Photo by Ian Douglas

World Premiere


October 25 - Nov 10, 2012

Big Dance Theater & Sibyl Kempson
Ich, Kürbisgeist

A harsh, quasi-medieval locale facing destruction is populated by a community speaking a rigorous, specific, and completely invented language. Five absurdly fearful and doomed characters sing, dance,and harvest pumpkin seeds. Every word is semi-recognizable: an amalgam of English, Swedish, German – and Sid Ceasar. The language is as tough and unforgiving as the windswept, uncultivated landscape. At its heart Ich, Kürbisgeist is an olde-tyme agricultural vengeance play installed in a crypt-like basement for just 30 people a night.

“It’s hard to do justice to the freewheeling brilliance of Big Dance Theater’s combination of dance, theater, video and idiosyncratic imagination; suffice it to say you should see the work of Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar whenever possible.” – The New York Times

Big Dance Theater is an OBIE and Bessie award winning company known for its inspired use of dance, music, text and visual design to expand and refract literary texts, weaving disparate sources and forms into seamless theatrical wholes. Under the co-direction of Annie-B Parson & Paul Lazar, BDT has created 15 dance/theater works, generating each piece over months of collaboration with a long-standing, ever-evolving group of actors, dancers, composers and designers.


Sibyl Kempson (at PS122: Crime or Emergency)
“… one of the most radical, transgressive, and hilarious playwright/performers out there. She has a singular theatrical imagination, a searing stage presence, a ferocious intellect …” – BOMB Magazine


“Anarchic talent …” “… a playwright of terrifying gifts … frighteningly in command of devastating linguistic weapons” – Time Out New York

The Chocolate Factory is Long Island City based incubator for new developments in experimental performance. The work of founding artists Brian Rogers & Sheila Lewandowski emphasizes collaboration combining movement, music, video and text to devise a means of storytelling that is immediate, collage-like, highly visual, and dependent on new technologies. These curatorial values tend to lead to work that is not easily categorized and requires new methods, more time, and a new kind of audience.


“It feels a little bit like the first New York I knew in the ’70s and ’80s. Not in a retro way at all, but art and residence and commerce were in a more balanced relationship than they are now. It’s not a reference to that time, just a little place where that is occurring again.” – Tere O’Connor, in a New York Times profile of the Chocolate Factory


The Chocolate Factory is located in Long Island City, at the first stop on both the 7 and G trains into Queens. L.I.C. is a waterfront neighborhood which in recent years has become known for its thriving arts community, and has among the highest concentration of art galleries, art institutions (among them MOMA’s PS1, the Institute of the Moving Image, Socrates Sculpture Park, Isamu Noguchi Museum) and studio space of any neighborhood in New York City.


Director Paul Lazar
Co-director / choreographer Annie-B Parson
Writer Sibyl Kempson
Performers Tymberly Canale, Eric Dyer, Molly Hickok, Paul Lazar, Kourtney Rutherford
Set Joanne Howard
Video Josh Higgason, Karinne Keithley, Jeff Larson
Music Karinne Keithley, Ben Williams
Lights Joe Levasseur
Sound Jamie McElhinney
Costumes Suzanne Bocanegra
Production Manager Brendan Regimbal
Produced by Aaron Rosenblum

Ich, Kürbisgeist was made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional support was provided by the Starry Night Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New York Theater Program, the Distracted Globe Foundation and King’s Fountain. Production design support was provided by The Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund, a program of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York). General operating support was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Ich, Kürbisgeist was developed, in part, through generous space grants from the Abron Arts Center’s AIRspace residency program, and the Process Space Residency at Building 110: LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island.

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