Hotel Cassiopeia is the second in a quartet of Mee plays that explore the lives and creative endeavors of four extraordinary American artists: bobrauschenbergamerica meditates on the life of American painter Robert Rauschenberg; soot and spit (the musical) explores self-taught artist James Castle; and Under Construction juxtaposes Norman Rockwell and installation artist Jason Rhoades to create a collage of America past and present.
"Hotel Cassiopeia is not the story of Joseph Cornell's life; rather it is life from his perspective," press notes explain. "Having spent his entire adulthood in Queens, NY — living with his mother and caring for his disabled brother —Cornell nevertheless envisioned a vast, fantastical world that he captured in his well-known boxes and three-dimensional collages. The play is structured around what Cornell called 'sparklings,' the spectacular moments when mundane details become transcendent. These moments are the focal points of his unique work, which seeks to endow the seemingly commonplace with profound meaning. Mee's play, like Cornell's work, creates a collaged perception of time and experience through an amalgam of poetry, movement, dance, video projections, and film. The result is a glimpse into the imagination of Joseph Cornell — a world inhabited by the few people in his life, as well as the ethereal ballerinas, film stars, cut-outs of birds, shards of glass, and bits of newsprint that he avidly collected. These items are the trappings of a man in search of the perfect expression for some of life's quintessential themes: love, loss, and beauty."
Anne Bogart and the SITI Company presented bobrauschenbergamerica at BAM in 2003; they return for Hotel Cassiopeia, which Bogart and SITI premiered at the 2006 Humana Festival.
The creative team for Hotel Cassiopeia includes set design by Neil Patel, costume design by James Schuette, lighting design by Brian H. Scott, sound design by Darron L West and projection design by Greg King.
On Oct. 10 at 6 PM BAMdialogue will feature Bogart and Mee discussing their latest collaboration. Tickets to Hotel Cassiopeia, running Oct. 9-13, are available by calling (718) 636-4100 or by visiting BAM.org.