Dec 19, 2022

Experiments: cryptochrome

Text, music, and lyrics by Evan Silver aka Tiresias

A musical theatre collaboration with Tristan Allen

a black arrow pointing downward

cryptochrome is a ritual meditation and song cycle that invites audiences on a kaleidoscopic journey across the animal kingdom to reflect on how and why we voyage. Named after a protein believed to be responsible for the ability to navigate using the Earth’s magnetic field, the work explores forms of perception and intuition beyond the limited scope of the visible.

How does the Arctic tern travel three times the distance between Earth and the moon in its lifetime, without visual cues with which to navigate? How does the leatherback sea turtle voyage thousands of miles from home in the vast uncharted ocean, only to return to the beach where it was born? How does Odysseus find his Ithaca, and why does Penelope stay? cryptochrome utilizes a score of original text and music to meditate on the act of journeying itself.

A performer with their face painted white with a blue and yellow design, their body has a dark blue and black design

Evan Silver aka Tiresias is a hybrid writer, director, composer, performer, producer, and mythmaker in NYC. They have written and directed fifteen original theatre productions on three continents, including HYPERFANTASIA (Ars Nova, The Brick, The Tank, HERE Arts Center, Club Cumming, Super Secret Arts, Postmasters, etc.), Howl: An Odyssey (Edinburgh Fringe, CLF Art Cafe, University of Cambridge), and The Heron & the Fish (Agung Rai Museum of Art, Bali Purnati Center for the Arts).

Evan graduated from Brown University with a bachelor’s in writing for performance, and holds master’s degrees in devised theatre practice and classical reception from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and King’s College, Cambridge. Evan has also trained at Drama Centre London, the Yale School of Drama, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and with master topeng and wayang kulit artists in Bali. Evan is a Luce, Marshall, and Fulbright Scholar, as well as a 2023 MacDowell Fellow and Artist-in-Residence at Nancy Manocherian's the cell theatre.

Tristan Allen is a composer and puppeteer based in Brooklyn, NY. Tristan's work employs the narrative power of instrumental music and puppetry to create an imaginary world. With a background in piano, bass, electronic music, and marionette theater, Tristan applies an experimental mode of storytelling to create rich works of wordless fantasy. In addition to recorded output, Tristan has toured extensively across the globe and shared the stage with artists such as Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, and Marina Abramovic. Tristan’s ambitions to combine their music with puppetry is underway, beginning with a shadow puppet symphony named Tin Iso and the Dawn.

Experiments Play Reading Series


For the 23rd season of La MaMa Experiments we will focus on theatrical works in progress addressing mental health issues. No one is more familiar with the need to create greater access to mental healthcare than our New York audience, who come face to face with this crisis on a daily basis. After 3 years of a global pandemic, all of us are feeling the upsurge of anxiety and depression, but these trends have been on the rise long before Covid-19. The works this season shed light on important, personal stories and deal with this subject matter in many different and unique ways. From tongue in cheek comedies to absurdist tragedies, Experiments hopes to create a season that will destigmaify, enlighten and, yes, even entertain.

Special Event