Monday, 3 July 2017

Merkin Dramaturgy: The Red Raven @ Edfringe 2017

A Retrospective Study

03/08/17, 04/08/17, 05/08/17, 06/08/17, 09/08/17, 10/08/17, 11/08/17, 12/08/17, 13/08/17, 16/08/17, 17/08/17, 18/08/17, 19/08/17, 20/08/17, 23/08/17, 24/08/17, 25/08/17, 26/08/17,

Time: 1:00AM
60 Mins
Location: Laughing Horse @the City Cafe

Freaks, undergarments and curiosities! A panorama of the strange, the bizarre and the undressed! See the human blockhead drive a nail deep into his head! Witness the electric girl withstand over 500,000 volts of electricity! 

Become entranced by the bizarre burlesque! It's all real, it's all live and it's all inside...your trousers.

From America’s wild west to the nether regions in between comes a collaboration worth it’s weight in old balls! 

Eugene Oregon’s very own Josephine D’Love of The Red Raven Follies joins forces with Jasper Freedom of Boxcar Conception, Lydia Wilts of The Birthday Party Show! & Shea Freelove of The Circus Emporium Roadshow to bring you …


What was the inspiration for this performance?

The inspiration for this performance was to
take the platform of the traditional variety show format and use it to showcase what semi-regular Americans are actually like and how we use the stage and humor to escape reality, which is quite embarrassing and awful these days for those of us who don’t have a taste for reality TV or exploitation.

Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas?

 Absolutely! Especially within the traditional variety show format! Within it, several perspectives can be expressed within an attention-retaining amount of time. It can run the gamut of whimsical, funny, classic, intense, sexy, all the way back around to fun. 

What we each do is an inherent rebellion and buck to a socio-political structure that tells us everyday what a proper human should be doing with their time and energy.

How did you become interested in making performance?

 I’ve been making imaginary variety shows
since I was a young girl with dolls and stuffed animals. Making human performance was a natural progression and extension of my artist brain as I explored various mediums of expression. 

As an artist, uncharted territory and new challenges are an obsessive must! What started out as a hobby became a vehicle for local performance artists in my area to communicate what is important to them with others by way of often very bizarrely beautiful acts.

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?

 I am a strong believer in artistic freedom and individuation, therefore I hand picked performers who I trust will bring to the table what is best for the show. I created the theme, outline, and storyline thread, then allowed those involved to bring what they have chosen.  
 Does the show fit with your usual productions?

 Oh, yes. Perfectly!  It has a complete spectrum of what I consider to be what a great show embodies…grace, beauty, potentially offensive, unexpected, visceral, shocking, thoughtful, humorous, exciting, fun!

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

My greatest hope is that the audience will have as diverse of an experience as is the audience itself. 

I hope they will at times be turned on, confused, off put, shocked, conflicted,
pleasantly surprised, nauseous, titillated, Ah-ha!ed, validated, engaged, connected, and that they will walk away with a memory never to be forgotten, something to tell friends and strangers alike.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

 Visual arts, a variety of performers with a variety of acts, a variety of types of acts, a concept that is ridiculous, strange, educational, and relatable in our current times. The world is in a bizarre state of affairs. What better way to cope than to satirize it being that we are from the laughing stock of it?

The Great Merkin Show brings vaudevillians, variety artists, music, and burlesque performers from across the globe together for a collaborative ensemble production. 

Gasp in astonishment at the variety of new and returning players every night as they bring you the authentic, traveling sideshow experience with a whole lotta sass, class, and ass!

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