Pointless Theatre Presents: Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring
Story adaptation by Patti Kalil & Matt Reckeweg
Recorded by MusicAeterna, Teodor Currentzis, conductor
The Destruction of the Earth
-Many Years Later-
* Pointless Company Member
^ Pointless Artistic Associate
MATT RECKEWEG* Direction
KATHY GORDON Choreography
LEX DAVIS* Fight Choreography
MARY KEEGAN Lighting & Scenic Design
FRANK LABOVITZ* Costume Design
AMY KELLETT Puppet & Props Design
NICK MARTIN Mask Design
MICHAEL WINCH^ Sound Design
MEDHA MARSTEN Dramaturgy
PATTY RANGEL Mixed Media/Installation Design
NAVID AZEEZ* & DEVIN MAHONEY* Video Programming
Featuring landscape paintings by JEAN YANG
SALLY BURGOS Stage Manager
CAOLAN EDER Assistant Stage Manager
JOSIE FELT* & LEX DAVIS Production Management
LEX DAVIS & DEVIN MAHONEY Technical Direction
SPECIAL THANKS. Adventure Theatre MTC, Brick Hill Properties, GALA Hispanic Theater, Preferred Arms, Studio Theatre, Theater Alliance, Theater J. Delbis Cadrona, Steve Cosby, Colin Hovde, Robb Hunter, Brittany Truske, Maribeth Weatherford.
Pointless Theatre’s 2017-18 Season is generously sponsored by The Patrick and Beatrice Haggerty Foundation and The Share Fund. Funded in part by the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, an agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Earth is scorched and barren, but the elder Sage has visions of Spring returning. This brings the Women hope for their ever-dying lands. But they are the last of their kind, and this prophecy comes at a cost - one of them must be slaughtered.
On building a new Rite of Spring
Our process began with an idea to adapt the infamous production that sparked riots at the Ballet Russes in 1913. With Igor Stravinsky’s bombastic score, Vaslav Nijinsky’s angular choreography, and the haunting designs of Nicholas Roerich, the original piece depicts a tribe of ancient Russians celebrating the arrival of spring through ritual dance, culminating in a fate-chosen human sacrifice. We looked to these ‘sketches of Pagan Russia’ with some skepticism. Uninterested in creating some imagined ‘primitive’ group, but still drawn to the themes of ritual, fertility, and sacrifice, we started to focus on the cyclical nature of the seasons as an entry point. Approaching this piece now during an environmental crisis inherently changes our understanding of the original story. Climate change poses a major threat to our survival, and as seasonal patterns become less certain, our ability as humans to adapt physically and mentally is being tested. We began to wonder what would happen if we striped ‘spring’ from our characters’ experience. Our story looks to a future earth, one where the ecosystem has collapsed and humans are desperate for an escape from their harsh reality. Exploring the ugly side of human survival, we examine our relationship to the planet, each other and most importantly, to future generations. In many ways, this piece is a meditation on our desperation for change, a lament on the mistreatment of the Earth and a reckoning that it might be too late to truly reverse the damage.
I’d like to thank all the artists that made this work possible. The show was built collaboratively and is one of our more devised pieces. Creating the choreography involved many voices coming together to find the movement organically in the rehearsal room. Performers were extremely generous in bringing their personal connections to the story, while Kathy and I worked together to build the physical vocabulary of both gesture and staging. The design team was instrumental in fleshing out the details of our imagined future. And of course, Medha played a crucial role as dramaturg in clarifying the story each step of the way. Final thanks go to our production staff who worked tirelessly to meet the demands of this challenging production.
Pointless and Proud,
Matt Reckeweg, Co-Artistic Director
I was so lucky to work with this tremendous group of artists. One of my favorite aspects of theatre is that it encourages us to talk about those subjects we usually shy away from. Even in our current climate, when we can't help but discuss politics constantly (especially in this city!), religion is still a subject often avoided. As Matt, Patti, and I delved deeper into the story they had created, we realized that belief was a core theme of this piece. When I came into my first rehearsal with our actors, I laid out very openly that we would be discussing religion, beliefs, rituals, and how these manifest in our everyday practices. The room instantly become a little quieter. However, this team is incredibly open and game to attack any challenge.
