Jefe's House

Tag: shiva3 productions

Don’t Be Alarmed

by on Aug.18, 2013, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

A sneak peek at BONEYARDS’ unique setting in the coal cellar of a 119-year-old storefront synagogue in South Philly.

[music: "Requiem for a Vampire" by Matt Fink.]

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...

There’s a Litte Taphophile in All of Us

by on Aug.15, 2013, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Very limited seating
$10 tix onsale now

Press Contact:
info@shiva3.com

8/1/13 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Philadelphia, PA – Shiva3 is proud to announce the world premiere of Jeffrey Stanley’s solo show BONEYARDS in the 2013 Philly Fringe this September. The 80-minute show will be performed in the dark, dank coal cellar of the century-old storefront Shivtei Yeshuron Ezras-Israel Synagogue, also known as “the little shul” (part of the June 2013 Hidden City Festival) at 2015 South 4th Street in South Philadelphia for 6 performances. The 7th and final show will take place outdoors at historic Laurel Hill Cemetery at 3822 Ridge Avenue.Stanley’s solo show is a followup to his 2011 Fringe hit BEAUTIFUL ZION: A BOOK OF THE DEAD, and began as a workshop while he was a 2011-12 artist-in-residence at Plays & Players Theatre. Stanley is a performing arts faculty at New York University Tisch School of the Arts and at Drexel University Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. He is also blogs about religion for the Washington Post.

About the Show
A funeral for the living. A coming-of-age embalming. A suicidal decapitation by coal train. A cross-dressing hillbilly named Doodlebug. This metatheatrical, taphophilic, true-to-life monologue resurrects and converses with the cadaverous–from Philly’s Laurel Hill Cemetery to a British colonial era graveyard in India to ancient Greek tomb worshippers.Is there a meaning to the universe? Is the spirit world speaking to you right now through this press release? If so it should be testable, no? Thrill as Stanley points to a tombstone and researches the forgotten dead beneath it, forming connections with the deceased who rise to the surface halfway around the world in a Kolkata graveyard, and in his own Appalachian family. Shriek and shimmy as Stanley worships the dead in song. Be amazed as a live seance yields messages for audience members. Psychism? Telepathy? Subconscious ideomotor impulses? Watch, decide, leave smiling, healed and redeemed.

BONEYARDS. There’s a little taphophile in all of us.

Two Unique Locations
Similar to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City, Shivtei Yeshuron Ezras-Israel is an historic, century-old synagogue and hidden architectural gem in South Philly on 4th Street near Snyder Avenue. Audience members are invited to come 30 minutes early to wander the 3 story building before descending into the dark, dank coal cellar for Stanley’s macabre performance. Due to space constraints seating is limited to 20. The 7th and final performance will be held outdoors at the historic Laurel Hill Cemetery, the main inspiration for the show.

About Writer-Performer Jeffrey Stanley
His play Tesla’s Letters (Samuel French, 2000) premiered to rave reviews Off Broadway in 1999 and went on to national and international productions including the Edinburgh Fringe and most recently a Chicago premiere. Other plays include the 2003 metaphysical comedy Medicine, Man commissioned by the Mill Mountain Theatre in Virginia and most recently produced at Theatre Three Dallas, and Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead which premiered in the 2011 Philly Fringe. In the 2012 Philly Fringe he produced Bidisha Dasgupta’s classical Indian and modern dance show Einstein/Tagore: Seashore of Endless Worlds. Stanley is a past president of the board of directors of the New York Neo-Futurists experimental theatre ensemble, and a past board secretary at Plays & Players.  He has been a resident of prestigious artists’ colony Yaddo, a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College, and a guest lecturer at the Imaginary Academy summer theatre and film workshop in Croatia sponsored by the Soros Foundation. He has appeared as a guest writer in The New York Times, New York Press and Time Out New York, and he was an editorial advisor to Boston University’s Center for Millennial Studies’ book on apocalypse movements The End That Does (Equinox Books, 2006). Stanley holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch and a BFA from Tisch in Film & Television.

