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Kentucky Cantata

  • HERE Arts Center 145 6th Ave New York, NY, 10013 United States (map)

Performances begin January 22nd

Jan 22-24, 27-31, Feb 3-7 | 7PM
Jan 25, Feb 1 & 8 | 2PM

Written by Paul David Young
Directed by Kathy Gail MacGowan
w/ Dan Patrick Brady, Tony Naumovski, Marta Reiman, and Kayley Treider

In this multidisciplinary performance, actors and musicians share the stage to tell the story of a young actress who leaves her rural Kentucky home for New York, where she is raped in a parking lot. The play depicts a mother's emotional battle as her daughter leaves home, a father's passionate support for his child, and a young woman's determination to follow her dream.  Her naive ambition collides with the struggle of an illegally immigrated Egyptian cab driver.

Kentucky Cantata explores a new and innovative style of performance practice that forges a deeper connection between the musical and theatrical arts. In this production, the actors and musicians collaborate as equals by sharing the stage and delivering a dialogue in which each voice is balanced. The text is never sung. The artists, instead, accentuate each line by allowing the musical material to interlace with the natural flow and rhythm of speech: the musical aesthetic complements the text.  The production requires the performers to be engaged in each others' art forms. Like the players in a chamber music ensemble, the actors respond in their pace and articulation of the text to the musical material. The musicians in turn inhabit the stage as physical presences and perform in support of the actor. Together, the actor and musician create a unique dialogue that is visually and aurally enhanced and extends the artistic potential of both art forms.  

To enhance the room for the audience’s imagination, the production will be played on a visually provocative, nonrealistic set designed by the installation artist Franklin Evans.  In October 2014, we workshopped the performance at Emerging Artists Theatre New Works Festival, in the category Nontraditional Forms and are preparing for our January 2015 debut at HERE.

"A masterful work that is likely to stay with you for a long time after the final bows." - Howard Miller, Talkin' Broadway
"Directed with nuanced details by Kathy Gail MacGowan." - Angel Lam, Theater is Easy
Earlier Event: April 30
Broad Channel