I’m back in the city after an amazingly productive and beautiful week at SPACE on Ryder Farm of writing, eating, breathing fresh air, and making friends with woolly bear caterpillars. Julia and I made some great progress on thinking through Choreomania and made a giant leap towards a second draft of Something Blue.
I spent much of the week writing in the yurt, when I wasn’t harvesting dahlias or marveling at sunrises/sunsets.
We were thrilled to spend our time at SPACE with fellow P73er Blue Beckford Burrell, Working Farm playwright Antoinette Nwandu, and Stitcher podcasters Rachel Bonds, Ash Sanders, and Ellen Winter & Chris Litter.
Thanks to Page 73 for sending us up for the week!
About 5 years after writing our first song for it, Julia and I are finally going to get to work on Choreomania!
We’re joining the inaugural class of The Collective, a new program in the 92nd Street Y’s Harkness Dance Center Music Theatre Development Lab. The Collective brings together performance makers from across the spectrum – writers, composers, directors, choreographers, and hyphenates of the above – to explore new works of music theatre and dance. After spending so many years primarily behind music stands, we’re thrilled to get to begin to imagine a work in an environment that encourages us to consider movement as an integral part of the storytelling process. It’ll challenge us in the most exciting way!
Choreomania will explore the Dancing Plague of 1518, in which hundreds of people spent the summer dancing uncontrollably and inexplicably in the streets of France. The event is now understood to be the earliest recorded instance of mass hysteria (thanks to the invention of the printing press.) It’s about the search of explanations to the unexplainable, the fear and allure of the unknown, and the power of a crowd.
Give our first song, “I’m Moving” – sung by Frau Troffea, the dancing plague’s originator – a listen while we get ready to dive into the 16th century!