At its core, this is a story about humans giving into their baser instincts. This society has reverted to "magical thinking," the belief in a causal relationship between one's actions and outside events. If we conduct this prayer, dance, sacrifice, ritual, etc. then we will receive something from above. As a group, we began to unpack our own religious upbringings and experience to discover the many ways in which we as human react to the forces of nature around us. In these discussions, we discovered that there are many universal gestures and commonalities in the various rituals practiced by different religions and communities. These commonalities became our way into developing our own futuristic society. Together we breathed life in a post-apocalyptic society dealing with the fallout from humanity's abuse of the environment. It would have been very easy to develop this society into a brutish one a la Mad Max or H. G. Wells' Time Machine. However, the beauty of this piece comes from the humanity these actors bring to this story. It is a story of hope and of desperation. It is a heartbreaking wake up call to think of the next generation. I want to thank Matt and Patti for bringing me onto this team and the actors for being so generous.
Medha Marsten, Dramaturg
SALLY BURGOS (Stage Manager) Pointless Premiere! Occasion For Sin (PSM/Planet Connect Theatre Fest), The Velveteen Rabbit (SM/Florida Studio Theatre), Commedia Cinderella (PSM/RagTag Theatre Co.). Sally has her BFA in Producing and Management in Theatre Arts from Marymount Manhattan College in NYC and has been freelancing for 8 years. This is her first DC production!
LEX DAVIS (Fight Choreography) Pointless: King Ubu, Hugo Ball: A Dada puppet AdveNTurE!!/?1!!??, Doctor Caligari, Canterbury, Cab Calloway's Minnie the Moocher, Imagination Meltdown Adventure, Sleeping Beauty: A Puppet Ballet. Other: The Tempest, Julius Caesar (Chesapeake Shakespeare Company), She Kills Monsters (Howard Community College), Romeo and Juliet: Choose Your Own Adventure (Impressionable Players). Lex is a graduate of UMD College Park and along with Pointless is a company member with Live Action Theater.
CAOLAN EDER (Assistant Stage Manager) Pointless Premiere! The Lathe of Heaven (Props Designer/Spooky Action Theater), Amrika Chalo! (ASM/The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics),10-Minute Plays (Props Designer/Source Festival). They can often be found enthusing over superheroes and discouraging the use of fake babies as blunt force objects.
KATHY GORDON (Choreographer) Pointless Premiere! NYC: Dolly Project (The Barrow Group); DC: Welcome to the Family (TEDxMidAtlantic at Shakespeare Theater), Seneca the Library Mouse (GALA Hispanic Theater). Kathy choreographs for middle and high school productions across the DMV, and is a Senior Company Member and Teaching Artist with Synetic Theater Company. Kathy loves her American boy, her dog, and everything they share.
PATTI KALIL (Story) Pointless: Imogen (Set Design), d0t::a RotoPlastic Ballet (Puppets), King Ubu (Puppets), Gimme a Band, Gimme a Banana! The Carmen Miranda Story (Co-Playwright, Set, Puppets), Hugo Ball (Set, Puppets), Doctor Caligari (Set- Helen Hayes Nomination). Other: Where Words Once Were (Props/Kennedy Center-TYA), Twist Your Dickens (Props/The Second City- Kennedy Center), Peter Pan (Props/Synetic Theatre), Still Life with Rocket (Props/Theatre Alliance), Hello, My Name is (Props/The Welders). Patti is a graduate at the Juilliard School Professional Internship program, and holds an MFA in Studio Art from MICA, and a BA in Theatre from the University of Maryland, College Park.
