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2014

3 NEW EPISODES OF

CHANG IN A VOID MOON (#59,#60 & #61

#60: MARCH 28,29,30

#61: APRIL 4,5,6

#62: APRIL 11,12,13

AT THE INCUBATOR ARTS PROJECT

ST. MARK'S CHURCH, NYC


SHADOWLAND -JOHN JESURUN'S NEW SERIAL ON VIMEO  NOW -EPISODES 1 & 2

INTERNATIONAL HOUSE JAPAN,TOKYO -READING OF PHILOKTETES IN JAPANESE-JULY 10,2013


TO THE DISTANT OBSERVER-INSTALLATION,PERFORMANCE,EXHIBIT,VENTANA244 GALLERY,WILLIAMSBURG, NEW YORK


STOPPED BRIDGE OF DREAMS

With Black-Eyed Susan,Preston Martin,Claire Buckingham,Ikechukwu Ufomadu

 

John Jesurun’s STOPPED BRIDGE OF DREAMS unfolds inside an anonymous globe circling jetliner—a modern age pleasure palace—operated by a mother and son.
 
 
Inspired by 17th Century Japanese writer, Saikaku Ihara’s “‘floating world” stories, Stopped Bridge of Dreams features a variable nightly series of revolving playlets and characters. Jesurun weaves text, video, music and live internet feeds to reflect the anxiety of spiritual and sexual dislocation in contemporary life. Featuring Obie-winning actress Black-Eyed Susan.
 


The play features a variable nightly series of revolving micro-plays and characters that at times will be live-streamed on the web or beamed in from remote locations. Each night, a featured role will be portrayed each night by a different guest artist, thus giving the work yet another new twist throughout the run.
 
 As well, audiences will be able to follow the show online by browsing through the living, growing archive on the STOPPED BRIDGE OF DREAMS website. Mr. Jesurun considers the website an extension of the live production that charts the geography of the characters’ relationships and histories along with commentary and video clips of performances, thus rendering each performance of STOPPED BRIDGE OF DREAMS unique to any other performance of the play.

Written and directed  by: John Jesurun


Stage and Video design by John Jesurun

Lighting: Jeff Nash
Costumes: James Reilly. 
Technical Director: Jesse Ricke
 Projection Consultant: Richard Connors
Music: Jim Coleman, Dan Kaufman
Sound Design: Kumi Ishizawa
 
Telepresence and Multi-Media Production: CultureHub

Digital Air Effects: Dayton Taylor
, www.digitalair.com

Website Design: Ben Williams

Production Manager: Sarah Holcman
 


Assistant Directors: Kevin Hourigan and Ryan Amador
 
 


Script commissioned by The Relationship with funding from New York State Council of

the Arts.
 
 
This production is made possible through the support of the National Endowment for the

Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the

Arts, The Ford Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, The Curtis W. McGraw Foundation,

Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Materials for the Arts, The Dora Maar House, and The

Relationship.

 

PHOTOS: PAULA COURT, ANA BUSTO

 

REVIEWS

THEATER REVIEW

John Jesurun’s ‘Stopped Bridge of Dreams’ at La MaMa

 By CLAUDIA LA ROCCO

 If Italo Calvino, Douglas Adams and William Gibson had gotten together, maybe become a little drunk and decided to pull a literary all-nighter, the resulting collaboration might have had something of the flavor of John Jesurun’s “Stopped Bridge of Dreams.”

This 75-minute production, presented by La MaMa, evokes numerous authors and is inspired by the floating-world stories of the 17th-century Japanese writer Saikaku Ihara. Yet the voice here — mad, poetic and unsettling — is entirely Mr. Jesurun’s.

To the extent that the performance places itself anywhere beyond the unstable rush of contemporary existence, it is in a modern-day house of pleasure operating within a jet as it streaks from one port of call to the next. The audience at La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theater sits in rows flanking a spare set that is dominated by two large, rotating video screens, so that the field of action has something of the claustrophobia of a long flight.

