingly disconnected universe." MASS MoCA will also host performance artist John Kelly (known for his acclaimed tributes to Joni Mitchell) as the 2010 Sundance Institute Time Warner Storytelling Fellow in Residence. He will develop The Escape Artist, "a collision of music, video and story. In a studio dubbing recording session for cinematic re-enactments of the paintings of Caravaggio, a singer hired to lay down the tracks channels the characters that populate the paintings, encounters unexpected technical difficulties, and reveals a turbulent personal history of his own."

    The Governors Island component will run May 23-June 6 and feature:

  • Civilization by Jason Grote, directed by Daniel Aukin. "The filming of an ironically racist TV commercial kicks off this fierce burlesque of America’s love/hate obsession with food. A feral pig on a rampage, mass choreography, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson using hip-hop to sell snacks, auto-erotic asphyxiation, chaos theory, and the search for love, meaning and hope during the 2008 presidential election – all braided together to devastating effect."
  • Look, We Are Breathing by Laura Jacqmin and directed by Mark Brokaw. "Those who die young are mourned for their lost potential. But what if Mike, a high school hockey player who gets drunk and crashes his car before the play begins, never showed any? His mother Alice just isn’t sad about his death. Neither is Mike’s AP English teacher, Leticia, or Caylee, the girl who’s had a crush on Mike for years. After all, Alice didn’t know her son at all; Leticia hated Mike on sight; and after an uncomfortable hookup, Caylee realized that the boy she loved might have died a long time ago. As the three women try to figure out who Mike was and who he might have grown into, they realize that in order to feel grief, they might have to acknowledge that they could have been wrong about him."
  • When Last We Flew by Harrison Rivers, directed by Colette Robert. "Before we were human. We were birds. And. We. Were. Magnificent!” Flying isn’t easy. Especially when you don’t have wings. But Paul, Natalie and Marian are about to discover that with a little faith, a little love, and a whole lot of help from Ellen McLaughlin, flight may not be as impossible as it seems." Visit Sundance.org/Theatre.

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