precipice.jpg

IN DEVELOPMENT

PRECIPICE

Conceived and Designed by Susan Zeeman Rogers

Music by Rima Fand

Libretto by Karen Fisher

Direction by Mallory Catlett

PRECIPICE

Ana finds freedom in the forest, but as a child of the 1950’s her wild spirit is crushed and her voice is stolen by adults who disregard and punish her. Rather than marry a man who expects only beauty and docility, she finds her way to the precipice of her dream, and leaps. She wakes to find herself in a surreal wilderness in which she must fight to find her voice and power as a woman, and to create a world worth returning to.

Told as an object theatre/chamber opera, Precipice sets an intimate story against epic natural landscapes, created with hand-made paper dioramas and live feed video. This contemporary fairy tale has music by Rima Fand, libretto by Karen Fisher, design by Susan Zeeman Rogers and direction by Mallory Catlett. By drawing parallels between environmental and emotional damage, Precipice looks at how we are silenced and exiled, and at how we find our way back to connection, both with each other and the natural world.

Powered by flickr embed.


CREATORS

RIMA FAND (composer) is a Brooklyn-based composer, musician and vocalist with a passion for multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration. Rima is an inventor and devoted to that which is innovative, but is also strongly drawn to old traditions. She creates on an edge where the traditional meets the experimental.  Recent projects include NACL’s  Courage , a large-scale outdoor performance presented at Apple Pond Farm in Callicoon Center, NY in 2016 and Governors’ Island in 2017, a workshop production of  A Footnote In History , a rock band-infused exploration of the life of Sally Ride, presented in the 2017 ICE FACTORY festival,  Shakespeare’s Will , performed with NACL’s Tannis Kowalchuk at HERE in 2018,  Don Cristóbal, Billy-Club Man , a Lorca-inspired musical puppet play created in the HERE Artist’s Residency Program and produced at the Abrons Arts Center (2013), and Sarah Small’s  Tableau Vivant of the Delirium Constructions  (2011), in which she was composer and musical director for an ensemble of 120 voices. She is also currently music directing Leah Coloff’s  ThisTree , which will be premiered in the PROTOTYPE Festival in January 2019.  Especially captivated by the music of the Balkans and Middle East, as well as American folk traditions, Rima has composed music inspired by these traditions in the acclaimed string band Luminescent Orchestrii, which toured internationally for a decade, and more recently with Sherita, an acoustic quartet, and with Hydra, a women’s vocal trio. She also currently plays in Timbila, an innovative ensemble exploring the traditions of Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Rima is also a teaching artist who has worked for many years in NYC public schools, exploring story and poetry through music, and creating original musical/theatrical productions with students. She was a recipient of the Exploring the Metropolis Composers’ Residency for the year 2013-2014.  Photo by Sea G. Rhydr   https://www.rimafand.com

RIMA FAND (composer) is a Brooklyn-based composer, musician and vocalist with a passion for multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration. Rima is an inventor and devoted to that which is innovative, but is also strongly drawn to old traditions. She creates on an edge where the traditional meets the experimental.

Recent projects include NACL’s Courage, a large-scale outdoor performance presented at Apple Pond Farm in Callicoon Center, NY in 2016 and Governors’ Island in 2017, a workshop production of A Footnote In History, a rock band-infused exploration of the life of Sally Ride, presented in the 2017 ICE FACTORY festival, Shakespeare’s Will, performed with NACL’s Tannis Kowalchuk at HERE in 2018, Don Cristóbal, Billy-Club Man, a Lorca-inspired musical puppet play created in the HERE Artist’s Residency Program and produced at the Abrons Arts Center (2013), and Sarah Small’s Tableau Vivant of the Delirium Constructions (2011), in which she was composer and musical director for an ensemble of 120 voices. She is also currently music directing Leah Coloff’s ThisTree, which will be premiered in the PROTOTYPE Festival in January 2019.

Especially captivated by the music of the Balkans and Middle East, as well as American folk traditions, Rima has composed music inspired by these traditions in the acclaimed string band Luminescent Orchestrii, which toured internationally for a decade, and more recently with Sherita, an acoustic quartet, and with Hydra, a women’s vocal trio. She also currently plays in Timbila, an innovative ensemble exploring the traditions of Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Rima is also a teaching artist who has worked for many years in NYC public schools, exploring story and poetry through music, and creating original musical/theatrical productions with students. She was a recipient of the Exploring the Metropolis Composers’ Residency for the year 2013-2014.