MARY KEEGAN (Lighting & Scenic Design) Pointless: Imogen, Hugo Ball, King Ubu (Lighting Design). Other lighting design credits: Peter Pan (Synetic Theater), Where Words Once Were (Kennedy Center TYA), Lobby Hero (1st Stage). Graduate of James Madison University. www.marykeegan.com
AMY KELLETT (Puppet & Props Design) Pointless: King Ubu (Props). Other: The Late Wedding (The Hub Theatre), Peekaboo! (The Hub Theatre), She Kills Monsters (HCC), The Three Musketeers (Synetic Theater), A Tale of Two Cities (Synetic Theater), New Play Festival 2016 (YPT), Mein Kampf (Scena Theatre). Some of the other hats Amy wears in the DC area include being a company member/puppeteer/puppet builder with Wits End Puppets and a freelance scenic artist.
FRANK LABOVITZ (Costume Design) Pointless: King Ubu (Director), Costumes for Gimme a Band, Gimme a Banana!, Doctor Caligari, Sleeping Beauty: A Puppet Ballet, Mark Twain's Riverboat Extravaganza. Other: Roundhouse Theatre, Studio Theatre, Forum Theatre, Theater J, Metrostage, Imagination Stage, and Adventure Theatre. Helen Hayes Awards: Dreamgirls (Signature Theatre, 2013). Nominations: The Threepenny Opera (Signature Theatre, 2015), The Totalitarians (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 2015). Frank received his MFA in design from The University of Maryland (which might explain how he got dragged into all this Pointlessness).
DEVIN MAHONEY (Video Programming) Pointless: A Very Pointless Holiday Spectacular (Krampus), Hugo Ball (Ensemble), Sleeping Beauty (Ensemble). Devin serves as Technical Director for GALA Hispanic There and has produced the following shows this season: En el Tiempo de las Mariposas, La Foto, Don Juan Tenorio.
MEDHA MARSTEN (Dramaturg) Pointless Premiere! Neverwhere (Assistant Director/Rorschach Theatre ), Klecksography: Toil & Trouble (Director/Rorschach Theatre ), Pen & Paper (Director/Keegan Theatre - Womxn on Fire Festival) Illyria (Director/WSC Avant Bard - Stage Reading). I want to thank Matt and Patti for bringing me onto this project. I also want to thank my friend Daniel Hubbell for consulting on all matters relating to the environment!
MICHAEL WINCH (Sound Design) Pointless: King Ubu (Music Director - Helen Hayes nominated 2017) Imogen (Music Director), Doctor Caligari (Music Director - Helen Hayes nominated 2016). Other: The Frederick Douglass Project (Music Director/Solas Nua), MANIFESTO! (Music Director/Happenstance). Grant recipient, Maryland State Arts Council, 2017. Michael plays Irish Traditional Music in the D.C. area.
JEAN YANG (Landscape Paintings) Jean is an interdisciplinary artist from Dutch Harbor and Wasilla, Alaska. Her work questions the boundaries of how we form and understand meaning. She holds an M.F.A. in Studio Art from Maryland Institute College of Art. imjean.com.
DONORS & SUPPORT
Climate change is real. Protecting the future of our planet starts with us.
In this spirit, Pointless is donating HALF of all funds raised during our Rite of Spring campaign to Casey Trees, a DC nonprofit that works to restore, protect and enhance the tree canopy in our nation's capital.
Supporters. Nancy House, Marc Okrand, MayField Piper, Thomas Holzman and Alison Drucker, James Keegan, Lindsey Boyle, Charles Pearson, John Driscoll, Phyllis Rosenzweig, Karen Siatris, David and Mairi Rothman
Special thanks to Design Foundry LLC
THANK YOU TO OUR DONORS
Join the team and get unlimited access to $15 tickets all season.
