The Alchemical Theatre presents their enigmatic examination of the coupling of metabolic speed and technological speed, and its inevitable consequences on consciousness, human appearance and the perception of one's "place" in the world.
The texts are drawn from urban theorist Paul Virilio’s book Pure War, which questions the accelerating developments of technology; and French author/critical theorist Maurice Blanchot’s short story "The Madness of the Day" which introduces us to the character we consider the protagonist par excellence for our time: The Disappeared One. The piece is devised through a reciprocal reading of Blanchot's text through the lens of Virilio and vice versa.
Individually the actors become Blanchot’s protagonist and together conspire to create a series of exhibits, confessions and briefings as a simulation of the relationship between technology and the human body. The actors employ techniques of "jazz acting" and biomechanics in a series of micro-narratives and vignettes.
Pure War / The Madness of the Day is set in a “box full of speeds” and images, and functions in the context of a public hearing. The actors place themselves under public scrutiny in order to engage the audience in a para-theatrical experience about the terms of appearance between actor, character and audience, pointing to the societal value of theatre as a technology of human recognition and interaction.
We live in a society where the substance of self is negated. The Age of Reason is transforming; and technology has become a contemporary prosthesis on consciousness. We are nearing that point of exhaustion in both the Enlightenment and ourselves where each of us disappears. The question “Who am I?” becomes increasingly eclipsed by the question "How do I appear?"
"...and if seeing was madness, I madly wanted that madness!" – Maurice Blanchot
"The speed of light, the light of speed. We have gone from the aesthetics of appearance, stable forms, to the aesthetics of disappearance, unstable forms. ...Too much speed is like too much light. It's blinding. It's blinding. It's blinding." – Paul Virilio
About the Company: The Alchemical Theatre
Our Mission is: To develop the art and presence of the living actor as the essential distinguishing factor in the theatre proper. To recognize that the presence of the audience as a living public assembly is necessary in the development of the theatre as a unique art form, and is at the heart of its contemporary relevance.
We are an association of actors dedicated to a new and emerging form of our art which speaks to the contemporary sensibilities of our public, of our audience. We believe that acting is the art par excellence of our times and that the theatre as a living art can open the doors of perception, so vital to the challenges of our historic moment. Keeping in mind this commitment to meaningful and creative public assembly, we are engaged in a process of study and research regarding the techniques of our art, the subject matter of our plays, and forms of mise-en-scène which can distinguish the meaning of the theatre as a most vital contemporary artform.
Beyond the rehearsal process and performance of current productions, we maintain a growing extended company which engages in a ritual of study, training and research into acting technique including Meyerhold’s Biomechanics, “Jazz Acting,” and various forms of physical training. These training sessions also culminate in a bi-monthly public performance at The Alchemical Actors Salon.
Cast: Chelsey Clime, Zebedee J. Row, Katarina Vizina
Address: 137 W 14th St
Cost:$20 (student/senior $15)
Buy Tickets Online or Call: Ovation Tickets at 866-811-4111
Gia Lisa Krahne (actress, dancer, singer, pianist, teacher, writer) began as a musical theatre performer & pianist in Northern California. Early training in classical voice & piano culminated at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied opera, musical theatre and piano with Herman LeRoux and John McCarthy. Favorite traditional roles include Kathy in Company, a Player in Pippin and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte. In 2010, she presented her solo dance piece The Radiance in collaboration with kirtan artist Leraine Horstmanshoff in Salt Lake City. She recently acted with The Living Theatre as Korach’s Wife in Korach and in Seven Meditations for Political Sadomasochism, where she met fellow AT company members.
Gia is a productive poet and playwright, as well as an accomplished theatre dancer, specializing in the repertoire of Bob Fosse, thanks to her beloved teachers Diane Laurenson, Jeff Shade and Dana Moore. Much of her ritual of study is devoted to teaching and practicing meditation, yoga, tantra and Vedic practices, in which she finds a deep confluence with her theatrical vision. She received her BA in psychology & English from NYU, with further premedical studies at Columbia University, actors training at The New Actors Workshop, and yogic studies at Sambhava School of Yoga (SLC).
She is the CoArtistic Director of Alchemical Theatre Laboratory at 104 West 14th Street as well as a member of their resident company The Alchemical Theatre, (Pure War / The Madness of the Day through 12/17/2011). Also a company member with General Mischief Dance Theatre. More at gialisakrahne.com
Rew David Greer was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. From an early age, Greer studied theatre at Edward R. Murrow high school and earned a BFA degree in Acting from Emerson College. Greer has produced several of his own plays in NYC for his theatre company www.TheTroupeTheatre.com. These include productions in the New York International Fringe Festival, The Lower East Side Festival, The Manhattan Repertory Theatre Festival and other venues. Greer co-founded Peer Pressure, which was a family friendly sketch comedy group that ran from ‘08-‘09 at the Broadway Comedy Club.
As an actor, Greer performed in The Living Theatre’s award winning production of The Brig (’07 Obies Best Ensemble and Director) and its European tour (’08 Best Foreign Production in Italy). Currently he is working at the Alchemical Theatre Laboratory with theatre artists Carlo Altomare and Gia Lisa Krahne.
Read Greer's poems, short stories, plays, and more on his blog Over After: www.overafter.wordpress.com.
Like Rew David Greer on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RewDavidGreer