Writer, Director (Stage and Film), Designer: Richard Foreman

January 17th -- April 27, 2008

Production blog – daily notes from Richard Foreman and others

Artistic Director: Richard Foreman
Managing Director: Shannon Sindelar
Arts Management: Performing Artservices, Inc.
Development Consultants: Arwen Lowbridge and Alice Reagan
Press Relations: Manny Igrejas
Graphic Designer: Elka Krajewska
Archive Photographer: Paula Court
Advertising Management: Richert Schnorr, Dance Theater Workshop
Video Equipment: Jack Young, New City Video

DEEP TRANCE BEHAVIOR IN POTATOLAND: A RICHARD FOREMAN THEATER MACHINE uses digital material filmed in Japan and England and takes place on a stage in New York in which everything is askew – the windows, the walls (covered with turn of the century photographs) and the furniture, which includes two pianos.  Even the large screens on which images are projected are off balance. Within this setting, the mind is asked to jump from world to world, Japan to England, filmed world to live stage world.  The mind is also asked to jump to new ways of relating to reality, a reality in which ideas and behaviors, when viewed correctly, are also askew.

Richard Foreman evokes the atmosphere of a séance, combining the filmed tableaus filmed with five, live New York actors who navigate a sinking grand piano.  On the deepest level what Foreman is creating is a theater machine for a world in which a multitude of things are no longer connected to each other and exist only as empty husks. A new kind of connectedness is discovered through the activity of the theater machine, which reveals to us that everything issues from the same source, that special “electricity” projected by raw human consciousness.

Using film and live action on stage to reveal layers of consciousness and “reality,” DEEP TRANCE BEHAVIOR IN POTATOLAND takes a new aesthetic risk, since this new production is the first to combine film from two different countries Japan and England.

Of course the evening also has the dominant element of five New York actors on-stage , who will be moving languorously between two lopsided Grand Pianos in an attempt to find a music that will resolve the tensions between the two screen worlds (England and Japan) and the one live on stage New York world. The walls themselves are dizzily tilted, with a dominant scenic element being many enlarged versions of late 19th century “spirit” photographs of mediumistic séances.

Indeed, one way to describe this event might be as a theatrical séance, in which the energies of the play circulate between many different (spirit?) worlds. It is in one sense the most “abstract” of the 3 plays in this series. Words, musical excerpts and stretched “hysterical poses” evoke the possibilities of other ways of perception-- just as dissolving back and forth between countries will suggest how one must break through the imprisoning perceptual grid that any single culture enforces.

A  mix of music and text, mixed live at each performance, accompanies the double action of projections and live performance, as recorded fragments of language also undercut the attempts of the actors to articulate their imprisonment inside a life that tries to be lyrical and transcendent, but is in fact continually “going wrong.”

Five actors on-stage all evening are glared at ominously by literally dozens of on screen foreign performers who suggest mythical archetypes that secretly control the “trance-like” behavior of the live actors.

This play lives and functions in the depths of psychological/philosophical issues concerning the relationship between the rational and irrational mind, but has no aspect whatsoever of a theatrical “intellectual discussion”.  Rather – it embodies, in Mr. Foreman’s always flamboyant and unique compositional theatrical style, the ways in which insight can spill forth from a unique, and sometimes absurd, confrontation and highly stylized paradox.

DEEP TRANCE BEHAVIOR IN POTATOLAND (A RICHARD FOREMAN THEATER MACHINE) is the third in a series in which Foreman uses a backdrop of digital film shot in countries around the world (in this case – Japan and England) – through a venture known as The Bridge Project .

Filmed on location at Rissei Elementary School, Kyoto, Japan
Hosted by Kyoto Univeristy of Art and Design, Kyoto Performing Arts Center
Thanks to Akiko Takeshita, Mariko Mori

Filmed on location at Brooksby Hall, England
Hosted By Loughborough University
Thanks to Neal Swettenham, De Montfort Univeristy, Metro Boulot Dodo


Joel Israel: Man in Striped Suit
Caitlin McDonough Thayer: Girl in Sailor Hat
Fulya Peker: Girl with Black Hair
Caitlin Rucker: Girl with the Golden Dress
Sarah Dahlen: Girl with the Tiara


Makato Murakami, Yonki Kang, Takuya Murakawa, Ami Yamazaki, Manabu Saito, Yoshimitsu Araki, Reiko Kawashima, Fumie Takahara, Shinpei Yamada, Fumika Chiba, Dogen Sato, Fuyuko Tsuji, Mayumi Gpnda, Tamae Ando, Shirotama Hitsujiya, Junko Uchida, Tadasu Takamine, Yuya Ito, Minoru Mukouta, Hideyuki Hiraoka, Junpu Matsui, Yusuke Kimura, Ayari Itoh, Haruna Miki, Yuki Koga, Saeko Iwasaki, Yuto Kurosaka, Rie Kato, Yasuko Kurono, Nobuhiro Aragaki, Kanako Miki, Akiko Takeshita, Mariko Mori, Yumi Kobayashi, Yoko Yamamoto. 


Sinead Wall, Anthony Mamos, Dave Parkin, Hannah Nicklin, Charlie Copsey, Ryan Kerrison, Steve Middleditch, Esther Simpson, Ellie Douglas Allan, Neal Swettenham, Jo Young, Lynzi Jenkins, Amy-Louise Brassington, Jen Thorne, Anna Neil, Bex Woolston, Beth Copeland, Lydia Outhwaite, Joanna Wassall, Simon Parker.


Voices on Tape: Richard Foreman, Kate Manheim, André Malraux, Sarah Bernhardt


Technical Director: Peter Ksander
Stage Manager: Brendan Regimbal
Sound Engineer: Travis Just
Props Engineer and Costumes: Meghan Buchanan and Nellie Fleischner
Lighting Engineer: Miranda Hardy
Video Engineer: Eduardo Band
Set Construction: Peter Ksander
Box Office Manager: Eric Magnus
Production Interns: Sean Andries, Beatrice Barbareschi, Matthew Black, Nathan Brauner, Judith Franke, Anna Friedlaender, Danny Gordon, Chris Lynch, Eric Magnus, Liz Peterson, Colin Pitrat, James Rutherford and Michaela Schulz


Sean Andries, Beatrice Barbareschi, Matthew Black, Nathan Brauner, Judith Franke, Anna Friedlaender, Danny Gordon, Chris Lynch, Eric Magnus, Liz Peterson, Colin Pitrat, James Rutherford and Michaela Schulz

Show Run Interns: Robert Snyderman, Jody Buchman