Welcome to our blog! With our new work in development, “Truth, Revised Histories, Wishful Thinking, and Flat Out Lies” (working-title), John Jasperse Company has decided to try out something different. We are inviting you to play a key role in our development process. Hopefully we’ll both learn something along the way about art and how it gets made.
Here’s how it works. We have a series of Open Rehearsals in New York throughout the development of this work. Locations include BAX – Brooklyn Arts Exchange, BAAD! – The Bronx Academy of Art and Dance, Staten Island University, Topaz Arts in Queens and CPR – The Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn.
We were very happy to have had a two-week residency at Jacob’s Pillow in early October. Since then we’re back in New York and we’ll soon have the first of a series of Open Rehearsals where we’ll show segments of what we’re working on to get your take on what we’re doing.
This is as much about us learning something from your feedback as it is “educational outreach” in the traditional sense. So please feel free to be bold and really tell it as you see it. Diversity of opinion is what we’re looking for.
The piece will be presented in its final form as an evening-length work with a commissioned score by composer Hahn Rowe for live string quartet and electronics. Scenic and visual design is by John Jasperse, with lighting design by Jasperse in collaboration with Joe Levasseur. “Truth” will premiere in September 2009 in Dresden with the New York premiere at The Joyce Theater in the 2009-10 season.
“Truth” addresses both the properties and results of beliefs and belief systems and the processes involved in their construction, re-evaluation and development. In the first case, the work will examine the relative nature of truth, the powerful (and potentially dangerous) solace to be found in certainty in possessing concrete plans and plausible explanations, the rarity of such certainty occurring through the trajectory of life and the tools which one employs to deal with this lack. In the second case, the work will explore persuasion, how we make others believe in order that we might believe ourselves, pretending or the power of imagination in creating reality, the formation of myth, and the potential values and liabilities of skepticism. The work will consider both the potentially uncomfortable and often disconcerting inconsistencies that abound in the real that can at times catalyze one to reject it versus the relative neatness, clarity, and comfort that the false can sometimes afford us. The work will explore heresy, radical ideas, perceived delusional thoughts & behavior, and just plain nonsense as powerful tools, which can paradoxically hold us back and alternately incite transformational growth.
Two particularly relevant quotes by two American luminary humorists come to mind in relationship to these concerns: “Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.” – Mark Twain and “As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand.” – Josh Billings