Listings Information
What: BONEYARDS

When (note there are TWO LOCATIONS):
Shivtei Yeshuron-Ezras Israel
Sun 9/8/13 2pm matinee
Tue 9/10/13 8pm
Wed 9/11/13 8pm
Thu 9/12/13 8pm
Sun 9/15/13 2pm matinee
Tue 9/17/13 8pm
Doors open 30 minutes early to allow the audience time to wander the 3 floors of this century-old storefront synagogue before descending to the cellar.

Laurel Hill Cemetery
Wed 9/18/13 6:30pm
(rain date 9/19/13 6:30pm)

Tickets: $10, purchased only in advance through the Fringe Festival website, http://fringearts.ticketleap.com/boneyards. No tickets will be sold in person at the door.

 

Festival Information
The 2013 Philly Fringe will take place September 5-September 22, 2013. Tickets prices range from free to $30, and can be purchased online at http://www.fringearts.com. The Festival Guide will be available the first week of August, and can be either downloaded as a PDF or picked up in hard copy at any Festival venue as well as at key “Hot Spots” (to be announced online in July) throughout the city. The Philly Fringe was founded in 1997. Today it serves as a collective home for artists bringing their work to audiences in every conceivable form–in traditional and untraditional venues, using new artistic forms and established ones.

###
Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , , more...

Your Own Personal Charon

by on Aug.02, 2013, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Boneyards GUIDE AD 2

 

Press Contact:
info@shiva3.com

8/1/13 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Philadelphia, PA – Shiva3 is proud to announce the world premiere of Jeffrey Stanley’s solo show BONEYARDS in the 2013 Philly Fringe this September. The 80-minute show will be performed in the dark, dank coal cellar of the century-old storefront Shivtei Yeshuron Ezras-Israel Synagogue, also known as “the little shul” (part of the June 2013 Hidden City Festival) at 2015 South 4th Street in South Philadelphia for 6 performances. The 7th and final show will take place outdoors at historic Laurel Hill Cemetery at 3822 Ridge Avenue.

Stanley’s solo show is a followup to his 2011 Fringe hit BEAUTIFUL ZION: A BOOK OF THE DEAD, and began as a workshop while he was a 2011-12 artist-in-residence at Plays & Players Theatre. Stanley is a performing arts faculty at New York University Tisch School of the Arts and at Drexel University Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. He  also writes first-person religion essays  for the Washington Post.

About the Show
A funeral for the living. A coming-of-age embalming. A suicidal decapitation by coal train. A cross-dressing hillbilly named Doodlebug. This metatheatrical, taphophilic, true-to-life monologue resurrects and converses with the cadaverous–from Philly’s Laurel Hill Cemetery to a British colonial era graveyard in India to ancient Greek tomb worshippers.

Is there a meaning to the universe? Is the spirit world speaking to you right now through this press release? If so it should be testable, no? Thrill as Stanley points to a tombstone and researches the forgotten dead beneath it, forming connections with the deceased who rise to the surface halfway around the world in a Kolkata graveyard, and in his own Appalachian family. Shriek and shimmy as Stanley worships the dead in song. Be amazed as a live seance yields messages for audience members. Psychism? Telepathy? Subconscious ideomotor impulses? Watch, decide, leave smiling, healed and redeemed.

BONEYARDS. There’s a little taphophile in all of us.

Two Unique Locations
Similar to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City, Shivtei Yeshuron Ezras-Israel is an historic, century-old synagogue and hidden architectural gem in South Philly on 4th Street near Snyder Avenue. Audience members are invited to come 30 minutes early to wander the 3 story building before descending into the dark, dank coal cellar for Stanley’s macabre performance. Due to space constraints seating is limited to 20. The 7th and final performance will be held outdoors at the historic Laurel Hill Cemetery, the main inspiration for the show.

