BAM (BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC) — HOWARD GILMAN OPERA HOUSE
2015 NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL
In this immersive evening with Portland-based indie group Other Lives (who have toured with Radiohead and Bon Iver), Steppenwolf Theatre Company co-founder Terry Kinney elevates the band’s storied stage show to a rarefied intersensory domain. Intricately mapping live video, lighting, and projections to meticulously arranged songs from their recent releases, Kinney creates an engrossing audio-visual narrative wrought from the band’s lyrics and Oklahoma origins. Members Jesse Tabish, Jonathon Mooney, Josh Onstott, Daniel Hart, and Danny Reish command a battery of rock and orchestral instruments to drive this image-saturated foray into their cinematic sound.
Directed by Terry Kinney
Set Design: Frank McCullough
Lighting Design: Ben Stanton
Projections Design: Daniel Brodie
Sound Design: Drew Levy
Original Drawings: Matt Huynh
Jesse Tabish (piano, guitar, lead vocals)
Jonathon Mooney (piano, violin, guitar, percussion, trumpet)
Josh Onstott (bass, keys, percussion, guitar, backing vocals)
Daniel Hart (violin, backing vocals, guitar)
Danny Reisch (drums, percussion)
MIX TAPE is seeking venues and partners to produce additional performances of RECONFIGURATION in 2016/17. Please contact us for more information.
The Making of Reconfiguration at BAMIn thinking about how to approach a concert form that used the tools of our theater roots, Rebecca and I wanted to be careful to stay completely away from looking like Broadway musicals or other formats where people have blended music and theater. Theater has borrowed from the rock and pop music scene for a long time, mining lyrics for storyline, with the music as the engine. We were clear from the outset that our imagery would emanate from the movement of the music itself, ignoring lyrics for the most part. Rebecca was especially adamant that we adhere to this. We wanted an arc, an emotional thread, but it would be evoked from the orchestral swells, the urgency and intimacy of the music. Other Lives, with their multi-instrumentation, their looping and lush, layered songwriting were a perfect match for what we had hoped to do.
Our story would be created from the pictures the band’s sound put into our heads.
We visited the band in Portland. We spent time with them. We wanted to know as much about them as we could possibly learn. Their passions and their influences as artists. We were stunned and thrilled by the depth of this exchange. We found we had a lot in common.
I set out to write a three-act structure, with songs from all of their albums. I had drawn a somewhat insane looking diagram while talking at a dinner table to their vocalist Jesse Tabish, charting ideas for a structure, and I had a single image of a boy jumping from a great height, floating down gracefully. Other images followed, and a structure started to take shape as I wrote, the songs playing, over and over, nearby. The design team, armed with that “script,” further collaborated to make a cohesive vision. The work was very freeing, and the only limits were our imaginations.
Music doesn’t need help being dramatic. It’s like adrenaline, immediate and clear and emotional. We want to make theater of it on its own terms stripped of the usual concert distractions—by simply focusing light, imagery, and setting to its pulse and its beauty—to create the headphone experience, onstage.
We are grateful to Other Lives for their trust and their friendship, and to Joe Mellilo and everyone at BAM for embracing us.
We are a production company dedicated to creating collaborations between musicians and theatre artists. We aim to bring the visual and story elements of theatre to music, creating a new form and a new way to experience concerts.
Terry Kinney (Director) is a co-founder of Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and Steppenwolf Films. His directing credits there include East of Eden, The Violet Hour, A Streetcar Named Desire, A Clockwork Orange, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which moved to Broadway and won a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. NYC directing credits include Checkers by Doug McGrath, reasons to be pretty ( MCC and Broadway), among others. Mr. Kinney’s film directing credits debut was Diminished Capacity with Matthew Broderick and Alan Alda, (Sundance Film Festival, 2008). Film appearances include the upcoming Abundant Acreage Available, November Criminals, I Smile Back, Save the Last Dance, Sleepers, Fly Away Home, Last of the Mohicans, The Firm, Devil in a Blue Dress, and Turn the River. TV credits include HBO’s Oz, The Unusuals (ABC), The Laramie Project, Black Box (ABC), Show Me A Hero ( HBO), Billions ( Showtime), Fargo, Season 2 (FX). Currently he is appearing as a series regular on TNT’s Good Behavior.
Rebecca Habel has been the general manager of more than 30 productions on and off-Broadway. Broadway credits include: The 39 Steps, A Man for All Seasons, Hedda Gabler, The Philanthropist, After Miss Julie, Present Laughter, Everyday Rapture, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, The Importance of Being Earnest and most recently King Charles III. She has worked in general management at the Vineyard Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, 101 Productions and Thompson Turner Productions. She is a faculty member at New York University in the Tisch School of the Arts Production and Design Program. Reconfiguration: An Evening with Other Lives, produced in BAM’s 2015 Next Wave Festival was her first production as co-founder of Mix Tape Productions, with Terry Kinney.
Mix Tape Productions was founded in 2015 by Rebecca Habel and Terry Kinney.
Reconfiguration: An Evening with Other Lives was the company’s inaugural production.