Heaven On Earth

by Chuck Mee

directed by Dan Safer

Heaven On Earth 

In “Heaven on Earth,” a new play by Chuck Mee, Witness Relocation will apply its unique, pop-culture dance/theater style to a show about civilization’s chances of post-apocalyptic happiness. The show is a co-production with French company ildi! eldi, recently seen in New York performing their piece “Vice-Versa” in the Under The Radar Festival Witness Relocation combine dance and theater with the energy of a rock show, exploding contemporary culture into intensely physical, outrageous, poetic, and sometimes brutal performances. Charles L. Mee is an Obie-winning playwright who is recently best known for his work with SITI Company, for which he wrote “Orestes,” “bobrauschenbergamerica,” “Hotel Cassiopeia,” “Under Construction” and “soot and spit (the musical).” Mee was Signature Theater’s Playwright-in-Residence in 2007-2008. “Heaven on Earth” is a collage play, written with Mee’s unique philosophy that all art is both received and created, so texts are taken from and inspired by other texts. It combs through history to reveal a quirky but simple realization: that hope is inextinguishable because in spite of the calamitous darkness when eras pass and civilizations collapse, happiness endures in the small pleasures of life. Witness Relocation (http://witnessrelocation.org) has been called “a dance theater anarchist’s utopia” (Performing Arts Journal, 2006). Its productions vary between small punk rock shows and giant epics and it returns to the big questions with “Heaven on Earth.” The aim, as always, is to challenge the assumptions of the modern day experience. The world keeps ending and we are still fine. We lose sight that heaven on earth is in the tiny details. Even while you are looking at an apocalypse, you can find a perfect moment in a cup of coffee, sitting on a beach at night, or playing with a kitten. This show is a production of Witness Relocation (USA) and “collective ildi ! eldi” (France). It is directed and choreographed by Dan Safer and co-created and performed by Abigail Browde, Heather Christian, Sean Donovan and Mike Mikos of Witness Relocation and Sophie Cattani, Antoine Oppenheim and Francois Sabourin of “ildi ! eldi.” Set and lighting design are by Jay Ryan. Costumes, props and objects are designed by Deb O. Sound design is by Ryan Maeker. Video design is by Kaz Phillips. The play is co-commissioned by Les Subsistances with major support from Etant Donnes. The French “collective ildi ! eldi” describes itself as “a research and creative space, founded by a group of friends who wanted to do theatre with humor, simplicity, and a love of words, in collusion with the audience.” The troupe is making its American debut in the 2011 Under the Radar Festival at Dixon Place January 6 to 16 in “Vice Versa,” a free adaptation in slapstick style of the satirical, sarcastic British novel “Cock and Bull” by Will Elder. It’s the story of John Bull, a rugby player and stand-up guy who is shocked to discover that a gash behind his knee is actually a vagina. Backstage (Karl Levitt) called it “a welcome gift that is both outrageous and inoffensive, the whole package being wrapped in Gallic charm.” The New York Times wrote that Witness Relocation’s work “aggressively blurs genres and makes high-low culture distinctions obsolete.” The troupe was formed in 2000 by director/choreographer Dan Safer and has created about 14 original productions, engaged in a two year residency in Bangkok, and performed in theaters, nightclubs, rock videos and a Thai TV Soap Opera. The troupe is based in New York City and tours domestically and internationally. Its recent productions include “I’m Going to Make a Small Incision Behind Your Ear to Check and See if You’re Actually Human.” (Bushwick Starr, 2010), the English language premiere of “Five Days in March” by Toshiki Okada, translated by Aya Ogawa (La MaMa, 2010), “The Panic Show” (DNA, Bumbershoot Festival, in France at Le Quartz), “Haggadah” (La MaMa, 2009), Mikuni Yanahaira’s “The Blue Bird ” (English language premiere, CSV 2009), “Vicious Dogs On Premises” (Ontological, 2008) and “Dancing Vs. the Rat Experiment” (La MaMa, 2006).

Performances: 

 2/17/2011 at 7:30pm
 2/18/2011 at 7:30pm
 2/19/2011 at 7:30pm
 2/20/2011 at 2:30pm
 2/24/2011 at 7:30pm
 2/25/2011 at 7:30pm
 2/26/2011 at 7:30pm
 2/27/2011 at 2:30pm

Theatre/Venue La MaMa Experimental Theatre 

74A East 4th St  New York

Phone Number for Reservations 212-475-7710 
Website for reservations www.lamama.org  
Running time 1hr. 30min. 

 

Producing Organization: LaMaMa Experimental Theater Club  
Website www.lamama.org  
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