Photo by Sea G. Rhydr

https://www.rimafand.com

KAREN FISHER (librettist) has spent her life exploring the cultural, physical, economic, intellectual and emotional edges of the American west. On both sides the descendant of pioneers, she graduated from UCSB in History, B.A.  cum laude . In 1990 she and her husband left secure teaching jobs to take up farming on a remote homestead in Idaho, and in 1998 they moved to a small island off the coast of Washington where they cleared forest, built a house, and sailed the northern coasts. \  During her years as a mother, arborist, horse trainer, and builder, she wrote her first novel.  A Sudden Country  (Random House, 2005) earned high praise and awards (PEN/Faulkner finalist, Washington State Book Award, MPBA best novel, VCU and Sherwood Anderson awards for debut fiction), and launched her career as a novelist (NEA recipient 2012) and writing instructor (privately and for Fishtrap).  During these same years, Karen also sang and performed with a vocal and world music ensemble. Mamatamba performed frequently at Zimfest and locally, and in following years, the music and writing informed and inspired each other. After her husband’s sudden death in 2009 and the collapse of her novel in progress in 2013, she bought a piano and taught herself to play. Music and writing together lit the way through this new deep gestation, and encouraged her in her efforts to complete ongoing projects, raise her children, and find a language adequate to her new experience.  She’s now teaching from her island home (coaching novel and memoir writers), singing, playing, writing (poetry, memoir, and fiction), and enjoying the process of moving her many creative endeavors forward through the ever-shifting fields of time, inspiration, and collaboration. A memoir,  In Reality , and a libretto for  Precipice  top the list.  Photo by Sea G. Rhydr   http://asuddencountry.com/index.html

KAREN FISHER (librettist) has spent her life exploring the cultural, physical, economic, intellectual and emotional edges of the American west. On both sides the descendant of pioneers, she graduated from UCSB in History, B.A. cum laude. In 1990 she and her husband left secure teaching jobs to take up farming on a remote homestead in Idaho, and in 1998 they moved to a small island off the coast of Washington where they cleared forest, built a house, and sailed the northern coasts. \

During her years as a mother, arborist, horse trainer, and builder, she wrote her first novel. A Sudden Country (Random House, 2005) earned high praise and awards (PEN/Faulkner finalist, Washington State Book Award, MPBA best novel, VCU and Sherwood Anderson awards for debut fiction), and launched her career as a novelist (NEA recipient 2012) and writing instructor (privately and for Fishtrap).

During these same years, Karen also sang and performed with a vocal and world music ensemble. Mamatamba performed frequently at Zimfest and locally, and in following years, the music and writing informed and inspired each other. After her husband’s sudden death in 2009 and the collapse of her novel in progress in 2013, she bought a piano and taught herself to play. Music and writing together lit the way through this new deep gestation, and encouraged her in her efforts to complete ongoing projects, raise her children, and find a language adequate to her new experience.

She’s now teaching from her island home (coaching novel and memoir writers), singing, playing, writing (poetry, memoir, and fiction), and enjoying the process of moving her many creative endeavors forward through the ever-shifting fields of time, inspiration, and collaboration. A memoir, In Reality, and a libretto for Precipice top the list.

