Tagtheater

An Interview With FoolishPeople’s John Harrigan

Since 1989, FoolishPeople have been creating extraordinarily complex, intricate worlds of immersive performance magic. They’ve been commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Arcola Theatre, Secret Cinema, the BBC, and the Wilderness Festival.

John Harrigan is artistic director and cofounder of FoolishPeople and we have been trying to find the time to get together and have a bit of a chat for quite some time, now. With recent world and personal events being as they are, we eventually came to the realization that there would be no time like the present. On a personal level, John and I have both experienced monumental losses, in the course of the past year, and it can easily be said that they’ve transformed us in some unexpected ways. We’ve also both been given new and unprecedented opportunities, and so now seemed like the perfect time for Technoccult and FoolishPeople to meet.

John’s raw openness about life, art, magick, and the process of creating living, immersive theater is amazing, and really made this interview process something special to facilitate.

Speaking of, let’s take a minute to talk about the process of this interview. I wanted to come up with a format that would do justice to the mythic otherworldliness that FP manages to breathe into every one of their creations, and eventually I settled on using Tarot in a traditional cross and staff formation to devise and guide the questions . Each answer got followed up with another clarification question, determined by another drawn card.

First ten cards and questions, John’s answers, second ten cards and questions, John’s answers. To frame the whole process, I intentionally opened with the Fool and closed with the World, the first and last cards of the Tarot’s Major Arcana. My questions are in bold, and John’s answers are in plaintext.

As a fun side note, the deck I use is the Dave McKean-illustrated Vertigo Tarot. When I showed him the pictures of the spreads, last week, John informed me that this style of deck was the first he ever owned.

So with that bit of synchronicity and without further ado:

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To see in Seattle: ‘When I Come To My Senses, I’m Alive!’

When I Come To My Senses, I’m Alive! from Stephen McCandless on Vimeo.

I’m not going to have time to get up to Seattle to see this play, but it sounds great. Check it out if you’re in the area:

It runs April 23 – May 22, 2010. The play is a near-future sci-fi story about a technological provocateur who invents a method for capturing emotions as digital information, as part of a project to “chart the emotional genome.” She develops a cult following of fans who download her very addictive “emoticlips” – each delivered with cryptic, poetic file names like “the surprise of an unfamiliar memory” – and play them back in hobby-built receiver helmets. The experience is not full blown virtual reality; instead, emotional responses & sensations are triggered, and each fan experiences something unique. A seedy television executive tries to coopt her technology to syndicate the emotions of TV stars, hiring an elite P.I. to figure out what her weaknesses are when she refuses to sell out… but in the meantime, publishing digital versions of her emotions to the internet has unexpected consequences amongst the botnets of the world.

Scotto: ‘When I Come To My Senses, I’m Alive!’

Jack Parsons stage play opening at Caltech

Pasadena Babalon is a new stage play dealing with the life of rocket pioneer Jack Parsons, co-founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Aerojet General Corporation.

Theater Arts at Caltech (TACIT) director Brian Brophy (Shawshank Redemption, Day Without a Mexican, Star Trek: The Next Generation) will direct the play penned by George Morgan, author of last year’s well-received Rocket Girl.

Babalon takes the audience on a journey through mid-1930s Pasadena up until Jack’s untimely death in 1952. Surrounded by a gallery of characters from Aleister Crowley, L.Ron Hubbard, Theordore Von Karman, and many others, the play examines the nature of genius with its unintended consequences, black magic, military contracts, and the formation of JPL.

TACIT casts feature Caltech undergraduates, graduate students, staff members, and JPL engineers.

Caltech: Pasadena Babalon

(via Joseph Matheny)

Stage play about The People’s Temple

While reading an exposé about San Francisco preacher and cult leader Jim Jones in 1977, Ken White was surprised to see mention of an old friend from Modesto.

Michael Prokes, who had attended Davis High School with White, was a spokesman for Jones’ People’s Temple and praised its work with the poor.

On Nov. 18, 1978, more than 900 followers of Jones died in a mass suicide in their compound in the South American country of Guyana. Prokes, who wasn’t there at the time, killed himself a few months after that in a news conference at a Modesto motel. He was 31.

White, who lives in Modesto, never forgot the story and has turned it into a play, “My Father’s House,” which he hopes to stage locally next fall. Set in Modesto, the drama focuses on the last days of Prokes’ life.

Modbee: Jonestown Revisited: Evolving play looks at how Modestan turned to cult, suicide

(via Religion News Blog)

Stage play about Philip K. Dick opens this weekend in Seattle

philip k dick stage play

The west coast premier of 800 Words: The Transmigration of Philip K Dick is this weekend in Seattle.

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