LOS ANGELES (Sept. 2, 2015) – Greenway Arts Alliance presents an out-of-the-ordinary theatrical experience, a humorous and lyrical tapestry of words, music, movement and quantum physics. Dan Berkowitz directs the world premiere of Breathing Room by playwright/composer Mary Lou Newmark, opening October 3 at the Greenway Court Theatre.
Music, theater and science converge in Newmark’s newest performance piece. A science teacher with a mysterious past (Charles Reese) and a visual artist overwhelmed by life (Eileen T’Kaye) explore our modern culture of “technological vertigo” in a series of playful and intriguing scenes infused with music — played live at every performance by Newmark on her trademark neon-green electric violin.
“Listening to Mary Lou play is a mind-blowing experience,” says Berkowitz, who has worked closely with her for over a year to develop the piece. “Everyone is going to take away something different from this. It awakens you, encourages you to look at life in a new and different way.”
An electric violinist, composer and poet, Newmark creates non-traditional compositions that bridge the gap between current trends in electronic music and the virtuosic violin techniques of the past. Her work incorporates live performance, original poetry and electronically generated sounds to create unique pieces that inhabit their own sound worlds. Like Newmark’s other works, Breathing Room is about transformation and connection.
“I seek to turn my subjects over, around and under to reveal multiple ways of perception,” she explains. “We all have our own stories that shape our perspective and change over time, so I tell stories in layers, sometimes overlapping, sometimes concentrically. What excites me is finding the hidden commonalities in life, the connections in everything from modern scientific discovery to the writings of ancient spiritual texts.”
Newmark’s multimedia work about the homeless, Street Angel Diaries, premiered at the Theatre @ Boston Court in 2006 (“artful… subtly profound” — Backstage), and Breath of Trees received two workshop performances at ARC Pasadena. She has toured around the country performing her original compositions. In 2010, she premiered her electric violin concerto, “Canto de Luz,” at the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City. Philip Brandes of the Los Angeles Times describes her as “Laurie Anderson on a good hair day, but aiming more at emotions than intellect.”
Dan Berkowitz has directed more than 50 plays and musicals, many of them world premieres, and more than 150 cabaret revues in the United States and Canada. Dan is also a playwright, producer and script consultant, and he serves as co-chair of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights (ALAP). He is a graduate of Princeton, did graduate work in drama at UC Berkeley, and studied with famed acting teacher Stella Adler in New York.
Choreography for Breathing Room is by Gary Thomas; set design is by Max Oken; lighting design is by Jeremy Pivnick; sound design is by Mary Lou Newmark and Will Mahood; and graphic design is by Ty Donaldson, Buddha Cowboy. The associate producer is Cate Cundiff, and producers are Gary Thomas and Ty Donaldson.
Performances of Breathing Room take place on Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and on Sundays at 7 p.m., Oct. 3 through Oct. 25. Tickets are $25 for general admission, with reserved seats available for $35. The Greenway Court Theatre is located at 544 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036. To purchase tickets, call (323) 655-7679 x100 or go to www.greenwaycourttheatre.org/breathing-room/.
Scroll all the way down to view photos of the actors and of Mary Lou Newmark with her neon green electric violin.
Details for Calendar Listings
Breathing Room — A humorous and lyrical tapestry of words, music, movement and quantum physics. A science teacher with a mysterious past (Charles Reese) and a visual artist overwhelmed by life (Eileen T’Kaye) explore our modern culture of “technological vertigo” in a series of playful and intriguing scenes infused with music — played live at every performance by playwright/composer Newmark on her trademark neon-green electric violin.
• Written by Mary Lou Newmark
• Music composed and performed live by Mary Lou Newmark
• Directed by Dan Berkowitz
• Choreography by Gary Thomas
• Starring Mary Lou Newmark, Charles Reese and Eileen T’Kaye
• Produced by Gary Thomas and Ty Donaldson
• Presented by Greenway Arts Alliance
Previews: Oct. 2
Performances: Oct. 3- Oct. 25
• Friday at 8 p.m.: Oct. 2 only (preview)
• Saturdays at 2 p.m.: Oct. 10, 17, 24 (no matinee on Oct. 3)
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Oct. 3 (opening night), 10, 17, 24
• Sundays at 7 p.m.: Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25
Greenway Court Theatre
544 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles CA 90036
(323) 655-7679 x100 or www.greenwaycourttheatre.org/breathing-room/
• General admission: $25
• Reserved seating: $35
Free on-site lot