Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

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


Sunday, October 26th, 2014
Hare readies rl To make a world requires citizens - in nerve's case, citizen-artists, all of whom bring all they've got to the task and pleasure of making. It takes big talent, absolutely. But it takes more than talent to keep the world you've made alive: alive to every interaction, every word and moving moment, every second of Wonderland from the moment the entrance doors open until they finally close. Carpenter watches rl Pale King waits rl There is no "offstage." Red Queen 4 rl Lieder-29S091421 This process takes a lot of energy - a lot. And it takes a combination of bravery and brio, to trust (and keep trusting) yourself, and the other makers - and our patrons, who make the world along with us, every night. Lieder-29S091427 Cheshire Cat pounces rl After every performance - in the eventual light of the "real" world, outside, that somehow doesn't feel all that real anymore - our patrons tend to linger, to ask questions of each other, to laugh or to debate or all of the above. They come to performances, then come again,  seeking to see every bit of that world, to watch all the characters going about their business and their lives.   WRab vs Tweedle room rl   If you've come to us, stayed with us, played with us in the shifting landscape of strobe and twinkle and shadow  ... This world is yours. Which is why we call what we make consensual art. Because you, you're making it, too.   [All photos - John Denyer, Marisa Dluge, Chris Jakob, Rachael Harbert, Marianne Brass, Steve Xander Carson, Egla Kishta, Laura Bailey - courtesy Rick Lieder.]