THE SONIC LIFE OF A GIANT TORTOISE:
YOUTH IS NOT THE ONLY THING THAT'S SONIC
by Toshiki Okada, translated by Aya Ogawa
November 3 - 18, 2017 @ 8PM
HORSE HEAD ARTISTS
Jessica Cooper (Stage Manager) Jessica recently graduated from Texas A&M University with a BA in Psychology and Theatre, where she stage managed departmental productions such as Pillowman, Machinal, and Marisol along with smaller directed studies projects. She has also previously worked as the ensemble stage manager for This Is Water Theatre in college station on Of Serpents and Sea-spray, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Revised). In the Houston Area, Jessica has previously worked with Mildred's Umbrella as a stage manager on Feathers & Teeth and Museum of Dysfunction IX.
J. Mitchell Cronin (Lighting Design) Horse Head Theatre Co.: Church, The Judgement of Fools; Main Street Theater: The Last Wife, Native Gardens, How I Became a Pirate (MATCH and Hobby Center), The Revolutionists, Duck for President, RFK, Red Hot Patriot, Harriet the Spy, Magic Tree House: A Night in New Orleans, Goodnight Moon, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse; Prague Shakespeare Company MST: Much Ado About Nothing, Venus in Fur, Twelfth Night; Stages Repertory Theatre: Honky Tonk Angels at Miller Outdoor Theatre (Assoc. Design), Panto Wonderful Wizard, Panto Snow Queen: Unfrozen; The Ensemble Theatre: Simply Simone, The First Noel, A Soulful Christmas; Catastrophic Theatre Company: Tamarie's Merry Evening of Mistakes and Regrets; Classical Theatre Company: The Bear/Proposal, The Ghost Sonata; A.D.Players: The Lion, The The Telephone and the Medium; DiverseWorks: What Shall We Do Next; Urban Souls Dance Company: Between Two Worlds, Three City Blocks; Sam Houston State University: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Much Ado About Nothing, Trojan Women, Waiting for Godot, Enron; (Dance Lighting Design) Spectrum: Drift; It’s Good to See You Again; Texas Dance Improvisation Festival. Education: B.F.A., Sam Houston State University, Theatre Design and Technology; Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas. www.JMCdesigns.info
Lydia Hance (Movement)Dubbed Houston’s “queen of curious locations,” Lydia Hance is the Executive and Artistic Director of Frame Dance Productions. She has been named an Emerging Leader by Dance/USA and has led Frame Dance in performances from the Galveston pier onto the METRO light rail, in the backs of U Haul trucks, downtown tunnels, and into museums, stages, and warehouses throughout Texas for the past six years. A champion of new music composers, her work deepens interdisciplinary and multigenerational collaborations, and investigates the placement of dance in our lives. She is a choreographer, curator, filmmaker, educator, and dance writer originally from the California Bay Area. She holds degrees in Dance Performance and English Literature from SMU and trained at the Taylor School, Graham School, Tisch School of the Arts, Limon Institute and SMU.
