History


This project has been in the making since spring 2010 and has already involved the cooperation by a number of dedicated scholars and artists. As we are working towards the staging of Yermedea, we would like to share the timeline of our journey so far, including photos and videos, and will continue to do so - so please check back in for continuous updates.

Spring 2010
Erik Ehn invites Kym Moore to direct Yermedea for the Soulographie Project in New York for a fall 2012 performance date. Kym Moore directs Pippin and Jomama that fall/winter.

March 2011
Alejandra Prieto comes to Brown University for a 3 week residency. Ten interested students collaborate with us as we explore the potential for puppets to be an integral part of the storytelling at the first Yermedea Workshop, held at Studio 2 in the Granoff Center. 
We produce 12 minutes of material that begins to articulate the strangeness of the world that Yerma and Medea inhabit. In this workshop, we determine that puppets are the way to go and we decide to continue experimenting with the puppeteer/actor/puppet-relationships. There are some real acting challenges there, but the performance potential is intriguing. We’ll keep exploring what is possible here. Shadow puppets, Bunraku, and Otome will create the puppet language. Are there other puppet styles or forms we want to us?
We also believe the environment we create needs to be more reflective of ‘war’ - for now, it is too pretty. Also, we are interested in Inca and Aztec cultures as a way to make visible the “invisible” dimensions of the play. Pachamama, the mother goddess and the devastation of Potosi in Bolivia become significant contextual elements to the world we want to create. The aesthetics of Latin American women painters are also influential. 
Tim Hett becomes interested in building puppets. Dramaturgical work with Zach Bleckner continues.

August 2011
Kym and Alejandra meet in Spain to discuss the project moving forward. There is some uncertainty regarding funding, travel, and research among other things. So many questions regarding how to produce this thing. Michael Costagliola agress to compose music. Oona Curley will design the set and lights. Michael Williams will serve as associate director.

Fall 2011
Kym directs Gross Indecency. She invites some people to participate in the January workshop. Producer conversations regarding the space and integrating the needs of all projects into La MaMa. It is becoming clearer that we need a lot of flexibility in all directions. 

January 2012
Puppet Summit at Brown. Two days of close dramaturgical work with some actors, designers,  dramaturg Zach Bleckner, and associate director Michael Williams, including storyboarding. Two days of exploring the first scene of the play, especially "3:30am". 45 minutes of viewpoints improv garners big results. Scene one is clarified. A knowing glance during the Driver/Nurse-exchange as potential transition into scene 2: "On crashes day".


We learn that “the Driver” is an angel that comes from the moon to guide “the Nurse” through the liminal journey to work. We also learn that Medea might start out as a human and becomes a puppet. Actors can create behavior that is then translated into puppet action: Patrick’s arms.


Pachamama figure in scene 1 stays low to the ground; she will not rise until the “chant” is performed to completion in a later scene. This chant could be established in scene 1.


The Driver and the Nurse know something that we won’t know until we come to the end of the journey.


Eight minutes presented to an audience on last day.

February 2012
New York Producers inform us that funding for actors will not happen. Panic! Several grants are submitted totaling roughly 75K. 

April 2012
Michael and Kym establish The Anti-Gravity Project. They meet with Ric Royer who agrees to support a showing of Yermedea at 95 Empire in early October. We also already receive invitations to perform Yermedea at Arts Emerson (no secure date yet, but have agreed to do it. Maybe in December?). We are also looking at a possible date in DC through Georgetown U. Sock & Buskin  agrees to produce it as part of the 2012-13 season. 
Kym directs 3 outside projects and continues to apply for funds to support Yermedea. Brown University's Creative Arts Council is in but we don’t have a final figure yet. 

May 2012
Auditions! What information do the actors need regarding the evolution of this project? We need publicity staff. Katrin Dettmer is on board as production dramaturg. We can’t afford more than 10 people. Actors should be able to move; dance experience will be helpful. Singing is a plus; playing instruments is a plus.  Actors must have an unlimited imagination and desire for ensemble work, for collaboration. They must be willing to commit to the project for the entire fall term. What we expect is hard work, dedication, and discipline. In the end it's not about us - it is about this untenable history of genocide and the way it affects women and children. We will work with immigrant communities in Providence and visit schools.

August 2012
Rehearsals have started in Leeds Theatre (Brown University) with extensive storyboarding and dramaturgical preparations for everyone involved. The set by Oona Curley is already part of the scene work with the actors, who are creating memorable moments in this early stage of bringing Yermedea to life on the stage.
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