About Writer-Performer Jeffrey Stanley
His play Tesla’s Letters (Samuel French, 2000) premiered to rave reviews Off Broadway in 1999 and went on to national and international productions including the Edinburgh Fringe and most recently a Chicago premiere. Other plays include the 2003 metaphysical comedy Medicine, Man commissioned by the Mill Mountain Theatre in Virginia and most recently produced at Theatre Three Dallas, and Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead which premiered in the 2011 Philly Fringe. In the 2012 Philly Fringe he produced Bidisha Dasgupta’s classical Indian and modern dance show Einstein/Tagore: Seashore of Endless Worlds. Stanley is a past president of the board of directors of the New York Neo-Futurists experimental theatre ensemble, and a past board secretary at Plays & Players.  He has been a resident of prestigious artists’ colony Yaddo, a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College, and a guest lecturer at the Imaginary Academy summer theatre and film workshop in Croatia sponsored by the Soros Foundation. He has appeared as a guest writer in The New York Times, New York Press and Time Out New York, and he was an editorial advisor to Boston University’s Center for Millennial Studies’ book on apocalypse movements The End That Does (Equinox Books, 2006). Stanley holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch and a BFA from Tisch in Film & Television.

Listings Information
What: BONEYARDS

When (note there are TWO LOCATIONS):
Shivtei Yeshuron-Ezras Israel
Sun 9/8/13 2pm matinee
Tue 9/10/13 8pm
Wed 9/11/13 8pm
Thu 9/12/13 8pm
Sun 9/15/13 2pm matinee
Tue 9/17/13 8pm
Doors open 30 minutes early to allow the audience time to wander the 3 floors of this century-old storefront synagogue before descending to the cellar.

Laurel Hill Cemetery
Wed 9/18/13 6:30pm
(rain date 9/19/13 6:30pm)

Tickets: $10, purchased only in advance through the Fringe Festival website, http://fringearts.ticketleap.com/boneyards. No tickets will be sold in person at the door.

Festival Information
The 2013 Philly Fringe will take place September 5-September 22, 2013. Tickets prices range from free to $30, and can be purchased online at http://www.fringearts.com. The Festival Guide will be available the first week of August, and can be either downloaded as a PDF or picked up in hard copy at any Festival venue as well as at key “Hot Spots” (to be announced online in July) throughout the city. The Philly Fringe was founded in 1997. Today it serves as a collective home for artists bringing their work to audiences in every conceivable form–in traditional and untraditional venues, using new artistic forms and established ones.

###
Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , , more...

There’s a little taphophile in all of us

by on Jul.15, 2013, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Boneyards GUIDE AD 2

Press Contact:

6/25/13 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Philadelphia, PA – Shiva3 is proud to announce the world premiere of Jeffrey Stanley’s solo show BONEYARDS in the 2013 Philly Fringe this September. The 60-minute show will be performed in the dark, dank coal cellar of the century-old storefront Shivtei Yeshuron Ezras-Israel Synagogue, also known as “the little shul” (currently part of the June 2013 Hidden City Festival) at 2015 South 4th Street in South Philly near Snyder Avenue for 6 performances. The 7th and final show will take place outdoors at Laurel Hill Cemetery at 3822 Ridge Avenue. Stanley’s solo show is a followup to his 2011 Fringe hit BEAUTIFUL ZION: A BOOK OF THE DEAD, and began as a workshop production while he was a 2011-12 artist-in-residence at Plays & Players Theatre. Stanley is a performing arts faculty at New York University Tisch School of the Arts and at Drexel University Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. He is also a religion blogger for the Washington Post.

About the Show
A funeral for the living. A coming-of-age embalming. A suicidal decapitation by coal train. A cross-dressing hillbilly named Doodlebug. This metatheatrical, taphophilic, true-to-life monologue resurrects and converses with the cadaverous — from Philly’s Laurel Hill Cemetery to a British colonial era graveyard in India to ancient Greek tomb worshippers. Is there a meaning to the universe? Is the spirit world speaking to you right now through this press release? If so it should be testable, no? Thrill as Stanley points to a tombstone and researches the forgotten dead beneath it, forming connections with the deceased who rise to the surface halfway around the world in a Kolkata graveyard, and in his own Appalachian family. Shriek and shimmy as Stanley worships the dead in song. Be amazed as a live seance yields messages for audience members. Psychism? Telepathy? Subconscious ideomotor impulses? Watch, decide, leave smiling, healed and redeemed.

BONEYARDS. There’s a little taphophile in all of us.

