Going to the Heights

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.

 

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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.

 

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What it sounds like in Wonderland

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

Wonderlanders

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.

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Pale King waits rl

There is no “offstage.”

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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.

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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.]

We all have a kink

October 19th, 2014

Illustration

 

“They don’t know,” she said, “nobody knows.”

“Knows what?”

“What we know.”

… From then on it was something we knew we were doing, understood now, felt as conscious play: vision once changed is changed forever, you could make magic of anything and we did.

 

Because there’s more than one way to immerse yourself in play, in life, your life.

Because we all know who we are, deep down, And way deep down, we all – all – have our kink.

KINK is on its way from Roadswell Editions

[Cover art: Rick Lieder.]

How we act in the dark

October 12th, 2014

Red Queen 4 rl

 

“… a darkly fun meditation on identity, a fantasia about authenticity and the sorrows brought by its lapses …

 

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… the poignant moment when the Hare bids farewell to Rabbit ….

 

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The truest antidote to such atrocity was the Carpenter’s poetry, a few chance lines muttered in the dark.”

There are no innocent bystanders.

 

[Rachael Harbert, John Denyer, Marisa Dluge photos courtesy Rick Lieder.]

Squirrel

October 5th, 2014

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Grey and black on your back at the curb, small body lost to “traffic,” those who never look so close

To the ground where your life progressed

Will not see your death.

 

In the trees, your other habitat, they could not live, would require

All the helps and and holds against grave gravity
That they will not grant

To you, against velocity.

 

Now you (so many of you, now) are gone.

But your quick determined life, if brief, was worthy of its breath

And death will take us all where you are now.

 

Here’s a stop sign for you, motorist: look down and see yourself,

And the squirrels above, unhurt and curious

Why one should be so eager to be lost

By falling, without grace, down to that ground.

 

[Photo courtesy Rick Lieder. Poem KK, for all the little ones trying to get to the other side.]