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Off Broadway

Ship of Fools: The Dark Voyage of Oppression

Ship of Fools: The Dark Voyage of Oppression
Ship of Fools
I was told we would be going on a journey, traveling through the history of misogyny, but the voyage was as real as it was concurrent to the present social climate as it could be. Oddly enough, Ship of Fools reminded me of the old-fashioned Disney ride, “It’s a Small World” but flipped over to the dark side of our world, with an assortment of complex themes surrounding feminism and suppression, and how it is to live in the female world.  We float around, past images and scenarios, taking them in, exploring our thoughts and reactions, and enjoying the ride. We are all on a small boat, floating, rotating, and being surrounded by complex visions and scenarios of the pathologized female.
Ship of Fools
The Ship of Fools, the theatrical performance piece that is being explored here presented by HERE’s Dream Music Puppetry Program is an expansion of what theatre and performance can be. Using live music, spoken word poetry, puppetry, movement and a unique visual design, we travel through re-imagined moments in history. Engaging in themes of oppression with jarring fantastical images and scenarios (lighting design: Ayumu “Poe” Saegusa; sound design: Gavin Price); questioning the status quo, and our personal way of looking at the world.
Ship of Fools
The ideas, images, and concepts floated before us are sometimes obscure and others more straightforward. Some are powerfully clear and some sailed over my head. Narrated by a talented vocalist/story teller/musician, Liv Davito, with the assistance from the other talented musicians, Eamonn Farrell, Alex Klimovitsky, and Gavin Price, we experience this Ship of Fools by examining the puzzle pieces showcasing ideas about female hysteria, modern depression, attacks on women’s health and reproductive rights, popular constrictive culture, feminism, and feminine rules of celebrity and politics. Conceived and devised by Jessica Scott with original music (Klimovitsky) and lyrics (Farrell), we are passengers through all sorts of dangerous water, with a band of performers (Jessica Weinstein/”the actress’, Kate Brehm, Liz Davito, Jacob Graham, Takemi Kitamura, Sarah Lafferty, and George Anna Tisdale) guiding us, hoping we, the audience, come out at the end enlightened and entertained.
This Ship of Fools, based on medieval engravings, is the metaphorical reaction to the practice of forcing the insane and unwanted to sail out into the ocean unguided and doomed. Ridding the community of the burdensome misfits, while relieving the community of guilt and shame.  With the current election rhetoric of hate, racism, xenophobia, and misogyny floating all around us, one can see how the politics of  exclusion is just another way for the powerful to exorcise themselves of undesirables, “dismissing them to the ocean where the tides determined their fate.”  We leave after our voyage with a wider world view, surviving the journey, and better for it.
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Off Broadway

My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to

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