New Far Away photos from the frigid midwest
As I write, it is roughly five degrees outside. Chicago is finally showing me a bit of its famed weather. To keep myself warm, I’ve been uploading new images from Far Away. Thanks to Lee Howard for some wonderful photos.
Tonight is closing night for Far Away, so if you haven’t yet made reservations, do so now before the show is gone.
I’m sad I’ll miss the closing night cast party. Everyone, here’s a toast from your far away director for a show well done. Someone please give Georgia a hug for me for her especially deep commitment to Liminal #14!
My God, have we really done 14? It’s interesting to think about how much ground we’ve covered hidden away in the Willamette Valley.
[February 18, 2006, at 01:34 PM]
The last weekend.
Dear Liminal Supporters,
Caryl Churchill’s “Far Away” is the story of a girl who comes of age in a time when xenophobia and violence are a normal part of life.
Critics derided Liminal for our detached and hyper-mediated interpretation, but this state of detachment is precisely what is needed to objectively compare the acts of violence in Churchill’s work to the violence we see in the world today. As Bertolt Brecht would remind us, it is only from an estranged distance that we can recognize the boundaries between right and wrong.
Join us on closing weekend for one of Churchill’s lesser-seen plays. Liminal’s live video and sound design make each performance unique. Thursday is already sold out, so please make your Friday/Saturday reservations now.
[February 15, 2006, at 11:15 AM]
New Resurrectory video available
For those of you who have been waiting, a new Resurrectory streaming video clip is now included in the archives. The clip features a live track recorded in the Resurrectory Operating Theater composed by John Berendzen and performed by David Abel and the Resurrectory musicians. The video is a montage of motion and stills taken from various parts of the Resurrectory facility. For those of you who did not visit the Resurrectory last year, this gives you an idea of what it was like to freely explore the various rooms and events that took place simultaneously.
It is a little over 8 minutes, so those with long attention spans will be rewarded with the lush progression of sound and images. If you like what you see, let us know. We hope to bring the Resurrectory to other cities in the future.
[February 12, 2006, at 07:29 PM]
We are on the side with the artists and the Pad Thai
First of all, there is a very nice review of Far Away by TJ Norris in his Oregonian blog, Is It Art? Scroll down to his Saturday PM post to read it.
Secondly, if you like delicious Thai food and avant-garde theater, then there is no better place to get it than at Liminal this Friday night. We have a special deal for dinner and a show (not simultaneously, alas, but we are considering doing dinner theater someday as it should be done).
The dinner is at 6:30 pm and is co-hosted by the Portland Art Center. It will take place in their Annex gallery at 32 NW 5th, which is just below Liminal’s performance space. If you, dear reader, would like to join us for this Liminal family supper, send us an e-mail or call us at 503 890 2993. Cost for cocktails, dinner and the show is $50. The menu is long and I think we’ll be adding additional vegetarian options, but here is what I saw on the most recent menu:
Lemongrass Chowder wiith purple potatoes, roasted pepper, bacon, oregano and cilantro.
Phad Thai with vegetables, ground peanuts, bean sprouts, tofu and greens.
Spicy string beans wok fried in spicy chili oil.
Grilled beef with grapes and spicy garlic-lime sauce.
Wok Seared fillet of salmon in an orange curry sauce.
Coconut and mango sorbets.
Thank you, Typhoon!, for this amazing dinner.
[February 7, 2006, at 06:56 PM]
Ships in the night
Amanda (Liminal’s movement director) and I literally passed each other in jet planes somewhere over the continent as I departed Portland for Chicago and she departed New York for Portland. While we didn’t get to see each other in PDX this time, we are continuing a vast and ongoing conversation about the future of our art.
One of the things that makes being a part of Liminal so exciting is the diversity of talent and interests among members of the company. I’ll talk all day with Chris about potential theater projects that utilize rigorous formal constraints and Amanda will spend that same day working with young muscular actors, developing an impossible looking action for her future book on movement for actors. At the same time, John is furiously composing a new score about LOVE and Georgia is taking the ensemble into the world of Caryl Churchill. I feel so energized by the great work that is happening in all the cities that Liminal currently occupies.
Before I left, I was able to see the opening performances of Far Away (which, let me gently remind you, is running through February 18). As you might know, even though I’m the artistic director of the ensemble, I have been busy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and didn’t have a hand in the production of this play. I’m proud to say that director Georgia Luce and the rest of the group has done a fine job without me. Moses Gunesch’s video and set design features many lovely transient images, John Berendzen’s tangled music sets just the right mood, and kollodi’s hats are each unlikely and stunning. All the actors are great, but special kudos goes out to young Hallie Blashfield, who has a career ahead of her. I almost wish I had been part of the creation!
The play runs for 6 weekends, and seating is very limited, so make your reservations today.
[January 30, 2006, at 04:41 PM]
Far Away - Breathe Deeply.
After seeing some recent rehearsals, I have to say that I am very excited to see Far Away open next week.
The 70-foot-long stage and its multitude of side wings is reminiscent of Richard Foreman’s 1970s Soho loft and provides the perfect setting for Churchill’s play, which blends mundane everyday activities (such as going to work in a hat factory and putting a child to bed) with absolutely terrifying situations (like a parade that ends in mass execution). The Liminal cast creeps me out with their heavy movement, amplified whispers and physical intensity. The extremely tall hats remind me of the 1920 Salle Gaveau Dada festival. The ensemble’s dark vision for the piece also includes some technically savvy sound and video. Thanks to a great directorial debut from Georgia, Churchill’s contemporary play is perfectly balanced with Liminal’s signature subversion of traditional theater.
I’m very happy to have had a chance to be a small part of the production before it opens. It’s going to really creep audiences out.
I’m also planning to see defunkt’s production of Gertrude Stein’s Dr. Faustus Lights the Lights this weekend. It looks like a strong production and features the work of some great Portland artists and friends including James Moore, David Abel, Matt Marble and, of course, kollodi.
[January 12, 2006, at 11:00 PM]
Far Away is Coming
I am back in Portland for a winter hiatus from Chicago. It is very unusual to not be directly involved in the making of a new Liminal production, but I am excited to learn about the work that has transpired and to see some upcoming rehearsals of Far Away. What I have seen so far looks very exciting. In upcoming weeks, I will post more updates about the new show.
Meanwhile, I am sitting at Liminal HQ with our Web designer, Chris Piuma, as he puts the finishing touches on our updated site for 2006. We were inspired by the framboise lambic that we are sipping, not to mention the dark themes surrounding Far Away, which accounts for the new color scheme. We hope you like it and that you take a few minutes to explore the site.
Until next time, here’s wishing everyone a prosperous new year.
- Bryan Markovitz
[December 28, 2005, at 09:45 PM]
A Missive from Chicago
Greetings from the city of broad shoulders!
Well, even though your trustworthy and sometimes crumudgenly Liminal director is far away at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I encourage you to sink your teeth into the depths of Liminal’s home on the Internet.
We have tons of archives from past and ongoing works, as well as lots of radical (and not so radical) ideas for fellow practicioners to peruse. In upcoming weeks, look for some new material, including photographs and a video sample from our most recent performance facility, The Resurrectory.
We’re also planning to re-paint the site in a slightly more vibrant color scheme before the rain comes, but we have no clue what colors to choose. If you have any suggestions, please e-mail them to us. If we choose a winner from the your submissions, we will reward your effort with a couple of tickets to the next Liminal event.
Speaking of Liminal events, they are rare occurences, but well worth your wait. Keep an eye open this winter for a new performance headed by Liminal’s Georgia Luce that will indulge our passion for the work of Caryl Churchill.
And, if you haven’t heard, our sound and music director, John Berendzen, will periodically make appearances in and around Portland with the Parametric Orchestra. The first of these will be a free event this Sunday, 9/25, hosted by Spare Room to celebrate the release of “Salt: A Collection of Poetry on the Oregon Coast.”
The event runs from 7-10 pm with free admission.
GO, because yours truly cannot.
Finally, if you happen to find yourself in Chicago, for God’s sake, let me know. I would love to visit with fellow Portlanders and I desperately need a pound of Stumptown.
[September 24, 2005, at 01:04 PM]
Some very nice awards
The Resurrectory received two Portland Drammy awards at last night’s ceremony. We received an award for outstanding production design and one for outstanding sound design. John accepted his award for sound with a hysterical speech that had the audience in stitches. Georgia, Chris and Christoph accepted the production design award while the rest of us were caught up in long lines at the bar. It was a great time for all.
Of course, we must thank all of the artists who deserve recognition for the Resurrectory’s design including Jim Blashfield, kollodi and most especially Gabriel Liston.
