(HERE Artist Residency Program)

Ding Dong It’s The Ocean RADY&BLOOM Collective Playmaking

Show Description

Inspired by the pages of 20000 Leagues Under the Sea and old Jacques Cousteau film reels washed up on a beach somewhere, Ding Dong It's The Ocean is replete with music and puppetry and painting that reveals new worlds. Can this Ocean be an abstraction, or is it just water? Can it be a metaphor, or is it necessarily an ecosystem? And also: Could a play let the Ocean be both? Could a play honor the human impulse to spin poetry out of our world while honoring the wet world itself, which sloshes along independent of human imagining? Can we make a play that could conjure a whole Imaginative Ocean out of Nothingness, but also make a play that won’t deny the Very Actual Somethingness of a planet out of whack, of living oceans slowly rising. Many of the characters are playmakers themselves. The Listmaker conjures with nouns. The Stage Manager denies the possibility of dramaturgical morality (or moral dramaturgy). Grace wants to live out one of Shakespeare’s romances. Ding Dong It's The Ocean accommodates these jostling ideas of what narrative is, and might be. It puts all of us rival playmakers quite literally in the same boat – living as we do on a shared planet.

Main image by Jeremy Bloom, headshot by Robert Gadol Lavenstein

Featured Media

Artist Bio

RADY&BLOOM is the husband/husband team of Jeremy Bloom and Brian Rady. New York venues include Ars Nova, The Flea, The New Ohio, IRT, The Brick, the cell, Walkerspace, and Exapno. Having worked with each of the major directing fellowships in New York, including the Drama League Director's Project, the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, the EST Director's Residency, and the T.S. Eliot Directing Fellowship, assistant directing credits include The Metropolitan Opera, Broadway, LCT3, The Goodman, and Berkeley Rep. Alumni of Northwestern, academic affiliations also include NYU Graduate Acting, Texas State, and Montclair State. R&B has received support from LMCC's Process Space and Manhattan Community Arts Fund/ the NYS Department of Cultural Affairs, the Archive Residency, The Drama League's Artist Residency Program, and the HERE Artist Residency Program. Look for Peter/Wendy, published by Playscripts, Inc. radyandbloom.com

Alexander Borinsky is a playwright and performer, originally from Baltimore. His plays include Lost Tribe (Target Margin), Going Out and Coming Back (EST/Youngblood Unfiltered), The Polish Egg Man (Upstream Theater, St. Louis), Ruth (EST/Sloan Commission), Little Hearts (Lincoln Center Directors Lab), Longing (oh well) (Theater for the New City), and a solo piece, Baltimore. He’s performed and developed work in basements, backyards, bars, circus tents, and theaters. He’s spending 2014-2015 as an LMCC Workspace Resident, and has been a member of the Obie-winning Youngblood collective since 2010. A finalist and semi-finalist for the Page 73 Playwriting Fellowship, he participated in their summer retreat in 2014. As performer and co-creator with American Centaur, he’s collaborated on five original pieces and led workshops across New York and Colorado. With the support of a TCG Global Connections–On the Road grant, he traveled to Lebanon for two months in the spring of 2014 to work with Masrah Ensemble on Triangles, a festival of new playwriting, translation, and audience engagement. This fall he enrolled in Brooklyn College’s Playwriting MFA program, under Erin Courtney, Anne Washburn, and Mac Wellman.

Joe White is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and a frequent collaborator with RADY&BLOOM - Collective Playmaking. Composition, performance, and music-arranging work for RADY&BLOOM includes The Upper Room (The New Ohio), Lameness of a Horse (The Brick, Exapno), The Girl of the Golden West (Ars Nova, and The New Ohio), and The Orange Person (IRT, and The Gene Frankel). Joe recently collaborated with Alexander Borinsky making music for his Lost Tribe (Target Margin Lab). Joe is a founding member and curator for Sweat Lodge, an indie music performance and discussion series at the Exapno New Music Community Center in Brooklyn. Joe plays with singer-songwriter Catherine Brookman for the music project Sullivann, and with avant-percussionist Cory Bracken for the music project Uptown Girls. Joe recently released an album on Gold Bolus recordings called Cockfights. joewhitenoise.com

Artist Statement

Ding Dong It's The Ocean is the performance piece we asked our friend Alex Borinsky to write. We asked him to look at the ocean. We asked him to look at the ways we popularly understand things like global warming, sea-level rise, and the polluting American economy. We asked him to think about the human power to artfully conceptualize the unknown, or the abstract. We looked at Jules Verne. We looked at 20000 Leagues Under the Sea in particular. We looked at Jacque Cousteau. We are sketching out and cutting out puppets from papers and recycled materials, and we are making large-scale landscape scrolls with painters Vivian O'Shaughnessy and Sebastien Aurillon. We are thinking of dances: "fish" dances/ puppet dances to guitar and synthesizer and vocals written by our frequent collaborator-composer Joe White and led also by improvisations by soprano Beth Griffith. We want to take the audience on a submarine into the unknown depths of the ocean, down the drain, and out the other side.

We stage narratives in a stripped down, efficient manner, with high energy and a sense of visual lyricism. We are drawn to modern mythology - stories that ask us to believe in something bigger than ourselves. Among a diverse and growing ensemble, we devise music and words directly from and designed for the performers, building roles and characters to the eccentricities of specific group dynamics. Distilled from personal experience, we plan to cultivate a mood, an assertive and complex yet welcoming cultural texture - party meets epic meets chorale meets ethnography.

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