Exponential Festival; presented at The Brick; “Shapiro” created by Ella Davidson, “Dams” created by Sarah Finn
“The Ben Shapiro Project, which Davidson co-directed with Paul Levine, smartly explores the maddening traps set by well-dressed trolls like Shapiro. Ignoring them doesn’t work; but mocking them, Davidson notes, isn’t really effective either.”
“Hillary Gao’s new play, would you set the table if I asked you to?, considers the cost of assimilation through a uniquely theatrical and culturally specific lens. Featuring an intergenerational cast of all Asian actors…as Hillary says, ‘This play is not setting out to solve assimilation or impart any broader insights into the Asian American experience.’”
“The play challenges the idea of productivity culture and investigates the power of grief – alternating between “wild hilarity and quiet devastation.” Williams wrote Events at the height of the pandemic after the sudden loss of a friend.”
Exemplar of this is Pioneers Go East Collective and their episodic performance series Lucky Star. The most recent installment was live-streamed as part of Out of an Abundance of Caution (OOAC), a weekly series of avant-garde live performances curated by Lauren Miller, Jessica Almasy, and the Brick Theater’s Theresa Buchheister.
Former Notre Dame Regional High School student, Kate Zibluk, is co-curating and co-creating a performance based project called “Out of Caution: The Next Generation,” to be streamed online in conjunction with The Brick Theater in New York City.
The second short is at least as friendly as the first but far more aching. Told in flashback, it achieves something I had not seen in all the deluge of video that has come in these past 10 months. Largely through black-and-white rehearsal stills of Barbagallo, Davis and Kaminsky, shot at The Brick in Brooklyn, it captures what theater feels like — the everyday incantation of it, and how unreachably far away that seems now.
Lucky Star: superstar works like a time capsule. The film holds past, future, and present in an intimate, luscious spacetime loop. Fact and fiction, inseparable, blur and tease. Cut to disco ball, still swinging. Slow down and watch the air sparkle. Time swirls here, queerly, as fabulous histories and alien futurities shimmy together in a pleasing confusion.
Buchheister was excited to link the writer-performer Jess Barbagallo and the musician Nathan Repasz. “Nathan did one of my favorite performances of 2020,” (Buchheister) said, “a percussion piece to Mitt Romney saying that hot dog is his favorite meat.”
On January 1, Williamsburg’s The Brick Theater welcomed Theresa Buchheister as its new Artistic Director. Founded by Michael Gardner in 2002, The Brick has been North Brooklyn’s home for eclectic works and experimental plays—ones so unique they’ve even starred my dog. Since taking over, Buchheister has stepped up with bolder and more focused programming, but that all changed once COVID—and revolution—hit. Now, The Brick is an outpost for protestors and the houseless community.
Luckily, Out of An Abundance of Caution is here to challenge our collective attention span. Volume 27 offered three inventive, evocative works tracing the contours of bodies past and present, along with a running dialogue about the themes of the evening via Twitch’s live chat feature. Host Maya Sharpe expertly ran the livestream and infused the event with vigor, whimsy, and synonyms.
Here’s what we know so far… In 1929, after securing approval from the Eurasian Confederated Socialist States (ECSS), 700 “pioneers” were relocated to passing Comet P41. Leading up to the deployment of the First Generation, the comet was prepared through missions that shaped the landscape for human use.