The screens sometimes regurgitate live images, capturing the performers from various angles as they lash one another and themselves with philosophical monologues, veiled threats and vulgar insults. Much of the verbal jousting occurs between Mrs. X (Black-Eyed Susan) and Hiroshi (Preston Martin), who are in charge, as much as anyone can be here, and who may or may not be mother and son.

“I realized that my existence was in itself not enough,” Mr. Martin explains in his Southern drawl, his voice and body languid yet coiled, as if his character had sashayed out of a late play by Tennessee Williams. (Mr. Jesurun gives that playwright an explicit nod.) And later: “I want my passport. We have landed in Horikawa, and I want off the flying whorehaus of your mind.”

But of course there is no escape from this post-national, late capitalist, technological endgame. Streaks of light and color shoot across the dark screens, suggesting the endless trafficking of goods and information.

And, of course, misinformation; Mr. Jesurun is adept at playing with the gaps between what we know and what we think we know, and all of the hazy possibilities surrounding the petty certainties to which we cling. We see the repeated image of planes coming in low, over wintry landscapes or anonymous grids of light and darkness. We never see them land.

Mr. Jesurun treats his actors like found objects, setting their vocal qualities and idiosyncratic deliveries against his language and allowing for a certain live mayhem to destabilize the finely calibrated text.

On Sunday an indescribably marvelous “haiku slam” between the guest performers Olive Dawley (a sixth grader) and Judith Malina (the founder of the Living Theater) threatened to upend “Stopped Bridge of Dreams.” But no. The flying house of pleasure stayed its singular course.

 





ARTICLE IN PERFORMING ARTS JOURNAL #96,Sept.2010
PERFORMANCE AS DESIGN,THE MEDIATURGY OF JOHN JESURUN'S "FIREFALL" BY BONNIE MARRANCA
Free downloads from the PAJ website

JOHN JESURUN AND JON KINZEL  CO-CURATE MOVEMENT RESEARCH FALL FESTIVAL-NOV.29-DEC.4,2010
JUDSON  CHURCH/DANSPACE

Announcing two new collections of John Jesurun plays now available on Amazon:

1. SHATTERHAND MASSACREE AND OTHER MEDIA TEXTS
Including SHATTERHAND MASSACREE, SLIGHT RETURN, SNOW and FIREFALL
PUBLISHED BY PERFORMING ARTS JOURNAL

2. A MEDIA TRILOGY: DEEP SLEEP, WHITE WATER, BLACK MARIA
FORWARD BY FIONA TEMPLETON
PUBLISHED BY  NOPASSPORT PRESS


FROM THEATER DER ZEIT, MARCH 2010

By Andrzej Wirth

 John's Brave New World

Two publications in the USA recognize the "medial texts" of the author, director and artist John Jesurun

The publication of John Jesurun's "Shatterhand Massacre and Other Media Texts" (PAJ Publications 2009) and "A Media Trilogy" (NoPassport Press 2009) is an event of crucial importance for the theory and practice of the new "theater". I put the word "theater" in quotation marks, following Jesurun's manner; it is a placeholder for the artist's subversive projects, whose opus can only now be assessed in all its dimensions. The "medial texts", over 500 pages that have only recently become accessible, present themselves as the canon of the most radical performance practice. It's not as if this New York playwright, director, designer, and erstwhile MacArthur Fellow (the American award for "Genius") would need national and international recognition - but only now, his contribution becomes verifiable. I am proud that in the early eighties, I brought the then-still unknown New York artist to the Giessen Institute of Applied Theater Science (Giessener Institut für Angewandte Theaterwissenschaften). Jesurun became one of the most influential directors of the so-called "Giessen School", without him, René Pollesch, Gob Squad, Jörg Laue, Hans-Werner Kroesinger, Till Müller-Klug, and other Giessen alums could not have invented themselves.


A summary review of Jesurun's medial texts is hardly possible. And so I will concentrate on just one "play", to which I attribute a central importance for Jesurun's practice, aesthetic, and ideology. It is titled "Snow", and it premiered on November 9, 2000, in Seattle's First Christian Church. The "play", which could best be classified as a "spoken play" ("Sprechstück") in the Handke sense, was written, designed, and put on stage by Jesurun. There is no doubt that "Snow" represents Jesurun's idea of an "author's theater" ("Autorentheater"). Of all his productions, this one is most profoundly and most clearly endowed with a complex and relevant (for the play) site-specific structure.

