MANY VISUAL ARTISTS have extended their practice to include theater —Picasso, Chagall, Hockney, to name a few. Galleries and museums have presented this work not as an 'aside' but as a vital part of each artist's oeuvre. Calder’s Circus at the Whitney comes to mind, as do the activities of Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York. During the COVID quarantine, when theaters closed and educators became desperate for arts and culture content that could easily be shared on remote learning portals, my wife (Tony Award-winning costume designer, Linda Cho) and I decided to collaborate on a novel way to present theater, inspired by the tradition of Theatre de la mode, which allowed fashion houses to share work during the privations of World War 2. Below are in-progress frame stills of work so far on our first production— Shakespeare's Twelfth Night— in miniature, using beautifully fabricated and costumed dolls and elaborate sets, sound, and filmography. You’ll easily see how my palette and painterly style remain in this new form. Our pitch document is at the end, and you can see a rough cut of our work to date by scrolling in the "WATCH" menu tab above.
Twelfth Night opens with a shipwreck.
Our protagonist, Viola, a senegalese migrant, is seen just before falling into the sea
Scene One opens with Viola washed up on the shore of what is, today, Governor's Island.
She weeps at thought of her lost brother.
She's found by the ship's captain, a Native American.
Olivia here's the story of the island seen in the distance, today's Manhattan.
She spies the distant shores.
We catch our first sight of a re-imagined colonial New York.
Now Viola looks to the cityscape.
A re-imagined colonial New York.
She conceives of a plan.
She includes the captain in her scheme.
He takes her by the wrecked ship's dingy across the bay
They pass the re-imagined Statue of Liberty.
This is not the America we know today.
It's a new world in which the Native Americans have retained cultural supremacy.
Viola contemplates the loss of her brother
She believes her brother drowned.
The colony sets are designed to look like early Hudson River School paintings.
They arrive at a truly multi-cultural city.
Scene One closes on a bird's eye view of New York Harbor.
Our next sample scene feature our protagonist, Olivia, a Native American.
Orsino is a Puritan who has become a frisky dressed in yellow, cross-gartered stockings.
He thinks Olivia loves him so his antics are over the top.
Orsino thinks Olivia wants to bed him.
He's on the prowl.
Olivia isn't having it.
This scene closes with Orsino swinging from the proverbial chandelier.
This is our PDF pitch document.
Our PDF pitch document explains why and how we came up with this novel way of presenting theater.
Our pitch document, pg.3
Our pitch document, pg.4
Our pitch document, pg.5
Our pitch document, pg.6
Our pitch document, pg.7
Our pitch document, pg.8
Our pitch document, pg.9
Our pitch document, pg.10
Our pitch document, pg.11
Our pitch document, pg.12
Pitch document, pg.13. See our rough cut in the "WATCH" tab in the menu above.