Photo by Sea G. Rhydr

http://asuddencountry.com/index.html

SUSAN ZEEMAN ROGERS (creator, designer) is an award-winning visual artist, scenic and object designer based in NYC. In New York, Susan has worked with BAM Next Wave Festival ( Sleep ), New York Theater Workshop ( Nat Turner in Jerusalem ), The Prototype Festival/Beth Morrison Projects/HERE ( Thumbprint ), New Georges, Red Bull Theater, HERE, INTAR, Mint Theater, Susan Marshall and Co., MCC Theatre, Flea Theatre, Hook & Eye Theatre, Ice Factory, IRT, One-Eighth Theatre and Mabou Mines Artists Residency. She is an associate artist with Ripe Time and has collaborated with director Rachel Dickstein on numerous adaptations, including  Sleep, Septimus  and  Clarissa ,  Innocents ,  Betrothed  and  Fire Throws .  Regionally, Susan has designed for Los Angeles Opera, Yale Repertory Theater, Trinity Repertory Theatre., Shakespeare and Company, Annenberg Center for the Arts, Two River Theatre Company, Actors Shakespeare Project, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Opera Boston (the critically acclaimed  Nixon in China ), Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare Co., Curtis Opera, Opera North, Underground Railway Theatre, ART Institute, Contemporary American Theatre Co. and Moscow Art Theatre School.  Awards include a Drama League Nomination for Distinguished Production for  Septimus and Clarissa  (Ripe Time); 2018 Elliot Norton Award for Best Production for  Constellations  (Underground Railway Theatre); Best Design, First Irish Festival for  Is Life Worth Living  (Mint Theatre); 2010 Elliot Norton Outstanding Set Design Award for  Adding Machine, A Musical  (SpeakEasy Stage Co); 1997, 2008 and 2010 IRNE Outstanding Set Design Awards; Best Design, Opera Online for  The Pearl Fishers  (Opera Boston), HOLA and ACE Awards for  Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter  ( Repertorio Español) and the 2000-2002 NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Designers.  The USA Exhibit Committee has selected Sleep as a Featured Production Design for the Prague Quadrennial of World Scenography in June, 2019. Susan's design for  Septimus  and  Clarissa  was also selected for the USA Exhibit at the Prague Quadrennial in June, 2015. She was a 2014/2015 Audrey Resident Artist and is an Affiliated Artist with New Georges. Upcoming:  Little Women, Retold  at Merrimack Repertory Theatre,  Obasute , a new opera by Garrett Fisher for 2020 Prototype Festival/Beth Morrison Projects and  #feministodyssey  for Ripe Time.  Photo by Sea G. Rhydr  http://www.szrdesign.com

SUSAN ZEEMAN ROGERS (creator, designer) is an award-winning visual artist, scenic and object designer based in NYC. In New York, Susan has worked with BAM Next Wave Festival (Sleep), New York Theater Workshop (Nat Turner in Jerusalem), The Prototype Festival/Beth Morrison Projects/HERE (Thumbprint), New Georges, Red Bull Theater, HERE, INTAR, Mint Theater, Susan Marshall and Co., MCC Theatre, Flea Theatre, Hook & Eye Theatre, Ice Factory, IRT, One-Eighth Theatre and Mabou Mines Artists Residency. She is an associate artist with Ripe Time and has collaborated with director Rachel Dickstein on numerous adaptations, including Sleep, Septimus and Clarissa, Innocents, Betrothed and Fire Throws.

Regionally, Susan has designed for Los Angeles Opera, Yale Repertory Theater, Trinity Repertory Theatre., Shakespeare and Company, Annenberg Center for the Arts, Two River Theatre Company, Actors Shakespeare Project, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Opera Boston (the critically acclaimed Nixon in China), Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare Co., Curtis Opera, Opera North, Underground Railway Theatre, ART Institute, Contemporary American Theatre Co. and Moscow Art Theatre School.

Awards include a Drama League Nomination for Distinguished Production for Septimus and Clarissa (Ripe Time); 2018 Elliot Norton Award for Best Production for Constellations (Underground Railway Theatre); Best Design, First Irish Festival for Is Life Worth Living (Mint Theatre); 2010 Elliot Norton Outstanding Set Design Award for Adding Machine, A Musical (SpeakEasy Stage Co); 1997, 2008 and 2010 IRNE Outstanding Set Design Awards; Best Design, Opera Online for The Pearl Fishers (Opera Boston), HOLA and ACE Awards for Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter ( Repertorio Español) and the 2000-2002 NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Designers.

The USA Exhibit Committee has selected Sleep as a Featured Production Design for the Prague Quadrennial of World Scenography in June, 2019. Susan's design for Septimus and Clarissa was also selected for the USA Exhibit at the Prague Quadrennial in June, 2015. She was a 2014/2015 Audrey Resident Artist and is an Affiliated Artist with New Georges. Upcoming: Little Women, Retold at Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Obasute, a new opera by Garrett Fisher for 2020 Prototype Festival/Beth Morrison Projects and #feministodyssey for Ripe Time.

Photo by Sea G. Rhydr

http://www.szrdesign.com

 

PRESS

COMING SOON


Information

Duration 90' / no intermission

Commission Precipice is currently in development with American Opera Projects. Participating organizations that have helped to develop Precipice are New Georges and Paper River, LLC.

Premiere TBD

Roles (7) Ana (mezzo); Man 1 (baritone); Woman 1 (alto); Man 2 (bass); Woman 2 (soprano); Man 3 (tenor); Girl (child soprano, 8 yrs old)

Instrumentation 3 violins, cello, mandolin, piano, percussion

Publisher

Official website: