Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Getting the gift

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014
WUTHERING HEIGHTS is - lives in - the intersection of love and loss; of desire and death. (And one outlasts the other.) Working on its nerve performance adaptation is a gift, but one I'd never imagined being given. All the best gifts are that way. I went to the Clarion workshop, to learn about writing and about being a writer; not the same thing. I remember asking Kate Wilhelm, in our final-day, post-workshop meeting, "Should I do this? I'm going to - but should I?" And I remember her answer as off-hand, amused by the question; the pure shrug of it - of course; why would you do anything else with your life? - as, maybe, what I had come to learn in the first place. In her book STORYTELLER: WRITING LESSONS AND MORE FROM 27 YEARS OF THE CLARION WRITERS' WORKSHOP, I was delighted to find myself in a roster of writers she recalls - Kim Stanley Robinson, Cory Doctorow, Octavia Butler, Ted Chiang, Eileen Gunn - and "Kathe Koja, unaware yet of the potency of her dark, sexual symbolism" - yes! That given gift of awareness took me from the workshop into all these years of my working life, through stories and books, and now, into writing for performance and leading an ensemble. Who knows what gifts we have to give? - not even us, maybe. Until we're told. Thank you, Kate. Kate Wilhelm Storyteller

In that quiet earth

Thursday, December 4th, 2014
wh title page wh underground 1 wh underground 3 wh underground 4   The smell of leaf mold, the dirt already turning cold: but its darkness opens easily, to receive, like a seed, the book, this book, this copy of Wuthering Heights, to sleep all winter underground, then emerge in the spring for our performance. What changes will it undergo? How will it look when it lives again? I lingered ...under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering  among the heath and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth. UPDATE, April 2015: WH reborn 1 wh reborn 2 wh reborn 3 wh reobrn 4 So near the surface, when I sunk in the trowel: the exterior somewhat rough, but the words, the heart, still readable, still intact. Six months in the ground and her face is hers yet! Cathy lives.  

Come to the HEIGHTS

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014
Firefly Come to THE HEIGHTS, to the moors, for the sake of desire. For the sake of life as it dances through death. For the chance to tell the world what you most desire -  a person, a destination, an ambition, folly, pleasure. Red Queen 4 rl We'll write on the walls. We'll make an altar of a bed. We'll celebrate the hard beauty of love that's lost, and love that can never die. Lieder-29S091427 I'm adapting Emily Brontë's masterwork with respect, with verve, with energy - with nerve! - working to be worthy of its power. MD wh Rachael Harbert is Cathy, Steve Xander Carson is Heathcliff, Marisa Dluge is Nelly Dean. In April 2015, nerve presents THE HEIGHTS. [All photos - fireflies image, Rachael Harbert (as the Red Queen), Steve Xander Carson, and Marisa Dluge, and  - courtesy Rick Lieder.]

Do quit your day job

Thursday, November 13th, 2014
She's a little bit older than I am, a lot more financially settled, very smart and very crisp. We're talking about my writing (she likes my books); we're talking about how one goes about producing immersive events, about working with young performers. And she smiles and says, "Well, I hope you tell them not to quit their day jobs!" And I remember a moment a few months before, sitting windowside at a cafe waiting for, yes, one of those young performers, paging through some information I'd brought to share. A service van stopped outside at a traffic light; its logo was somehow familiar. And I realized, Jesus, I used to work there! Years and years ago, my last day job was as service manager for that very business, sending trucks just like that into the world to fix restaurant refrigerators and cooktops. The logo had gotten a little more streamlined and modern, but it was the same business. And I thought: I could still be working there. Making a steady paycheck. Meticulously planning my vacations, and then my retirement. Planning for the day when I could write novels, when I could start my real life.... The light changed, the truck drove away. So I turn to the soigne woman, and "Actually," I say, "I can't tell them that." Because time really is money: we don't know how much we have in the bank, that's all, we never do until it's all gone. Because I could have spent the time that is my life behind that safe and steady day job desk. Because I never made that choice and never would. Spend your life doing your real work. Quit your day job. Now.

Going to the Heights

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014
You think you know it, but you don’t. One of the blackest, funniest – yes, funniest – most passionate novels ever, it shocked the dumbass reviewers of its time and continues to speak the language of authentic desire. Vintage WH   I wrote that about Wuthering Heights, one of the greatest novels ever to speak that language, to know what desire is really like: its energy and brutality, its consummating heights, the gaping, arid wound of its denial - not loss, because neither Cathy nor Heathcliff ever really loses the other.   WH contemporary I first read it when I was young - 12 years old? Maybe younger - and what spoke to me then, what continues to speak to me now, is how Cathy and Heathcliff met their desires, knew themselves as their desires, very early: and the tragedy of the story comes from Cathy's attempt to engineer, augment this fact of her existence, an attempt that brought only misery, and ruined other lives in the process of ruining her own.   WH Penguin   WH F Eichenberg Out on the moors, in the light of a fire, in the sound of rain, of breathing, the sweet tickle of sweat, the exhilaration and the fear, the mouth bruised in kissing ... Desire is the engine, the fuel, the destination, as I begin an adaptation of this work for immersive performance. Spring 2015, and the 1800s, and always. Because we are who we are. And we are what we desire.   WH 4

What it sounds like in Wonderland

Thursday, October 30th, 2014
It gets loud, it goes still, a balloon (was that a balloon?) explodes, the White Rabbit tries to make a getaway ... The Carpenter in the dark