Philip Hays (Director) is a Company Member of Horse Head Theatre Co., for whom he directed 2016’s regional premiere of The Judgment of Fools, co-created and performed The Whale; or, Moby-Dick, and acted in Among the Thugs. Other directing credits include Our Town (University of Houston); The Birds, A Christmas Carol, Doctor Faustus, and Ubu Roi (Classical Theatre Company); Love and Information (Main Street Theater); Mr. Burns: a post-electric play (Cape Repertory Theatre, Brewster, MA). Philip is a former Artistic Associate of the Prague Shakespeare Company, where he performed in over twelve productions, and directed, co-wrote, and performed in two original adaptations for the Prague Fringe: The Duchess of Malfi and The Murder of Gonzago. As an actor on Houston stages, Philip has appeared at Classical Theater Company (The Barber of Seville, The Triumph of Love, Candida, Tartuffe), Main Street Theater (Copenhagen, Dog Act, Love Goes to Press, Life Is a Dream, The Coast of Utopia trilogy), 4th Wall Theater Company (Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Stage Kiss), Houston Shakespeare Festival (Cymbeline, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and more. Philip is a graduate of the University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance, and has studied commedia dell'arte at the Scuola Internazionale dell'Attore Comico. www.philiphays.com
Jacey Little (Production Manager) is the Artistic Director of Horse Head Theatre Co. (HH), Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Co. company member and Production Manager at the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO). In 2017, Jacey directed Church by Young Jean Lee and co-created & directed the immersive experience preceding Church (Horse Head), and Feathers and Teeth by Charise Castro Smith (Mildred’s Umbrella). Jacey’s past work includes the development and direction of The Whale; or, Moby-Dick* by Timothy N. Evers, Philip Hays & Herman Melville (Houston Press 2015 “Best New Play” Winner) and Spaghetti Code* by Abby Koenig (BroadwayWorld Houston 2014 “Best New Play or Musical” Winner) with HH; the development and direction of the first workshop of Dialogues on Grace by Cressandra Thibodeaux at 14 Pews; Dollface* by Katharine Sherman with Mildred’s Umbrella (Houston Press 2016 “Best New Play”) and Ten Ways on a Gun by Dylan Lamb with The Landing Theatre Company. Jacey is the former Literary Manager and Dramaturg for the Alley Theatre. Highlights of her Alley dramaturgy credits include Warrior Class* by Kenneth Lin, The Mountaintop by Katori Hall (Arena Stage co-pro directed by Robert O'Hara) and What We’re Up Against* by Theresa Rebeck. As a freelance dramaturg, Jacey has worked with The Landing Theatre Company, Houston Shakespeare Festival, Mildred's Umbrella Theatre Company, Wordsmyth Theatre Company, 14 Pews and Obsidian Theater. Jacey received her MFA in Dramaturgy and Theatre Historiography from University of Houston and her BFA in Dramaturgy with an English Literature minor, from University of Oklahoma. *Indicates a world premiere.
Peter Ton (Video and Sound Design) is honored and excited to be involved in his first production at Horse Head Theatre Company! Other Theatre credits include - Stages: Marie Antoinette (Assistant Director), Mack & Mabel (Assistant Projection Designer), Songs I Was Born to Sing (Projection Designer/Co-Director), The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Video/Graphics Designer), Straight White Men (Assistant Director/Video & Sound Designer), Miss Teen (Sound Designer), My Manana Comes (Assistant Director/Sound Designer). Main Street Theater: Silent Sky (Projection Assistant), Shrek (Projection Engineer), RFK (Projection Designer), Red Hot Patriot (Projection Designer), Copenhagen (Projection Designer), Mockingbird (Projection Designer), Bunnicula (Projection Designer), The Wizard of Oz (Projection Designer), Akeelah and the Bee (Mr. Chiu). Gravity Players: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Projection Designer) The Kinkaid School: Elf: The Musical (Projection Assistant), Hairspray (Projection Assistant). SRO Productions: The Who’s Tommy (Projection Designer). Mildred's Umbrella: Pretty Little White Girls (Director), Not What It Seems (Cop) The Bake Sale (Director). The Rice Players - Rice University: The Glass Menagerie (Director). Misnomers: Glen or Glenda (Director). Peter holds a BFA in Theatre, Acting and Directing, from Sam Houston State University. He is also a photographer and filmmaker, and his first short film, eumenides, was accepted into the Short Film Corner at the 66th Cannes Film Festival. Peter is currently in pre-production for his new short film, BLUE; you can follow the journey of the film at www.seedandspark.com/fund/blue
about the author
