EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS
A Record Album Interpretation
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In EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS, The Wooster Group channels the 1976 LP of the same name recorded by the Sisters of the Shaker Community in Sabbathday Lake, Maine, giving a new live rendering to their songs and finding inspiration for a series of dances.
EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS returns to an artistic practice that the Group has used throughout its history: working with record albums as source material for original productions, among them HULA (1981) and L.S.D. (…JUST THE HIGH POINTS…) (1984). The piece also expresses the Group’s long-standing interest in the Shakers, a millenarian, celibate, communitarian sect. In 1980, Elizabeth LeCompte, Kate Valk and other members of the company visited the Sabbathday Lake Shaker community and met with Sister R. Mildred Barker. Around that time, the company first began listening to the record album that forms the basis for this piece.
EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS
A RECORD ALBUM INTERPRETATION
With Cynthia Hedstrom, Elizabeth LeCompte, Frances McDormand, Bebe Miller, Suzzy Roche, and Max Bernstein (2014-16), Matthew Brown, Gareth Hobbs (2017), Modesto Flako Jimenez, Bobby McElver, Jamie Poskin, and Andrew Schneider
Director: Kate Valk
Set: Elizabeth LeCompte
Lighting: Jennifer Tipton & Ryan Seelig
Costumes: Enver Chakartash with Naomi Raddatz (2014-16) & Christine Stevenson (2014)
Sound: Bobby McElver, Max Bernstein (2014-2016) & Eric Sluyter (2017-)
Production Manager: Emily Rea (2014-2015), Bona Lee (2016-)
Stage Manager: Erin Mullin
Technical Directors: Bill Kennedy (2014-April 2015), Eric Dyer (May 2015-October 2016), Jacob Bigelow (2017-)
Assistant Director: Jamie Poskin & Matthew Dipple (2017-)
Assistant to the Director (2014): Eleanor Bishop
Special thanks to Jim Clayburgh, Lisa Townsend, Hailey Desjardins. Stools donated by Sawkille.
Photo by Paula Court.
2012 November-December: EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS rehearsals at The Performing Garage
2013 January, March 4-8, & April 4-10: EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS rehearsals at The Performing Garage
2013 April 11-12: EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS invited open rehearsals at The Performing Garage
2013 May 20-25: EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS rehearsals and invited open rehearsal (May 25) at The Performing Garage
2014 May 17-June 15: EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS performances at The Performing Garage
2015 January 21-February 1: EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS performances at REDCAT in Los, Angeles, California
2015 February 5-8: EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS performances at Z Space in San Francisco, California
2015 April 23-May 4: EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS performances at St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn
2015 May 28-31: EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS performances at Theatre Studio, deSingel, Antwerp, Belgium
2015 December 22-23: EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS performances at the Sound Live Tokyo festival, Spiral Hall, Tokyo, Japan. This engagement was supported by The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
2016 September 28-October 1: EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS performances at Centre Pompidou for Festival d’Automne à Paris, France. This engagement was support by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
2017 December 7-17: EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS performances at The Performing Garage