[June 14, 2005, at 10:24 AM]
This weekend’s video shoot was an immense task for the staff and our volunteer audiences. Thanks to all of you who helped us capture the Portland Resurrectory on video during our 10 hour shoot. It is truly impressive to see the amount of work that the ensemble has put into this project. It was even more impressive to see the actors change a sizeable part of Saturday night’s live performance based on improvements found during the shoot.
One week remains for the Portland Resurrectory before we close this branch and move the facility to another city. I think we will all miss the time we have spent immersed in the world we created at the Portland Art Center, but we are also eager for a break and a long period of reflection.
If you haven’t yet experienced the Resurrectory, this is your last chance.
[June 13, 2005, at 12:21 AM]
Three Weeks Remain
If you haven’t been to the Resurrectory yet, we hope you’ll visit us soon. Keep in mind that crowds increase as the number of remaining performances decrease. Get ye soon to our parlour of death.
More press! There’s a lovely new review in the Mercury’s performance listings. You’ll have to scroll down a bit.
Thanks to Basil Childers, we also have some very fine new photos available in the Resurrectory gallery. They’re a little deceptive because we had to bring up the lights to capture the images. The Resurrectory is very dark, as it should be.
Finally, if you would like to invite a friend to the Resurrectory, we have a special new promo image that you may download and attach to an e-mail.
[June 3, 2005, at 12:40 PM]
We have redesigned the lobby. The lighting and layout is improved and guests to the Resurrectory are now given a brief overview of the facility and the history before entering.
We have also added new materials and media to the collections. Recorder Alex Reagan will also now provide oral transcriptions of his reports. Given his highly suspect handwriting, we feel this is probably the best way to preserve the data for future generations.
In the near future, we will provide walking tours of the Portland central eastside industrial district. The tours will include stops at all several points of interserction between Portland and Edinburgh, and a discussion of their combined histories. If you are interested in attending one of our afternoon walking tours, please contact us.
[May 23, 2005, at 01:00 AM]
Thanks to Victoria Blake at the Oregonian for writing a thoughtful and complimentary review of the Resurrectory in this week’s A&E.
[May 13, 2005, at 10:32 AM]
News from The Resurrectory
The Resurrectory entered its second week of operations with some remodeling and reconfiguration. We just can’t seem to stop playing with the facility, which is a good thing for our return visitors. They will have the opportunity to see new paintings, new stories and, soon, some new sound and light elements.
Here is the latest review from our friends at Willamette Week.
Also of note, the Portland Art Center is holding pre-performance dinners every Thursday night at Wild Abandon and Salvador Mollys. The dinners sound quite delicious and Resurrectory staff will be on hand to discuss what we did to bring the Resurrectory to life, er, death. For more information, contact Gavin Shettler at 503 239 5481.
[May 11, 2005, at 12:45 PM]
Word on the street is spreading.
The Resurrectory is already attracting many new visitiors, even as we settle into the facility and our work there. The Resurrectory is quite a rare place, and the press are writing some lovely things about it:
Here is a fine feature in the Portland Mercury.
You can also read about us in D.K. Row’s hot sheet in the Oregonian.
Finally, a very nice cover feature appeared in today’s Portland Tribune.
Inside the Resurrectory, we are having a wonderful time tinkering with the new bone saw and the surprise hit of the facility, a live core sample of the inquest that appears at the bottom of a bucket in the front yard.
Visit us soon!
[May 6, 2005, at 02:44 PM]
The Resurrectory is now open.
After many months of planning and development, Portland now has a new facility of death.
The Resurrectory opened its doors on May 4 to much revelry and reverence for our victims.
We cannot extend enough gratitude to all the people who helped us with many monumental installation tasks over the past few weeks. Special thanks goes to:
1. Our beloved movement director, Amanda, who flew out from New York to work on final details with the performers.
2. Kollodi, for her many sleepless nights covered in ash.
3. Roman, for flexibility in last-minute changes to the facility and for digging a pretty good hole.
4. Filemon, for a beautiful lobby display.
5. Gavin and his board of directors for helping us in so many ways, from hauling hay to cleaning floors.
6. Ryan, for the use of his beautiful camera.
7. Bernadette, for the lovely furnishings.
8. Andrew and Kristin, for their fine graphics.
9. Everyone else who has been there with us through this incredible process.
It is so very rewarding to see a vision so clearly articulated by so many creative people. We love you.