Two Unique Locations
Similar to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City, Shivtei Yeshuron Ezras-Israel is an historic, century-old synagogue and hidden architectural gem in South Philly on 4th Street near Snyder Avenue. Audience members are invited to come 30 minutes early to wander the 3 story building before descending into the dark, dank coal cellar for Stanley’s macabre performance. Due to space constraints seating is limited to 20. The 7th and final performance will be held outdoors at the historic Laurel Hill Cemetery, the main inspiration for the show.

About Writer-Performer Jeffrey Stanley
Jeffrey Stanley’s play Tesla’s Letters (Samuel French, 2000) premiered to rave reviews Off Broadway in 1999 and went on to national and international productions including the Edinburgh Fringe and most recently a Chicago premiere. He is a regular religion blogger for the Washington Post, and a performing arts faculty at both New York University Tisch School of the Arts and at Drexel University. Other plays include the 2003 Medicine, Man commissioned by the Mill Mountain Theatre in Virginia and most recently produced at Theatre Three Dallas, and Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead which premiered in the 2011 Philly Fringe. In the 2012 Philly Fringe he produced Bidisha Dasgupta’s classical Indian and modern dance show Einstein/Tagore: Seashore of Endless Worlds. He was a 2011-12 PDC artist-in-residence at Plays & Players Theatre. Stanley is a past president of the board of directors of the New York Neo-Futurists experimental theatre ensemble. He has been a resident of prestigious artists’ colony Yaddo, a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College, and a guest lecturer at the Imaginary Academy summer theatre and film workshop in Croatia sponsored by the Soros Foundation. He has appeared as a guest writer in The New York Times, New York Press and Time Out New York, and he was an editorial adviser to Boston University’s Center for Millennial Studies’ book on apocalypse movements The End That Does (Equinox Books, 2006). Stanley holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch and a BFA from Tisch in Film & Television.

Listings Information
What: BONEYARDS

When (note there are TWO LOCATIONS):

Shivtei Yeshuron-Ezras Israel
Sun 9/8/13 2pm matinee
Tue 9/10/13 8pm
Wed 9/11/13 8pm
Thu 9/12/13 8pm
Sun 9/15/13 2pm matinee
Tue 9/17/13 8pm
Doors open 30 minutes early to allow the audience time to wander the 3 floors of this century-old storefront synagogue before descending to the cellar.

Laurel Hill Cemetery
Wed 9/18/13 6:30pm
(rain date 9/19/13 6:30pm)Tickets: $10, purchased only in advance through the Fringe Festival website, http://www.fringearts.com. No tickets will be sold in person at the door.

Festival Information
The 2013 Philly Fringe will take place September 5-September 22, 2013. Tickets prices range from free to $30, and can be purchased online at http://www.fringearts.com. The Festival Guide will be available the first week of August, and can be either downloaded as a PDF or picked up in hard copy at any Festival venue as well as at key “Hot Spots” (to be announced online in July) throughout the city. The Philly Fringe was founded in 1997. Today it serves as a collective home for artists bringing their work to audiences in every conceivable form–in traditional and untraditional venues, using new artistic forms and established ones.

###

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , more...

Bad to the Bone

by on Jun.26, 2013, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Boneyards GUIDE AD 2

Press Contact:

6/25/13 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Philadelphia, PA – Shiva3 is proud to announce the world premiere of Jeffrey Stanley’s solo show BONEYARDS in the 2013 Philly Fringe this September. The 60-minute show will be performed in the dark, dank coal cellar of the century-old storefront Shivtei Yeshuron Ezras-Israel Synagogue, also known as “the little shul” (currently part of the June 2013 Hidden City Festival) at 2015 South 4th Street in South Philly near Snyder Avenue for 6 performances. The 7th and final show will take place outdoors at Laurel Hill Cemetery at 3822 Ridge Avenue.  Stanley’s solo show is a followup to his 2011 Fringe hit BEAUTIFUL ZION: A BOOK OF THE DEAD, and began as a workshop production while he was a 2011-12 artist-in-residence at Plays & Players Theatre. Stanley is a performing arts faculty at New York University Tisch School of the Arts and at Drexel University Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. He is also a religion blogger for the Washington Post.

