Theater in Quarantine presents Tristan Tzara’s THE GAS HEART on April 8
Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 09:15 am EDT 04/06/21
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 09:14 am EDT 04/06/21


"Marvelous... a valuable new outpost of the avant-garde." - Jesse Green, New York Times

"Makes confinement a virtue, a prompt to imagination." - Helen Shaw, Vulture

"The closet in question contains astounding multitudes." - Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker

Theater in Quarantine, a pandemic performance laboratory from writer, director, and performer Joshua William Gelb and choreographer Katie Rose McLaughlin, is proud to present a new adaptation of Tristan Tzara's The Gas Heart that marks the centennial of the Dada masterpiece. Set to premiere on April 8 on YouTube, The Gas Heart is directed and adapted by Gelb from his own loose translation of the original French text. The production features movement direction by McLaughlin, original music by Alex Weston (Lulu Wang's The Farewell), visual design by Marika Kent, and video design by Gelb.

In an ambitious departure from previous Theater in Quarantine productions, The Gas Heart will feature zero pre-recorded videos. Gelb will attempt to embody all six characters (Eye, Mouth, Nose, Ear, Neck, and Eyebrow) in real-time and in dialogue with each other via a series of live-captured video loops and live performance.

Romanian-born, French poet and essayist Tzara, known mainly as a founder of Dada, wrote The Gas Heart with no discernible plot. The play, along with the Dadaist movement, was a reaction to the horror of World War I and the 1918 influenza pandemic. In The Gas Heart, characters named after body parts interact with each other and their surroundings in complete incoherence. The play creates a world where rules are non-existent and inherent meaning is absent. For Theater in Quarantine, The Gas Heart asks a timely question, "Can we find meaning in meaninglessness?"

Live-streamed performances of The Gas Heart will take place on Thursday, April 8 at 7 PM ET and 9 PM ET on Theater in Quarantine's YouTube page. Following the live broadcast, the on-demand recording of The Gas Heart will be available at www.youtube.com/theaterinquarantine, along with the complete Theater in Quarantine archive, in perpetuity.

Theater in Quarantine isJoshua William Gelb (founder and co-creative director), Katie Rose McLaughlin (co-creative director), Morgan Lindsey Tachco (creative producer), Brian Bose (social media), and Everyman Agency (public relations).

Theater in Quarantine is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by LMCC. Theater in Quarantine's work is generously supported by a Creative Residency with La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, as participants in LaMaMa and CultureHub's Experiments in Digital Storytelling program, the Mental Insight Foundation, and by their many individual donors.

About the Artists

Joshua William Gelb is an East Village-based director, performer, and librettist currently building theater out of his converted closet christened the Theater in Quarantine. On its YouTube channel, Theater in Quarantine has presented nearly 20 different evenings of live digital performance with institutional supporters LaMama, CultureHub, Theater Mitu, and The Invisible Dog, as well as "a New York rogue's gallery of experimental makers and designers" (Helen Shaw, Vulture). Prior to the pandemic, Gelb created both Jazz Singer and The Black Crook in residence at Abrons Arts Center, while his Drama Desk-nominated adaptation of A Hunger Artist, created with Sinking Ship, continues to tour. Gelb participated in the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, is an associate artist with Sinking Ship, teaches Theater Collaboration at Cooper Union, and is a 2021 artist in residence at LaMama and CultureHub's Experiments in Digital Storytelling program.

Katie Rose McLaughlin is an NYC-based choreographer and director originally from Minneapolis, MN. Katie Rose is the Associate Choreographer of the Tony award-winning Broadway show Hadestown directed by Rachel Chavkin and choreographed by David Neumann. Recently she has been creating work as the co-Creative Director for Theater in Quarantine which has produced over 20 different evenings of work. Notable theater credits include Orlando (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Indecent (Weston Playhouse), Bear Slayer (Ars Nova), Triplight (Joes Pub), SEAGULLMACHINE (La Mama ETC), and The Black Crook (Abrons Arts Center). She was an artist-in-residence at LMCC's Process Space, Dance Lab New York, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, the Barn Arts Collective, and LMCC's SPARC program and is a 2021 artist-in-residence at La Mama and CultureHub's Experiments in Digital Storytelling program. In 2013, she co-founded and became the Artistic Director of Designated Movement Co., a dance/theater company interested in blurring the lines between forms. Visit Katierosemclaughlin.com for more information.