[May 5, 2005, at 02:28 PM]
Report from The Resurrectory
Four days are left until The Resurrectory opens its doors. I cannot believe all that can happen in 48 hours. Thanks to Gavin and the Portland Art Center van, we transported several large quantities of raw materials to the resurrectory on Saturday. On Sunday, we also brought in some lovely new furnishings and materials for staff.
Things really felt surreal for a moment when I approached the Liminal van parked downtown and saw Gabriel sitting in the passenger seat, whittling, while a cadaver lay on a slab behind him, faintly visible in the vehicle windows.
The Parametric Orchestra also moved in this weekend with much fanfare and even more wire and circuitry. Oh my, do they sound lovely.
And speaking of lovely things, the Tribune photographed Madeleine in uniform this evening. She stood next to the cadaver as it filled with images that Jim has been working away on in his studio. You’ll be able to see the photos next Friday.
[May 2, 2005, at 12:45 AM]
Tomorrow, Resurrectory staff will move into our new facility at the Portland Art Center. We’ve been very excited to start working in the space. Our carpenters Roman and Jeff have completed the main facility structures and Kollodi, Fil and Gabriel have been running around all over town acquiring supplies.
We’ve also had scads of help this week from Gavin and all the fine people at the Portland Art Center who have been preparing the space, and we would like to offer a big thanks to Ruth Ann at the New American Art Union for loaning us equipment.
Word is also starting to spread about the opening, which takes place in just under two weeks. Liminal’s annual fund mailing and Resurrectory postcards just hit the street. Look out for those as well as our new ads that start running in Willamette Week this Wednesday.
[April 23, 2005, at 10:04 PM]
The casting couch
We cast Christoph as the cadaver this weekend.
This week, Resurrectory staff are finanizing the murder scenarios for the inquest and constructing the 27’ stage and footbridge for installation in the Portland Art Center. We’re also excited to announce that artist David Abel has joined the project.
In other news, the media kits, which were enclosed in small coffins, were well received. One reporter said that she initially thought is was a threatening message, but soon realized it was just another strange gift from Liminal.
[April 11, 2005, at 11:10 PM]
It was another exciting week here at the Liminal HQ where we saw the arrival of many shrouds and coffins. We also had a successful Easter photoshoot at Lone Fir Cemetary in the rain.
Work on the operating theater took an interesting turn when Jim relayed that the woman from the belfry is going to deliver a cadaver as soon as she returns from the circus on the river.
The Resurrectory will open in six short weeks.
[March 28, 2005, at 02:52 AM]
We spent a good part of the production meeting last night discussing how we will maintain a regular supply of cadavers for the resurrectory’s operating theater. I think we have agreed upon a reliable solution.
There also seems to be enthusiam over the re-configured groundplan, which allows the cataloguer a better view of the inquest proceedings. Finally, we identified a more sanitary way of maintaining the ash dispensary, which generally pleases the staff.
We will see what a new week brings.
[March 22, 2005, at 08:36 AM]
Crime on our minds.
So far this week, we have re-committed six murders from our research. The lovely and talented Liminal movement director, Amanda, has helped us in this endeavor and we are rather pleased with the results. In other production news, debate is in the air about whether to use photography to document the crime scenes. Oh, how I love to throw a wrench or two into the last days of a new project...
I’ve just read a post on the Decemberists’ website that their musical gear fell into criminal hands mere hours before their St. Patrick’s Day show. This nefarious act reminds me of the time that no less than six costly lighting instruments were swept away from the Liminal basement storage space by petty thieves traveling through the tunnels that connect downtown buildings. Ah Portland, how dark you can be, even with all this sunlight.
[March 17, 2005, at 06:41 PM]
A new generation of liminalgroup.org!
Well, we labored and toiled for many months to bring you this site and we are very excited with the results. Our goal was to inform you of current events and give you access to years of archival material we’ve accumulated here at the Liminal house. We are especially indebted to our fine web designer, Chris Piuma. Yay!
We hope you enjoy visiting the site and would love to hear what you think of it. Feel free to provide comments and feedback via e-mail.
If you’re not on the Liminal mailing list, we also urge you to sign up by clicking on the link at the bottom of every page.
Finally, we’re deep into production of the Resurrectory. Look here for regular updates and information about the new show!
[March 16, 2005, at 10:39 AM]