You can't kiss a movie
HERE Arts center
Co-written by Shelley Farmer and Alex Hare
Directed by Alex Hare
Produced by Madeleine Goldsmith
Set and Costume Design by An-Lin Dauber
Lighting Design by Jennifer Fok
Sound Design by Gabriel Lozada
Stage Management by Abraham Marlett
Original Music by Michael Gildin
Film Consultation from John Zhao
Inspired by the French New Wave, You Can't Kiss a Movie depicts a cameraman, a PA, and a pair of actors creating an original New Wave film that is simultaneously projected live on a screen, allowing the audience to witness both the completed film and the behind-the- scenes process.
The film centers on the disillusionment of a young couple -- he from his war experiences, she from the dawning realization that society values her only for her body. Their parallel tracks converge in a violent dénouement (naturally – this is the French New Wave). Meanwhile, control of the gaze shifts when others get a chance to go behind the camera, including audience volunteers. Ultimately, the leading lady must investigate what power she has, if any, over her own image.
Drawing on the freewheeling spirit of Jean-Luc Godard and the sensitivity of Agnès Varda, You Can’t Kiss a Movie creates a space for audiences to consider how movies have shaped the way we engage with each other outside the auditorium – and how we can recover.
featuring Shelley Farmer as Lola, Greg Balla* as Michel, Erin Healani Chung as Agnes, and Adam Weppler* as Cameraman (*Appeared courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association)
walt whitman bodyjolt™
Walt Whitman BodyJolt™ is a play that takes the form of a participatory exercise class led by Walt Whitman himself, the esteemed poet and, now, the creator of a new fitness regimen designed specifically for Americans seeking an intense physical, intellectual, and moral workout. Inspired by a series of self-help articles called “Manly Health and Training” written by Whitman in 1858 and unearthed in 2016, the play encourages audience members to follow Whitman as he attempts to mold them into his ideal American -- vigorous, manly, and with a fervent love of fight.
Walt’s obsession with this narrow, archetypal idea of American-ness poses problems for his assistant instructors, who seek to create a democratic experience with space for all attendees, regardless of race, class, gender expression, age, disability, or amount of physical stamina. In fact, they are attempting to ensure the exercise class realizes the vision of America Walt describes in his famous poems. Caught between these competing ideas, Walt and the audience must confront their own bodily insecurities and the role that personal health plays in the shaping of national character.
Above all, WWBJ is a sweaty, exuberant adventure open for beginners, intermediates and experts to come and TRAIN: as individuals, as citizens, as Americans.
Dixon Place HOT! Festival
In order to survive the post-truth era, AUTOPORTRAIT imagines what it would look like if we learned to float between truth and fiction as well as our enemies do — if we learned to deploy our own narratives for the greater good. The play weaves together unlikely portraits of drag queens, government officials, and East Village performance artists all trapped within a closed loop of lies and narrow thinking, eager to rebel. Beyond this destructive path is an alternative — not one of ‘alternative facts,’ but of the sublime, queer beauty of choice. AUTOPORTRAIT looks to a new era of creative expression and individual power just beyond the horizon.
AUTOPORTRAIT had a one-night production in Dixon Place's 2017 HOT! Festival. It was developed with support from the inaugural Leslie-Lohman Museum Space Grant.
the light in the piazza
Cast: Shelley Farmer, Geoff Hahn, Rebekah Lowin, Lorenzo Landini, Devin Lloyd, Kyle McCormick, Sam Mickel, Benjamin Russell
Musical Direction by Solomon Hoffman, Art Direction by Rikki Feuerstein, Set Design by Isabel Nelson, Costume Design by Ilana Breitman, Lighting Design by Aramael Pena-Alcantara
chains don't rattle themselves
An emotionally-charged song cycle that shares gripping stories about youth incarceration -- first as personal narratives presented by people directly affected by the issue, and then as original songs adapted from the stories themselves. This was a special collaboration between the talented The Songwriter's Orchestra and Herstory Writers Workshop, an organization that helps incarcerated people write down their stories. Poignant but ultimately empowering, Chains Don’t Rattle Themselves sought to break through barriers of judgment and mobilize audiences to take direct action supporting the Raise The Age NY campaign for youth criminal justice reform in New York State.
Original songs written/performed by: Brinae Ali (Shuffle Along), singer/songwriter Olivia Harris, Zhailon Levingston (iLLA), John-Michael Lyles (Barrow Street’s Sweeney Todd), Taylor Simone (of Jazze Belle), Britton Smith (Shuffle Along), and Allison Strong (Mamma Mia)
Autobiographical stories read by Dathonie Pinto and Anjelique Wadlington
Conceived/co-produced by Alex Hare, Olivia Harris, and Solomon Hoffman
Arrangements and orchestrations by Solomon Hoffman
Directed by Alex Hare