About the Show
A funeral for the living. A coming-of-age embalming. A suicidal decapitation by coal train. A cross-dressing hillbilly named Doodlebug. This metatheatrical, taphophilic, true-to-life monologue resurrects and converses with the cadaverous — from Philly’s Laurel Hill Cemetery to a British colonial era graveyard in India to ancient Greek tomb worshippers. Is there a meaning to the universe? Is the spirit world speaking to you right now through this press release? If so it should be testable, no? Thrill as Stanley points to a tombstone and researches the forgotten dead beneath it, forming connections with the deceased who rise to the surface halfway around the world in a Kolkata graveyard, and in his own Appalachian family. Shriek and shimmy as Stanley worships the dead in song. Be amazed as a live seance yields messages for audience members. Psychism? Telepathy? Subconscious ideomotor impulses? Watch, decide, leave smiling, healed and redeemed.

BONEYARDS. There’s a little taphophile in all of us.

Two Unique Locations
Similar to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City, Shivtei Yeshuron Ezras-Israel is an historic, century-old synagogue and hidden architectural gem in South Philly on 4th Street near Snyder Avenue. Audience members are invited to come 30 minutes early to wander the 3 story building before descending into the dark, dank coal cellar for Stanley’s macabre performance. Due to space constraints seating is limited to 20. The 7th and final performance will be held outdoors at the historic Laurel Hill Cemetery, the main inspiration for the show.

About Writer-Performer Jeffrey Stanley
Jeffrey Stanley’s play Tesla’s Letters (Samuel French, 2000) premiered to rave reviews Off Broadway in 1999 and went on to national and international productions including the Edinburgh Fringe and most recently a Chicago premiere. He is a regular religion blogger for the Washington Post, and a performing arts faculty at both New York University Tisch School of the Arts and at Drexel University. Other plays include the 2003 Medicine, Man commissioned by the Mill Mountain Theatre in Virginia and most recently produced at Theatre Three Dallas, and Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead which premiered in the 2011 Philly Fringe. In the 2012 Philly Fringe he produced Bidisha Dasgupta’s classical Indian and modern dance show Einstein/Tagore: Seashore of Endless Worlds. He was a 2011-12 PDC artist-in-residence at Plays & Players Theatre.  Stanley is a past president of the board of directors of the New York Neo-Futurists experimental theatre ensemble. He has been a resident of prestigious artists’ colony Yaddo, a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College, and a guest lecturer at the Imaginary Academy summer theatre and film workshop in Croatia sponsored by the Soros Foundation. He has appeared as a guest writer in The New York Times, New York Press and Time Out New York, and he was an editorial adviser to Boston University’s Center for Millennial Studies’ book on apocalypse movements The End That Does (Equinox Books, 2006). Stanley holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch and a BFA from Tisch in Film & Television.

Listings Information
What: BONEYARDSWhen (note there are TWO LOCATIONS): Shivtei Yeshuron-Ezras Israel
Sun 9/8/13 2pm matinee
Tue 9/10/13 8pm
Wed 9/11/13 8pm
Thu 9/12/13 8pm
Sun 9/15/13 2pm matinee
Tue 9/17/13 8pm
Doors open 30 minutes early to allow the audience time to wander the 3 floors of this century-old storefront synagogue before descending to the cellar.

Laurel Hill Cemetery
Wed 9/18/13 6:30pm
(rain date 9/19/13 6:30pm)Tickets: $10, purchased only in advance through the Fringe Festival website, http://www.fringearts.com. No tickets will be sold in person at the door.

Festival Information
The 2013 Philly Fringe will take place September 5-September 22, 2013. Tickets prices range from free to $30, and can be purchased online at http://www.fringearts.com. The Festival Guide will be available the first week of August, and can be either downloaded as a PDF or picked up in hard copy at any Festival venue as well as at key “Hot Spots” (to be announced online in July) throughout the city. The Philly Fringe was founded in 1997. Today it serves as a collective home for artists bringing their work to audiences in every conceivable form–in traditional and untraditional venues, using new artistic forms and established ones.

###

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , more...

Ouija Log – 9/17/11

by on Sep.19, 2011, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Jeffrey Stanley in Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead. Photos by Steve Kelly.