James O'Leary, Robert Moossy and Kipp Rhoads, Victor Shargai and Craig Pascal
Janet Barlett, Katie Golden, Nelson Kalil and Maria Marques, Tom Mounteer, James Osteen, Leigh Smiley, Joanne and Mark Whalen
Lindsey Boyle, Cadie Chea, Tara and Pat Cox, Cory Frank, Ed Gramlich, Carol and Tim Herder, Adam Immerwahr, Robert Kimmins, David Kriebs, Carl and Undine Nash, Gary and Anna Marie Richmond, Jonah Richmond, Stephanie Rodriguez, Catherine Schuler, Allan Stevens, Allan Stevens, Greg Wilby, Caroline Wilkins, Bridget Woodbury, Jonathan Zucker
Ewing Miller and Donna Ari, Leigh Baltuch, Nancy Barnett, Alison Beyrle, Frank Cervarich, Rose Ann Cleveland, Timm and Patricia Curran, Rachel and Brian Dombroski, John Driscoll, Erik Gensler, David and Katrina Grusell, Alison Drucker and Thomas Holzman, Colin Hovde, Catheeja Ismail, Robert Horton and Elisabeth Kaplan, James Keegan, Christopher Klug, David Kornreich, Traute and James Langmesser, Brian Lieberman, Peter Loge, Joseph and Terry Mauceri, Sara Cormeny and Pete Miller, Nell Minow, Andrea Moore, James Murphy, Marc Okrand, Vickie and Paul Olson, Claire Schwartz-Menyuk, Michael and Mayra Sparacino, John and Brenda Sparacino, Linda Stillman, Tanya Surtees, David Tannous, Roy and Joanne Whitehead, Susan Campbell and Terence Winch
Rebecca Barish, Daniel Borinsky, Kevin Boteler, Elizabeth Carter, Margaret & Frank Cervarich, Ann Chismar, Jacques Coughlin, Ursula David, Anne Eigeman, Marcy Gerstenhaber, Busy Graham, Hannah Hessel, Debbie Jackson, Todd Johanesen, Eileen Keefe, David Kessler, Michael Krass, Nancy Linden, Sandy McKenzie, Laura Menyuk, Marc Okrand, Stephen and Elizabeth Parks, Julia Przedworski, Korey Rothman, Juliet Sablosky, Lisa Saks, Maggie Ardiente and Roy Speckhardt, Carol Spring, Benjamin Stearn, David and Karen Van Wyck, Laura Wood, Catherine Fry and David Yarmchuk, Mary Kay Zuravleff
Anna Brailow, John Driscoll, John Gunn, William Huff, Lisa Kokoszka, Barry Kropf, Mitch Lerner, John McGowan, Lindsey Morris, Jon Reynolds
PATTI KALIL & MATT RECKEWEG, Co-Artistic Directors
DAVID LLOYD OLSON, Managing Director
ALISON BEYRLE, Director of Development
SCOTT WHALEN, Director of Public Relations
FRANK CERVARICH, Director of Audience Engagement
RACHEL PARKS, Director of Digital Marketing
NAVID AZEEZ, Director of Visual Communications
LEX DAVIS & JOSIE FELT, Co-Production Managers
SARAH WILBY, Special Events Manager
ALEX LEIDY, Resident Dramaturg
Board of Governors
David Lloyd Olson, Chair
James O'Leary, Vice-Chair
John A.J. Barkmeyer, Esq., Secretary
Katie Golden, Treasurer
Laura Gross, Patti Kalil, Matthew Reckeweg, Bridget Woodbury
Company Members. Mel Bieler, Aaron Bliden, Lee Gerstenhaber, Frank Labovitz, Devin Mahoney, Rachel Menyuk, Sadie Rothman
EMERETI: John Hamilton & Ruth Anne Watkins
Artistic Associates. Kyra Corradin, Mary Catherine Curran, Madeline Key, Owen McCusker, Robert Christopher Manzo, Stacy Musselman, Matthew Sparacino, Nick Wilby, Michael Winch
Coming up next
AUGUST 10 - SEPTEMBER 8, 2018