Behind the Scenes: Embers @ BAM’s Next Wave Festival 2014

Getting in at BAM‘s Harvey Theater

Embers opened on 17/09/2014


15/09/2014 – Getting-in: Andrew Clancy assembling the skull. It takes about 3.5 hours.

A little history on the Harvey Theatre

“it first opened in 1904 as the Majestic Theater, showing a variety of dramas, light opera, musicals, and vaudeville, with stars such as Katherine Cornell, and it became an important trial theater for productions headed to Broadway, including Noel Coward’s Home Chat.

In 1942, the Majestic was transformed into a first-run movie house in elegant European style by a Parisian and his two sons, wealthy showmen who had fled the Nazis. By the 1960s, however, the advent of television and a shift in the population resulted in the closure and repurposing of theaters in the district.

It sat abandoned for nearly two decades. In 1987 BAM President and Executive Producer Harvey Lichtenstein was looking for a place to stage Peter Brook’s The Mahabharata when he decided to investigate the derelict building he passed on his way to BAM. It was just what he was looking for, similar to alternate spaces being repurposed in Europe, such as Brook’s Parisian venue, Les Bouffes du Nord.”

More info: bam.org

Some Tech Rehearsal pics:

And finally, some reviews:

 

“The Harvey Theater is an ideal setting for Beckett, the direction by Gavin Quinn, sculpture by Andrew Clancy, lighting by Aedin Cosgrove and sound design by Jimmy Eadie is haunting. It’s a play without action, but the emotional roller coaster, both meditative and moving, is a stark reminder of the fragility of life.”
Fern Siegel, The Huffington Post

“Two marvelous actors speak the text while hidden within the structure, a sculpture by Andrew Clancy, although they’re invisible to us for long periods. . . . Lighting designer Aedín Cosgrove is, basically, a co-sculptor. The air around the head is full of strands, long chains of disc-speakers and wires that seem like a frightening, robotic kelp. Sound designer Jimmy Eadie has them saturate us in noise: there’s a dim feeling that we can almost see sound.”
Helen Shaw, Time Out New York

“Three men and one woman walk around a stage strewn with rocks, a large object in the center covered by a tarp, as dozens of cables holding eight evenly spaced small speakers apiece dangle from the ceiling, essentially announcing that this is very much about sound. Gentle, soothing surf can be heard as one of the men pulls the tarp off the object, revealing a stunning skull.
This Week in New York

“Pan Pan Theatre group is wise enough to not only stick closely to what Beckett has on the page, but to push it further. In a world of theater that is dominated by revivals and formulaic new productions, it’s exciting to see something that truly moves from one moment to the next without any idea of which direction its heading. We just have to go back almost 60 years to find it.”
Craig Hubert, Blouin Artinfo

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“Essential to this no-movement drama, more so than in most stage productions, are the sound effects (Jimmy Eadie) and the astounding, agonizingly slow-moving lighting effects (Aedín Cosgrove) that transform the scene from night into morning, from despair to struggle, and the skull from sculpture to, at one point, a seemingly almost two-dimensional state, and from a more-or-less realistic simulacrum to a semi-abstract work of art.”

Jon Sobel, Blogcritics.org

 

Embers @ BAM Next Wave Festival,  Harvey Theatre, Brooklyn

17-20 September 2014