Egypt and Israel Dominate Talks

The closing night show was so overwhelming it’s taken me an extra day to calm down enough to write about the Ouija session with some clarity. After 7 evenings of supernatural dissatisfaction for me personally during the brief run of the show and having to close every evening using the nuclear option I was about ready to give up on the spirit world as being able to reach out directly to anyone.

Enter M.

M. was an eager audience member in the final show who joined in with audience volunteer  S. to person the Ouija board. They were escorted away and left alone for awhile as usual to try their hands at the board, reaching out to the netherworld in the Hell Room before I returned with the rest of the audience to rejoin them and see if they’d tuned into anything. Here is the main highlight that left us all haunted, especially M:

QUESTIONER (M) (to Jeff): I’m really freaked out right now. I have goose bumps and my hair’s standing on end.

JEFF:  That’s normal when you’ve brought someone into the room. Something’s here with us. Do you want to quit?

M: No. I’m just letting you know that I’m freaked. My hands are shaking, I’m afraid I’ll mess up with the planchette.

JEFF: Why don’t you stop? I can take your place.

The power of theatre commands demons up from Hell and Angels down from Zion.

M: No, I want to keep going.

JEFF (to Ouija board):  What’s your name?

SPIRIT (or subconscious ideomotor impulse depending on your beliefs):  KHEF

JEFF: Khef?  I bet that turns out to be Arabic or Hindi (why I thought so).  I’ve seen a lot this week so let’s assume it’s a real language and not gibberish. Are you Khef?

SPIRIT: NO

JEFF: Oh.  Well, do you know what’s taped to the back of the grave photo?

SPIRIT: NO

M: Do you know anyone here?

SPIRIT: YES

M: Who?

SPIRIT: M—- (spelling out M’s name)

M: Oh wow. Do you want to tell me something?

Stanley seated before the everyouija.

At that the planchette shot down at breakneck speed to GOODBYE and refused to budge for anyone. Game over. We ended the session and all returned to the Blue Grotto and I wrapped up the show as usual, using the nuclear option — a personal disappointment for me but a fun way to end a show about Ouija boards.

Afterward M. stuck around as  I began to strike the set for the last time, eager to talk to me at length about her first mind-blowing experience on a Ouija board this evening. She needed to unburden herself; I’ve been there, I know what that’s like so I stopped my work and listened.  She was highly unsettled.  She explained to me that she’s Jewish and said that in the Jewish tradition it’s strictly forbidden to contact the dead.  I asked why she did it and — bless her heart — she said she did it to help me find the closure that I need. That was selfless of her but I hated that the experience had left her freaked out. In the end it’s only a show and not worth the trauma.

She said she has immediate ancestors who died tortuous deaths in the Holocaust and that she’d always been afraid to think about how they’d perished. Facing their cruel fate is her worst nightmare, and the thought of hearing directly from them about how they suffered has always been more than she could bear.

“Maybe it appeared to let you know they’re there, but went to Goodbye so quickly to avoid having to tell you what it knows you don’t want to hear, ” I suggested, “to spare you the pain.”

M: That’s exactly what it did. That’s what I’m telling you.

The Israel Stele

Then I get home and find out that KHEF isn’t Arabic, Hindi or even Urdu.   It’s  Egyptian.  It’s the name of an ancient Egyptian hieroglyph that means “to be laid waste or destroyed.”  A reference to the Holocaust in our case?   And this hieroglyph appears on the Israel Stele of all things, so-called by archaeologists because it’s the only ancient Egyptian document mentioning Israel by name.  And if you don’t know, a stele is a monument to the dead… Yeah. You tell me.

Good luck, everyone, with your own nightmares and ghosts, and thank you for your support for Beautiful Zion: A Book of the Dead.

2 Comments :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...

Ouija Log – 9/16/11

by on Sep.17, 2011, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

A UFO inside the Blue Grotto contains...

WORST OUIJA CHAT EVER.  Very little action last night. I’m not even going to bother alerting my press list on this one, especially not SR at The Daily Pennsylvanian despite her colleagues’ apparent love for my show, for which we are grateful. The only highlight if you want to call it that was –

JEFF:  Do you know what’s taped to the back of the grave photo?

