Artist and CalArts School of Theater faculty member Janie Geiser, a recent Jim Henson Foundation 2015 project grant recipient, presents Tungsten (artery), a work-in-progress this weekend (Feb. 20-22) as part of the Theater Lab series at the Getty Villa.
Written by former dean of the School of Theater Erik Ehn and directed and designed by Geiser, in collaboration with scenic designer and CalArts faculty Shannon Scrofano (Theater MFA 06), the multidisciplinary production merges Japanese bunraku puppetry, shadows, video, sound and text to create a 21st century response to the myth of Persephone, the Greek goddess of spring and the harvest and also the queen of the underworld.
The play centers on Cora, commuting by train to New York City, as she has done every year. Her arrival into the city has always heralded Spring, but this time, mankind’s choices have caused a disruption in the earth’s natural cycles. As she sleeps on the train, Cora can’t remember where she is coming from, and a sense of belonging and purpose evades her. The feeling of the journey is the one thing that Cora does remember.
More from a press release:
Tungsten (artery) imagines Cora’s search for meaning as she grapples with who she is: her existential exhaustion, the endless nature of her responsibilities, her power and her sense of relentless loss. As she finds her way to her apartment, her life—lived between worlds, much like Persephone moved between the underworld and earth—begins to come into focus, as it also begins to unravel.
Tungsten (artery) features actors and puppeteers Jennifer Greer (Theater MFA 11), Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh (Theater MFA 15), Moira MacDonald (Theater MFA 12), Alexis Macnab (Theater MFA 13), Erin O’Donnell (Theater MFA 12), Whitney Rodriguez (Theater MFA 11), Jessica Rosslyn (Theater MFA 13, and Hilario Saavedra (Theater MFA 04); lighting designer Ellie Rabinowitz (Theater MFA 11); costume designers Sandra Burns (Theater MFA 04) and Sarah Brown (Theater MFA 03); sound designer Colbert Davis (Theater MFA 06); production stage manager Cameron Squire (Theater MFA 11); and producer and faculty Miranda Wright (Theater MFA 09).