NIGHTMARES: A DEMONSTRATION OF THE SUBLIME
“NIGHTMARES” situates itself between terror and comedy (the sublime), beneath the gaze of Henry Fuseli’s iconic painting and in the midst of an enveloping soundscape to plumb the extremities of our contemporary condition and posit the question: are we still capable of being overwhelmed?
Beginning at the birth of the modern sublime—the summer of 1816, when literary heavyweights Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and John Polidori convened on Lake Geneva to create their literary shapeshifters, namely Frankenstein’s Monster and the Vampyr—the performance takes on the overwhelming anxiety of confronting nature and ourselves in the 21st century, an era that seemingly reaches for zeros.
Having toured throughout the United States in 2013—from Brooklyn to Lawrence, KS to Albuquerque to Los Angeles back to Brooklyn and on to New Orleans—the show is recast in each locale under the helm of creators Adam R. Burnett and Jud Knudsen. To date there have been over 75 artists involved in the national tour.
The audience experiences the show as an immersive performance taking hold of all senses—from the wafts of growing sod installed on stage as a playing area to the interactive whiskey shots taken throughout to the beer and face paint swathed over performers: it is an experiential event that changes each time the production is mounted due to the ever-rotating company of disparate artists involved.
It’s also very funny.
[Additional collaborators on this project included CS Luxem, Casey Mraz, Geraldo Mercado, Caitlin Bebb, Arla Berman, Brady Blevins, Theresa Buchheister, Lara Thomas Ducey, Marlowe Holden, Catrin Lloyd-Bollard, Ann Sitzman, Curry Whitmire, Christy Artzer, Manda Barker, Henry Bial, Bianca Jimenez, Scott Knowles, Aden Lindholm, Hanan Shoubaki, Ann Sitzman, Diadra Smith, Val Smith, Ashton Wilken, Laurie Winkel, Zechariah Williams, Amy Bourque, Diana Delgado, Kevin Elder, Joanna Furgal, Donna Jewell, Amanda Machon, Drew Morrison, Erin Phillips Mraz, Travis Sweatte, Sasha Ali, Jordy Altman, Jenna Bleecker, Dale Buchheister, Mark Cosby, Ryan Klamen, Erin Phillips Mraz, Andi Porter, Meg Saricks, Courtney Schweitzer, Dale Buchheister, Georgina Escobar, Edward Freeman, Jean Goto, Alex Haynes, Michael Karp, Erin Mallon, Rachael Margolies, Sarah Matusek, Monique Moses, Taylor Riccio, Kate Schroeder, Kikuko Tanaka, Mari Yamamoto, Abigail Blueher, Courtney Curandera, Steve Ducey, Philip Oros]