SPIRIT: YES

JEFF: What is it?

SPIRIT: HABIB

JEFF: Um, no. There is not a “habib” taped to the back of the photo (boy was I wrong; see below).  Is Habib your name?

SPIRIT: NO

...American culture en route to Mars.

Mind you I’m not touching the board during these conversations. It’s always being operated by two audience volunteers other than at a few brief times between chats when I get on the board to warm it up, if you will.  I know of course that Habib is an Arabic male name but I looked up its actual meaning and it’s “beloved” or “loved one” which in that case makes it similar to the 9/10 transcript when DAVID told us that HOME was taped to the back and it put a lump in my throat.

Had I known last night that a habib was a loved one and that the board was again speaking to me in Arabic I’d have been a little less dismissive.  This would mark the 4th time out of 7 sessions that a directly Islamic or at least South Asian presence has been on the board — there was also the 9/14 session when it kept telling us NAMAZ, NAMAZ (pray, pray in Arabic), then there was the South Asian 5-year-old girl named MALA on 9/15 and SHALEE on 9/8.

All fascinating but surprising because given our geographical locus I was expecting a lot of old Philadelphia Quakers with names like Rachel or  Zebulon or Nehemiah or at least some Johns or Williams or Marys.  Yes there was David but he died in 1976 and lives in LA so he doesn’t count.

Lesson learned: never make assumptions about the spirit world/human subconscious.

Only 1 show left and it’s tonight and it’s the final Paranormal Psaturday – the first three ticket holders to show me a convincing photograph or smartphone video clip of authentic-looking paranormal activity in their homes will be given a $10.00 Starbucks gift certificate. Full details and ticket info.

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...

Ouija Log – 9/15/11

by on Sep.15, 2011, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

During the final days of the festival BZ:ABOTD has made the Daily Pennsylvanian’s Must-See list, and that includes the curated Live Arts shows, which is extremely flattering.  You haven’t seen the show yet? Only 2 chances left, and remember tonight is Freemasonry Fridays – the first three ticket holders to discretely wear their Masonic rings or other authentic Masonic logo jewelry and show it to me in secret before the show will secretly be given a $10.00 Starbucks gift certificate.  Don’t try to pull a fast one— I know my Masonic jewelry.

The planchette on the Ouija board was flying all over the place last night. I mean it would shoot off the edge of the board sometimes and the volunteers would have to put it back on and reposition their fingers before it took off again like a little sportscar making hairpin turns all across the alphabet.  Transcript highlights:

QUESTIONER:  How old are you?

SPIRIT (or subconscious ideomotor impulse depending on your beliefs): 5 AND A HALF

QUESTIONER: What’s your name?

SPIRIT: MALA (turns out it’s a Hindu name meaning garland of flowers)

QUESTIONER: When did you die?

(here it swept a broad ellipse around the board and then swooped into a sideways figure 8 pattern — the symbol for infinity — over and over again in the center of the board)

QUESTIONER: When were you born?

SPIRIT:   0…1

JEFF: Maybe she doesn’t know the year.  She’s only 5 years old.  Where are you now?

(infinity pattern in response)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: How did you die?

SPIRIT: MOM MOM MOM MOM

AUDIENCE MEMBER: How did she kill you?

(infinity pattern)

QUESTIONER: Do you resent her for it?

SPIRIT: NO

JEFF: Are you in the room with us?

SPIRIT: YES

JEFF: Where are you standing in relation to me?

SPIRIT: LEFT

JEFF: (indicating with hand) Right here?

(back to the infinity pattern)

QUESTIONER:  She’s everywhere in the room.

JEFF: Do you know anyone here?

SPIRIT: NO

JEFF: Do you live here at the CEC?

SPIRIT: YES

JEFF: Do you know any of the other spirits we’ve talked to throughout the run of the show who also say they live here?

SPIRIT: YES

JEFF: Do you know initials FRA?

SPIRIT: YES

JEFF: Tell FRA I said hi.  Do you know what’s taped to the back of the grave photo hanging in the other room?

SPIRIT: YES

JEFF: Okay, what is it?