 

I consider "Snow" to be the most important theater work of the late 20th century, in its form as much as its content. Without Jesurun, this century in American theater would have been limited to formats like "boy meets girl" or "boy meets boy". There is nothing in literature or theater, since Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" (1932), that would have been more prognostic. I dare to say that in his forecasts, Jesurun is a lot more accurate than the European classic of speculative fiction.

 

Let's start with the beginning: the "important", constructed location. Jesurun appears as set designer, as stage architect, with a construction that incorporates 2.74 by 3.66 meters (9 by 12 feet) video screens, as well as hallways that serve as screening rooms, connecting four "rooms" and a central viewing area. The hallways are only about 2 meters (six feet) wide. The stage layout shows the screens to be erected at a 45 degree angle above the audience's heads. Those who know the Berliner Volksbühne might be reminded of the sets by Bert Neumann. I will leave it to theater historians to determine, who was the inventor of such complex play venues.

 

The cast of "Snow" is described as "4 live actors, 22 cameras, an 1 virtual actor". Trying to translate this into German, we immediately face the difficulty to correctly transfer such instrumental vocabulary of American performance. At least we realize, that actors are a minority, relative to the dominating equipment. Conservatives might ask: Is this still theater, or is it already film art? Whatever the answer might be, it's a pseudo-problem.

 

The technical contribution becomes apparent, not only in the video and lighting design; it requires totally new capabilities, described as Virtual Actor, Program Designer, Entity Track Designer, Media Consultant, Media Manager or Technical Coordinator. As I mentioned earlier, there is no doubt that John Jesurun remains the sole author of all this. The audience of 75 people is seated in the central space, surrounded by ten-feet walls. It is remarkable that the audience remains completely separated from the live action. During the performance, four actors, equipped with radio microphones, inhabit the hallways and the four "rooms". Twenty cameras, which are installed in the "rooms", transmit the action to the screens in the screening room. The screens all show "scenes" of the play, alternating with other visual material. This is done in an act of "instant live editing", a real-time compilation of the 20 camera viewfinder images of material which has been recorded earlier. The lead role is played by a TV actress named Crickett, barely older than forty; she is the leading voice of the play - and, one might suppose, of the author himself.

 

Crickett: The first rule I learned is that everything you say here must be written by someone else. Never say anything you think or write yourself. In fact, never put anything in writing - you never know where it will end up. Next, you always want what they want, and they want what you want, and everything will go perfectly. Is this being taped?

Lee's voice, over the speaker: Yes, it is, and it has been recorded.

Bill Ballou (entity Track Design): This place is its own country. On the fiftieth floor you're known as "her master voice".

Crickett: Who is the master?

Bill Ballou: No one, really. It's an organization-neutral, apolitical, un-prosecutable, immune. It deals with everyone, and everyone deals with it. I serves everyone, and everyone serves it. It's a service. It accepts payment only in information. Money is irrelevant. It collects so much information that it can use it against ay possible enemy it has to; but the idea is never to use it against anyone, just to threaten to use. Sort if an neutral Swiss thing.

 

The measure of success is one's own website. About Crickett, it is said that she most likely has "the world's largest and most comprehensive website". In "Snow", Jesurun has accomplished a feat of a genius: the critique of American show business as a universal critique of our times. n




Chocolate Factory Theater presents
LIZ ONE
Written,Directed and Designed by John Jesurun
Featuring Black-Eyed Susan and Benjamin Forster
October 14 – 31, 2009
Black-Eyed Susan plays Elizabeth I of England as revealed through her private diaries. She struggles with a revolving set of presences to disentangle, un-write and finally rewrite her own biography.
Lighting Designer: Jeff Nash • Production Manager: Jennifer Ortega
Assistant Director: Kevin Hourigan •
Technical Director: Logan George