Alex Weston is a composer of music for concert works and film scores. His film scores have premiered at festivals around the world including Sundance, the Berlinale, the Venice Biennale, Slamdance. His recent effort for Lulu Wang's The Farewell, which premiered at Sundance 2019 and distributed by A24, was described as "gorgeously scored" by Vanity Fair. The score was included on the shortlist for "Best Original Score" for the 2020 Oscars. He also recently scored a film entitled Wander Darkly by director Tara Miele, released by Lionsgate. Weston's music has also been featured on The Affair (Showtime), Jane Fonda in Five Acts (HBO), the Ken Burns-produced documentary The Emperor of All Maladies (PBS), and various projects for NBC, Netflix and others. His concert works include commissions from the Lyrica Chamber Music Ensemble (a concerto for pianist David Kaplan), ABCIrque, the Utah Wind Symphony, MADArt Creative, Ballet in the City, and others. Weston's music encapsulates his wide-ranging influences, combining classical structures and orchestration along with more modern harmonic language, electronics, and textures.

Marika Kent is a NYC based designer of new and classic plays, musical theater, opera, dance, experimental theater, puppetry and site-specific performance. Also with TiQ: Hypochondriac. Most recently, she designed Fly Away - a performance featured as part of painter Derek Fordjours solo exhibit Self Must Die at Petzel Gallery in Chelsea. Other Recent & Upcoming: Madge Love (Fringe+Fur / Exponential Festival), The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity; School Girls, or the African Mean Girls Play (Portland Center Stage), Reconstruction (The TEAM), Jazz Singer (Abrons Arts Center), 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (ACT of CT), No Child; Memphis; Peter and the Starcatcher (Cape Fear Regional Theater), Ajijaak on Turtle Island (IBEX Puppetry, The New Victory), Roan @ The Gates (Luna Stage), Chimpanzee (HERE Arts), Perp; Abigail's Party (The Barrow Group), Generation NYZ; Alaxsxa/Alaska; Beyond Sacred (Ping Chong + Co), Skinnamarink or The Peanut Butter Show; Now is the Time... (Little Lord). www.marikakent.com

About Theater in Quarantine

Shortly after the coronavirus pandemic closed all theaters, Joshua William Gelb transformed a 2' x 4' x 8' closet inside his East Village apartment into a white-box theater. Starting on March 27, Gelb and his collaborators began releasing pre-recorded studies in movement, clown, camera orientation, and perspective, building towards more complex theatrical experiences. On April 23, they premiered Theater in Quarantine's first live-stream performance: an adaptation of Kafka's The Neighbor which was followed by an unauthorized edit of Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape and collaborations with artists like Scott R. Sheppard (Underground Railroad Game), Nehemiah Luckett (Jazz Singer), and Ellen Winter (36 Questions).

Theater in Quarantine's productions of The 7th Voyage of Egon Tichy and Footnote for the End of Time were met with critical acclaim. Jesse Green in his New York Times critic's pick review declared that Theater in Quarantine has produced "some of the new medium's most imaginative work from some of its simplest materials." Helen Shaw in Vulture wrote that Theater in Quarantine "makes confinement a virtue, a prompt to imagination." Maya Phillips in The New York Times noted, "These small-scale, digitally savvy productions have matched the texts in their idiosyncratic approaches."
Theater in Quarantine's first musical, I Am Sending You the Sacred Face, by Obie award-winner Heather Cristian was one of Vulture's Best Theater Moments of 2020. Helen Shaw found it "as beautiful a cause for meditation as anything in the Book of Psalms - and as worthy an object for devotion." Jesse Green in his New York Times critic's pick review noted, "Theater in Quarantine turns the constraints of its odd conditions into a marvelous style."

Additional works include Mute Swan by Pulitzer-prize finalist Madeleine George, The New York Times critic's pick production of Blood Meal by Obie award-winner Scott R. Sheppard, and The New York Times critic's pick production of Honestly Sincere by Liza Birkenmeier.

The complete archive of original works by Theater in Quarantine is available for free at www.youtube.com/theaterinquarantine. Please visit www.theaterinquarantine.com for more information.
Link http://www.theaterinquarantine.com

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