837 Venice Boulevard 2008 by Faye Driscoll

837 Venice Boulevard
By Faye Driscoll
Performed by Michael Helland, Celia Rowlson-Hall/Heather Olson, Nikki Zialcita
Lighting design by Amanda K. Ringger
Set design by Sara C. Walsh
Sound design by Matt Tennie
Costume design by Normandy Sherwood

Key City Playhouse, August 14-16, 2008 (Port Townsend)
HERE Arts Center, November 13-22, 2008 (New York)
Choate Rosemary Hall, January 21, 2010 (Wallingford)
Hillsborough Community College, January 28-30, 2010 (Tampa)
Wexner Center for the Arts, November 18-20, 2010 (Columbus)

2009 Bessie Award Winning Production: “For masterfully invoking a collective past by exploring the raw intensity of childhood; for using text, movement, and song to uncover the falsity of the performance of identity; and for calling forth the true emotions we all hold beneath the surface”

Faye Driscoll, hailed as “1 of 25 to watch out for in 2008” by Dance Magazine, choreographs rigorous dance works that edge into performance art and theater. She takes gesture and spasm to new levels of physicality in her raw, under-the-skin and often hysterical work. Using physical manipulation and humor, 837 Venice Boulevard paints the lonesome emotional landscape of a neglected kid left to her own fantasies and fears, while exploring universal themes of identity, blame, and how exhausting it is to have to “be somebody” all the time.

“In several subsequent sections (of Faye Driscoll’s ‘837 Venice Boulevard’) – all funny, shocking and moving in equal measure – Ms. Driscoll sets her three dancers (Michael Helland, Ms. Rowlson-Hall and Nikki Zialcita) at one another’s throats both physically and metaphorically. At any moment they might be siblings, friends or enemies, and they brilliantly evoke the adolescent torture of being excluded from the ‘in’ group (a peanut butter sandwich is in play here) and the coruscating hatred that rejection can cause to flow through human veins.” Chopping Through Boundaries of Growth by Roslyn Sulcas, NY Times November 2008

“It’s not often that a piece makes you sit up straighter, wondering what it is exactly you are seeing, but these are the moments that lovers of the arts live for… In Faye Driscoll’s 837 Venice Boulevard two dancers (Michael Helland and Celia Rowlson-Hall) lurch onto the stage, laughing manically and holding each other up… All the while they laugh, and although the audience did too, Ms. Driscoll’s rigorous exploration of this physical – and, it seems, mental – manipulation feels startlingly original in its peculiar configuration of slapstick and darkness… Mr. Helland and Ms. Rowlson-Hall are no less brilliant here…” When Puppet and Puppeteer Switch Places by Roslyn Sulcas, NY Times February 2008

“First to emerge (in Faye Driscoll’s 837 Venice Boulevard) is Michael (Michael Helland), with glittery headband, extra-short running shorts, and false eyelashes he loves so much, he wants you to love them, too – so he glances sidelong like Betty Boop as often as possible… In the shadows of the dance that Celia, Michael, and Nikki create between themselves is the haunted, shivery dance they do with us.” Being somebody by Apollinaire Sherr Arts Journal, Arts Journal: Foot in Mouth December 2008