The celebrated Obie Award-winning and MacArthur Fellow writer, director, multi-media innovator and long-time La MaMa artist John Jesurun returns to La MaMa with a new work for the first time in a decade when La MaMa presents the world-premiere of Jesurun's STOPPED BRIDGE OF DREAMS with performances starting January 20, 2012 at the Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 E. 4 St. in Manhattan), it has been announced by Mia Yoo, La MaMa's artistic director. (The press opening is scheduled for January 22.)
Written, directed and designed by Mr. Jesurun, STOPPED BRIDGE OF DREAMS unfolds inside an anonymous globe-circulating jetliner, a modern-age pleasure palace operated by a mother and son. Inspired by 17th century Japanese writer Saikaku Ihara's "floating world" stories, STOPPED BRIDGE OF DREAMS follows the mother and son as they hauntingly travel back and forth between the parallel worlds of the 17th century and now. The mother and son are portrayed by the beloved downtown actress Black-Eyed Susan and Preston Martin.
Mr. Jesurun characterizes STOPPED BRIDGE OF DREAMS as "cross-media storytelling." Audience members can enter the piece through the website or the live experience, which layers text, video, music and live internet feeds to reflect the anxiety of spiritual and sexual dislocation of contemporary life.
The play features a variable nightly series of revolving micro-plays and characters that at times will be live-streamed on the web or beamed in from remote locations. Mr. Jesurun anticipates that a featured role will be portrayed each night by a different guest artist thus giving the work yet another new twist throughout the run.
Actor, writer, director Buck Henry, the performance artist John Kelly, Butoh dancer/choreographer Dawn Saito and the downtown actress and Obie and Bessie Award winner Mary Schultz (who has appeared in works by Richard Forman, Meredith Monk and John Sayles) are among the Guest Artists scheduled to appear during the run of STOPPED BRIDGE OF DREAMS.
As well, audiences will be able to follow and browse through the living, growing archive on the STOPPED BRIDGE OF DREAMS website, www.bridgedream.com. Mr. Jesurun considers the website an extension of the live production that charts the geography of the characters' relationships and histories along with commentary and video clips of performances, thus rendering each performance of STOPPED BRIDGE OF DREAMS unique to any other performance of the play -- before or after.
Joining Black-Eyed Susan and Preston Martin in the cast of STOPPED BRIDGE are Claire Buckingham and Ikechukwu Ufomadu.
Telepresence and multi-media production for STOPPED BRIDGE OF DREAMS is by CultureHub, an incubator for creativity focused on the intersection of art and technology, whose vision is to bring artists from diverse disciplines and cultures together to explore art and technology as a means for developing new forms of expression, sharing creative experiences and promoting global collaboration, learning and innovation.
One of four shows being fully-produced by La MaMa during its 50th anniversary "Homecoming" season, STOPPED BRIDGE OF DREAMS indeed marks a homecoming for Mr. Jesurun, whose numerous works include several ground-breaking works at La MaMa: DEEP SLEEP (1986) starring Steve Buscemi and winner of the Village Voice Obie Award for Best Play, BLACK MARIA (1987), IRON LUNG (1992), SHATTERED HAND MASSACREE (1992), POINT OF DEBARKATION (1993) and CHANG IN A VOID MOON, his most recent production at La MaMa in 2003. Scheduled January 20 through February 5, STOPPED BRIDGE OF DREAMS will perform Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and $20 for students/seniors. Tickets can be purchased by calling 212 475 7710 or online at www.lamama.org.
ABOUT JOHN JESURUN
John Jesurun is a writer/director/media artist living in New York. His presentations integrate elements of language, film, architectural space and media. His exploded narratives cover a wide range of themes and explore the relation of form to content. They challenge the experience of verbal, visual and intangible perceptions.