Across A Distance, premiering in the Mitchell Theatre on September 17, 2010.
Across A Distance is an original multimedia bilingual (English and American Sign Language) performance piece for Soprano and Deaf actor, devised collaboratively over the last five years by a creative team including performers Julia Faulkner and Robert Schleifer, playwright Nick Lantz, composer Scott Gendel, and director Kelly Bremner. The performance unites Deaf performance and opera through an allegorical tale about Man, a storyteller, and Woman, a scientist, who live on separate islands, longing to connect. Through the assistance of their magical companions, a flock of birds who communicate through song and a pair of trees who communicate through movement, Man and Woman are able to meet. Though Man speaks American Sign Language and Woman speaks and sings in English, the two are magically able to understand one another. But once they break the rules their companions set for them, Man and Woman find their ability to communicate is lost.
At the heart of Across A Distance are a series of probing questions: What is the nature of communication, and what are its limits? What happens when the magical first blush of love gives way to the challenges of uniting two disparate lives and realities? What are the possibilities and limitations of attraction? What is the relationship between knowledge and intuition? How can Deaf performance and opera interact with each other artistically?
For tickets and other information, please visit the University Theater website. For questions about the show, please email the production dramaturg, Kristin Hunt, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Performance dates: September 17,18,23,24,25 at 7:30 pm; September 19 at 2 pm
post-performance panel discussion 9/19
co-sponsored by the McBurney Disability Resource Center, the Department of Theatre and Drama, and the School of Music with support from the Evjue Foundation, the Anonymous Fund, the Arts Institute and the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and Climate.
This project is funded, in part, by a grant from the Madison Arts Commission, with additional funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board.
Image from lighting designer Chelsie McPhilimy's visual research.