Monstrous transformations, teenaged-girl-hood, murdering, 1930s radio: Permanent Caterpillar is a body-horror play with music, the latest production from The Drunkard’s Wife, was performed at The Brick fromMay 19-June 4
One summer night in a small town, sometime in the 20th century, a teen-aged girl named Charity loses herself in a cave. Or is it a night club? A mysterious torch singer croons as Charity becomes a permanent caterpillar, lost in her own voraciousness.
Permanent Caterpillar is written and directed by Normandy Raven Sherwood; original music by Sam Kulik and performed by the Drunkard’s Wife, conducted by Nick Demopoulos with music direction by Craig Flanagin; lighting and set design by Josh Smith; costume design by Chelsea Collins and Normandy Sherwood and stage managed by Emily Goforth. Permanent Caterpillar features performers Jordan Baum, Maxwell Cosmo Cramer, Admiral Grey, Juliana Francis-Kelly, Kristine Haruna Lee and Kevin Shea.
Enter the Devil, dressed as a Devil... In Feather Gatherers, a Stravinsky vaudeville set in a fictional 1960s Serbia (or is it West Virginia?), The Drunkard's Wife channels the spirit of Yugoslavian Black Wave film to renovate and re-cathect the 1918 "fairground entertainment", L'Histoire du Soldat -- simultaneously returning it to its folk roots and using it to re-frame a classic Faust story as a rehearsal for a post-communist utopia -- with echoes of the American Shakers’ heaven-on-earth, and of Wilhelm Reich’s orgone-energy-charged communitarian experiments.
Presented in New York City by the New Ohio Theatre as a part of its 2014 Ice Factory Festival.
Photograph by Russ Rowland.
The Golden Veil (2012)
The Golden Veil is a gothic parlor spectacle that tells, in multiple iterations, the familiar tale of a poor shepherdess seduced and abandoned by a would-be inventor. Part pastoral ballet and part backwoods jamboree, part Punch-and-Judy show and part forlorn testimony, part bleak exposé of the lives of the rural poor and part celebration of their lovely handicrafts, The Golden Veil conjures the intimacy of a séance and the abandon of a hootenanny. In the NTUSA’s inimitable style, The Golden Veil explores the ways that we use narrative to render the painful picturesque as it prods at the perverse underbelly of our nostalgia for “simpler times.”
The Golden Veil premiered at the Kitchen in NYC in 2012 and received two Henry Hewes Design Award nominations for scenic design and costumes.
Photo by Paula Court.
The Golden Veil - 10 minute excerpt
From the production at the Kitchen
Tiny Hornets (2012)
TinyHornetsinvites you to experience our people's folk ways, mores, and lores. From the safety of your own stool, you will witness the folk at work and at play, dancing their authentic dances, and singing very traditional songs. Guided by an intrepid Ethnographer, you will meet many fascinating village types, including Essie, a young girl who longs for a taste of something more... flesh.
Men who have made love to me (2010)
Men who have made love to me was a recreation of a lost 1917 silent film and a "director's commentary" style performance. In the recreated film, Mary MacLane, the "wild woman of Butte" lists the many types of men who have attempted to tame her.
In the performance, Mary MacLane gives live, unhinged, and occasionally maudlin boudoir commentary on (a recreation of) her (lost) 1917 silent film of the same name.
In the film and the performance, Mary Maclane was portrayed by Juliana Francis Kelly. The film was directed by K. Allen and adapted (from MacLane's writing) and designed by Normandy Sherwood. The still photos on this page were taken by Scott Irvine, and they portray actors Forrest Gillespie, Matt Korahais, Matt Lambert, Alex Colwell and Ean Sheehy.
The project premiered at the Metropolitan Playhouse's 2010 "Another Sky" festival, and was a part of an evening called "Mary MacLane: Confessionalist" that featured a play by Trish Harnetiaux about the young Mary MacLane OH, DEAR, SWEET, BITTER OLIVE