|"To Dream Alive"
is an evening of three new psycho-poetic theater pieces by Amy Guggenheim: "Psychic
Readings: An Eye on Two Worlds" , "Jack and Shirley" and "Amnesia."
In "Psychic Readings:
An Eye on Two Worlds," Madame Rosalie, an empathetic, ironic, edgy psychic,
uses her powers to lead the audience on a sensorial journey through a labyrinth
of the mind. She conjures up memories, possibilities and subliminal suggestions
to respond to the audience's questions about life. When she suddenly loses
her ability to communicate with 'the other world', two psychic spirits, the
flamboyant Olivia Pasquale and the quick-handed Petyar Kamyar, show up to guide
her in unfamiliar territory. Together they are able to bring Rosalie to a tiny
but extraordinary revelation, which enables her to advise the audience how
to envision the path to the future. The work is created and performed by Amy
Guggenheim and directed by Polina Klimovitskaya. Sound design is by Brian Hallas.
"Jack and Shirley"
is a concise, surreal, poetic work for two actors and video explores the need
for love and the inadequate ways people attempt to capture it, through
the violent, tender, sexual relationship between a man and a woman. The
piece is written and directed by Amy Guggenheim and performed by Frances
Marcus and James Brewster. Sound design is by Brian Hallas.
fantasy and memory in the struggle to create through a woman named Margaret
and her two grown twin sons. As Margaret loses her memory in the present, she
returns to her earlier life to find what she needs to move on. Imagistic, dark
and yet hopeful, "Amnesia" takes the audience on a journey from the
real to the imagined. The play is written by Amy Guggenheim and acted by Marla
Carlson, Robert Caruso and Meg Chang. Sound design is by Jody Elff.
Amy Guggenheim was a powerful,
brooding presence in her solo theater work, "In a Person is a City"
(La MaMa, 1999), a disquisition on the heart that was thinly disguised as a
murder mystery. She is a writer, performer and teacher whose solo work has been
presented in New York at La MaMa, The Dia Art Foundation, HERE, The Knitting
Factory, The Sculpture Center, among others, and in cities in the US, Canada
and Mexico with the support of The United States Information Agency, The Fulbright
Foundation, The American Embassy, The New York State Council on the Arts, and
others. She has performed with Ping Chong, Linda Mussman, Elaine Summers, Blondell
Cummings, among others. She has taught at Pratt Institute, Lincoln Center Institute,
New York University (ADP) and Movement Research as well as privately. She is
a Certified Kinetic Awareness Master Teacher and has an MA from NYU. Her solo
text, "The Virgin of Want," was published in the Spring '94 issue
of American Letters and Commentary. Her solo multimedia piece "JJ: Another
Strange Bedfellow (?)" was most recently presented at the "Sensitive
Skin Festival" in Nottingham, England. She will be in residence at the
Banff Center in Alberta, Canada in early 2003.
"In a very short time,
Amy Guggenheim has led the audience where she wants them. The audience feels
the coldness of the city, the trembling of the perpetuators and victim alike,
suffering in the concrete canyons of the high-rises, the hypocrisy of café
Guggenheim describes this devilish circle in short, everyday
scenes in such a compelling way that one can almost feel the tremors of the
woman. It takes about half an hour. Then the knife flashes again. The identity
crisis becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. A corpse is hardly necessary. Compact.
-Hannover Times, Germany, 1998
"A haunting multimedia work." Montclair Times, 1998
"Objects in the Mirror
Are Closer Than They Appear" is about-facing the fact that each individual
is ultimately responsible for the creation of his or her own life. Her work
deals with how our isolated, fragmented selves discover ways to exist both
alone and with others, ultimately leading to freedom and joy."
-Nancy David, The Scene, Rochester, N.Y. 1995
depicts the domestic but the content is universal. Love and death, laughter
and sorrow, boredom and anger; all are called up. The classic existential
world, but she never let's go of her optimism and joi de vivre. We can abandon
our skepticism and share her adventurous imagination."
have charm; a bacchanalian dance over a torn list of chores, the ax murder of
an eggplant, and a widow'' prayer vigil with ands encased in her husband'' old
-Francine Russo, The Village Voice, NYC 1989
"Although it resembles
theater in its cadence and feel, it would be most accurate to call it 'performance'
Guggenheim has juxtaposed widely different sequences and events with a sure-handed
and sensitive timing that creates an odd atmosphere of confident ambiguity.
A beguiling web of cross-references builds a texture of fascinating richness."
-George Russell, Independent Critic, NYC 1988
This production was developed
with support from the Mellon Fund, the Puffin Foundation, and Pratt Institute.