Sunday, March 31, 2013

Abigail Washburn Post-Americal Girl @ Joe's Pub 3/29/13

I didn't really look at the listing, so I had no idea what it was other than Abigail Washburn.  It was a play with a lot of music.  It was stellar.  I loved it.  It was so well done.  They just started rehearsing a few days before, and I couldn't really tell.  It was also nice to see how Abigail came to an artist singing chinese and playing banjo.  I loved that they had a guezheng and an asian percussionist. 

I also liked learning about some of the cultural differences in China.  The whole thing was wonderful.
We are excited to announce Abigail Washburn will debut her first theatrical work, Post-American Girl, at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater March 28 – 30 as part of New York Voices, the venue’s popular commission series designed to help musicians make the leap from songwriting and performance to theatrical production. Washburn’s new stage piece is about an American girl coming-of-age in a swiftly changing global order. It features folk arts of China and Appalachia in shadow puppetry, sacred harp song, traditional music as well as new compositions.

Post-American Girl, written by and starring Washburn, draws from her 17-year relationship with China and addresses themes of expanding identity, cultural relativism, pilgrimage, today’s shifting world order, the universal appeal of music and opening the heart big enough to fold it all in. The piece explores how a contemporary young American woman brings her conflicted feelings and simultaneous love of a changing China together with similar conflicted feelings and love of her own country’s culture. The production will include Chinese Theatre Works’ Kuang Yu Fong (founder and Master Vocalist); Stephen Kaplin (Puppeteer & Set Design); composer, violinist and violist Jeremy Kittel; Chinese percussion master Tian Gang; cellist Tristan Clarridge and Guzheng master Wang Jungling. Post-Amerian Girl will be directed by Meiyin Wang, Associate Artistic Producer of The Public’s Under The Radar.

“I started going back and forth between China and America in 1996 and have hoped for a chance to dive headlong into a fuller expression of this journey and the lessons learned,” said Washburn. “My artistry is expanding inexplicably because of New York Voices. Joe’s Pub and The Public have created an opportunity to expand my artistic vision by freeing me up to think unabashedly about ways to merge my musical and personal journey with theatrical performance.”
To view behind-the-scenes photos from the making of Post-American Girl, click here.

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