Freely adapted by Ms. Skinner and Mr. Herbst, from Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass," ALICE: END OF DAZE follows nine-year-old Alice, portrayed by an actress in her sixties, as she escapes into a fantastic, surreal wonderland where she meets some familiar -- and occasionally sinister -- humans and puppet characters such as Humpty Dumpty, Tweedledumb, and Tweedledee.
ALICE: END OF DAZE explores the nature of time, visual perception and consciousness. Alice finds herself in a fast-paced world, venturing into places where past, present and future seemingly coexist. She encounters ancient Mayan beliefs under attack by Spanish missionaries, modern-day creationism, global warming theories, end-of-days scenarios, and a 19th-century photo shoot that turns into a harrowing wild-west firing squad taking aim directly at her head.
ALICE: END OF DAZE is not appropriate for young children.
The production design is partly inspired by Federico Fellini's film, "The Clowns." Other influences are the early age of photography, optical toys, Eadweard Muybridge (inventor of fast shutter speeds), and writings on perception of time and motion by famed neurologist Oliver Sacks ("Awakenings").
The cast, lead by Mari Andrejco as Alice, includes Sara Bragdon, Emma Dweck, Edward Herbst, WindRose Morris and Chang-Jin Lee. The production has masks and puppets designed by WindRose Morris, scenic design by Obie Award-winner Jun Maeda, lighting by Bessie- and Drama Desk-winner Paul Clay (RENT) and video by Mr. Clay and Nico Herbst.
Director Beth Skinner has received numerous grants from the NEA, Opera-Musical Theater and Multidisciplinary Programs, NY State Council on the Arts, and Massachusetts Cultural Council, collaborating with artists from Japan, China, Korea, Indonesia Romania, Hungary and Russia. She is a certified teacher of Skinner Releasing Technique, originated by her aunt, Joan Skinner. She has studied and performed mask-dance theater in Indonesia with I Nyoman Kakul and other masters, and researched traditional and experimental performance practice, sponsored by the Indonesian Dance Academy in Bali.
Composer-singer Edward Herbst has performed his solo vocal improvisations in Montreal (Traditions Musicales du Monde), Switzerland (Theatre Grutli, Geneva), and Mexico (Festival Cervantino). He was commissioned by Sardono Kusumo's experimental Indonesian dance-theater company to collaborate on Maha Buta as well as Sardono's film, "The Sorceress of Dirah." His book, "Voices in Bali: Energies and Perceptions in Vocal Music and Dance Theater," was published by Wesleyan University Press.
Jun Maeda, received an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Set Design in 1981 and has worked with Andrei Serban, Joseph Chaiken, John Jesurun, Ellen Stewart, and among others, The Talking Band. Paul Clay designed the set for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical RENT, and has done design work for such noted artists and companies as Mabou Mines, Tom Noonan and David Dorfman.
ALICE: END OF DAZE developed out of Triple Shadow's collaborative residencies with Hungarian and Romanian artists in Chiapas, Mexico and at the Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico. This three-year Time and Shadow Project was an exploratory partnership with Artus/Company Gabor Goda and Toaca, directed by Nona Ciobanu, which led to collaborative research and workshops. Each company has been developing its own individual production based on the collective intercultural explorations, and ALICE: END OF DAZE is the result of Triple Shadow's distinct creative work.
Previously under the company name Thunder Bay, Triple Shadow has presented SEA CHANGE, ARCTIC CIRCLE and ENCIRCLING TIDES at La MaMa. They have performed at the Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre in Egypt, at Festival Pantelleria, Italy, in Chiapas, Mexico and Budapest, Hungary.
ALICE: END OF DAZE was work-shopped last October at StageWorks/Hudson in upstate New York.