This passed weekend, we have finally reached the culmination of so many months of hard and dedicated work by many people - actors, designers, the production and creative team - in New York City, kicking off the Soulographie festival at La MaMa E.T.C. Our team traveled to New York on Friday night, loaded in and rehearsed on Saturday, and premiered Yermedea RAW during the opening installment of three performance, with Everyman Jack of You and Diamond Dick, on Sunday night. Please find below a text by Brian Cross, who is one of the puppeteers and the voice of The Driver, sharing his experience of the first weekend in New York.
"For perhaps the first time throughout Yermedea's tour, a child of no more than six years sat among the audience on the November 11 performance at La Mama E.T.C. on E. 4th Street. I make her presence known to you because she made her front-row presence known to us: when two baby puppets bopped one another on the head, she giggled loudly as though she were watching Punch and Judy. Note, the complexity of the subject matter was not lost on her. Sure enough she held onto her mom during the scary bits, wading through the shades of the River Styx. Yet she seemed to remind the actors -- or me, at least -- of the levity of the piece, easily lost in the dense language of systematic death. Within the apocalyptic dreamscape of Yermedea hide infinite Easter Eggs at which one has no choice but to smile: singing and stitching, your child in your arms for a moment, a guardian angel that leads you into Hell and back again, the sound of bells, company. And really, for all the tragedy in the plays of Soulographie, it is to protect these moments of small joy that we pass on the tale of genocide. Tiny nuggets get us through our days.And so, as Yermedea nears its close, I am thankful for the nuggets that got the team through its first weekend in New York. That our stress manifested itself in group love fests, that our production team worked as a well-oiled machine to keep the cast safe and happy in the city, that Ria (Soulographie Global Stage Manager) and Eric (Soulographie Global Producer) gave us their complete focus and support, that the cast could set the stage in seconds flat, that no one missed their bus to New York, that no one missed their bus back to Providence, that the sold-out crowd engaged with difficult subject matter, and that some parents take their six-year-olds to see experimental theater."
submitted by Brian Cross