SPIRIT:  MNMNMNMN (which I took to mean “mmmm…”, thinking; remember we’re dealing with a 5 year old)

JEFF: It’s okay if you don’t know.

SPIRIT:  NO

JEFF: Okay, no worries.  Big hand for Mala.

Full details and ticket info.

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...

Ouija Log – 9/14/11

by on Sep.15, 2011, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

OH. No wonder we were confused. It was speaking Arabic (or Hindi or Urdu). I started out wanting to tell you how uneventful the Ouija session was last night. We had an erascible sort.  Lots of apparent gibberish and lots of NOs.  As one of the Ouija volunteers said, you could just see this angry old man shaking his cane at us saying,  “Get out of my yard!”  But in short it was telling us to stop trying to contact the dead and go pray.

The transcript ran about like this: can you tell us your name? NO.  Do you know you’re in a show? NO. Do you have any advice for Jeff? NO.   Do you know the other spirits we’ve contacted so far with this show? YES. Can we talk to one of them instead of you? NO.   Can you tell us where you are? NO. Do you know what’s taped to the back of the grave photo? NO.

And in between all of the negativity it just kept saying NAMAZ over and over.  As I said to the volunteers this was either gibberish or a foreign language so we may as well hang it up…

So then I get home and Google NAMAZ and find out it’s Arabic (also Hindi and Urdu) for “pray,”  as in Namaz-e-tawbah, a Muslim prayer meaning Prayer of Repentance.  I think it was trying to tell us something… Now I wish I could remember some of the other “gibberish” it was telling us because it probably meant something, too.

Powerful stuff but I was once again left unfulfilled because You Don’t Know Who didn’t bother making an appearance and I was again left with only the nuclear option. Only 3 shows left… Full details and ticket info here.

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...

Ouija Log – 9/10

by on Sep.11, 2011, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

BEST OUIJA SESSION EVER. Last night was intense. A packed house of enthusiastic Fringe goers provided no shortage of folks eager to get in on the act. I was also flattered and surprised that 2 of my former NYU Tisch students from 4 years previous made the trek, one driving all the way down to Philly from Cambridge, MA where he is now in a graduate Voodoo program at Harvard.  I met with them and their friend for a quick drink at a UPenn/Drexel hangout afterward not far from the Blue Grotto.

Suffice it to say, hands shot up when I asked for 3 volunteers and got them rolling on the Ouija board at the show’s climax.  The Ouija session was the most intense so far, with a unique and active personality at work. The session could have gone on much longer but alas we had to break it off and bring the show in for a landing.  Here’s the transcript. The questioner here is a split between myself and an outstanding audience volunteer named R.

QUESTIONER: What’s your name?

SPIRIT (or subconscious ideomotor impulse depending on your beliefs):  DAVID

QUESTIONER:  When were you born?

SPIRIT: 1976

QUESTIONER:  Do you know you’re part of a show?

SPIRIT: NO

QUESTIONER (Jeff): It was R.’s idea.

SPIRIT: WHY

QUESTIONER: We’re just seeking enlightenment tonight about our lives and about what happens where you are. Where are you now?

SPIRIT:  LOS ANGELES

(A clever play on words? He’s with “the angels.”)

QUESTIONER:  Do you know anyone in the room tonight?

SPIRIT: YES

QUESTIONER: Who?

SPIRIT: PEOPL

QUESTIONER (Jeff):  Cute answer. We do have a roomful of people here.  I hate to break this off but we need to sadly wrap this up and continue the show. Maybe a few will want to come back and chat with you more in a few minutes when we’re done.  Final question:  do you know what’s taped to the back of the grave photo hanging in the other room?

SPIRIT:  YES

(Let me point out that this was a first.  For the past 3 nights in a row since the show opened the response to this question was NO. I was caught off guard by this seemingly miraculous answer and remained skeptical.)

QUESTIONER (Jeff): You do?  Okay, what is it?

SPIRIT:  HOME

(This actually put a lump in my throat and brought a tear to my eye. It gave me pause.  It was an astute, even clever answer.)

QUESTIONER (Jeff): (long pause) That’s extremely close. It’s not literally that but ‘home’ is a really special, poetic way of putting it. It is, underneath, correct.

SPIRIT: VERY

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...