Toshiki Okada (Playwright) was born in Yokohama in 1973 and formed the theater company "chelfitsch" in 1997. Since then he has written and directed all of the company's productions, practicing a distinctive methodology for creating plays, and has come to be known for his use of hyper-colloquial Japanese and unique choreography. In 2005, his play Five Days in March won the prestigious 49th Kishida Drama Award. In September 2005, Okada won the Yokohama Cultural Award/Yokohama Award for Art and Cultural Encouragement. As the representative of his country, he took part in Stuecke'06 International Literature Project and in December of the same year, he presented Enjoy at New National Theatre, Tokyo. He has also served as the director for the 2006-07 Summit, an annual drama festival hosted by the Komaba Agora Theater. In 2007 his collection of novels The End of the Special Time We Were Allowed debuted and was awarded the Kenzaburo Oe Prize. As a director he has directed Beckett’s Cascando for the Tokyo International Arts Festival, and Kobo Abe’s salient work Friends at the Setagaya Public Theater. More recently he also directed a workshop production of Strangeness with local actors at the Itami Ai Hall in Hyogo prefecture, Ghost Youth created through collaboration with students of Obirin University, and wrote a new play called Three Women for director Naoto Takenaka, among other projects. In recent years, he has widely drawn attention not only from the theater world and the contemporary dance scene, but also from those in fine arts and literature. In 2009, New National Theater of Japan commissioned Okada to adapt and direct Dea Loher’s TAETOWIERUNG. As his stories as well as plays have continued to be published in Japan, his works have been translated into many languages and published abroad. Moreover, he has provided scripts for other theater companies in Japan. In October 2009, his newest piece Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and the Farewell Speech premiered in Berlin.
Aya Ogawa (Translator) is a Brooklyn-based writer, director, translator and performer. As a playwright and director, her play Serendipity was the winner of the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival and finalist at Humana Festival. Eating Dirt was produced at SoHo Rep, and she directed it for Theaters Against War at HERE. She directed her play A Girl of 16 in its world premiere, hailed by The New York Times for Aya’s “stunning visual sense.” She wrote and directed oph3lia (nominated for Outstanding Ensemble, New York Innovative Theater Awards) which the New York Times called “Compelling… Harrowing… Great theatre” and Backstage described as “riveting.” Her Artifact was presented as a work-in-progress at the PRELUDE ’07 Festival as well as in the PERFORMANCE MIX Festival. She is currently developing a new piece with the Foundry Theatre and Adhikaar, a human rights organization dedicated to serving the Nepali community in the U.S. She has been commissioned to translate numerous Japanese plays into English, including works by Pappa TARAHUMARA’s Hiroshi Koike; Chong Wishin, Kunio Shimizu,Yoji Sakate, Kobo Abe, Takeshi Kawamura, Keralino Sandorovich and works by the Tokyo-based performance company YUBIWA Hotel. She has translated Five Days in March, Air Conditioner, Enjoy, Free Time and We Are the Undamaged Others by Toshiki Okada. Time Out New York called her translation of Enjoy “effortless, idiomatic translation (surely the process of rabbinical focus)” in its English language premiere production by The Play Company; and her translation of Five Days in March was hailed as “a miracle of transposed idiom” by the Village Voice in the production by Witness Relocation. Aya has performed nationally and internationally. She originated and performed numerous roles with the International WOW Company including JR Oppenheimer in The Bomb and the title role in Alice’s Evidence; and Time Out NY hailed her performance as Chomsky in The Loneliness of Noam Chomsky by the Butane Group. International credits include her role in the world premiere of the award-winning Emperor and Kiss with Rinko-Gun Company, Tokyo; she was selected as part of the artist team representing the U.S. at the International Theater Institute’s 2006 Congress in Manila, for which she co-created and performed in The Borges Project; and the European premiere of Young Jean Lee’s Songs of the Dragon Flying to Heaven at the Vienna Festival. She also worked as a generative artist and performer in Ifdentity, a collaborative project produced by the International Theater Institute for its 2008 Congress in Madrid. In 2005, with her collaborators, she has formed a performance company called knife, inc. whose mission is to create works that explore the multiplicity of experience of living in an international context. The work is designed to investigate the moments of crisis, the collision of the past and the future. The company seeks a modern, international language of art. The company’s work is a home for this search. (www.knifeinc.org) She was the recipient of an Artistic Fellowship at New York Theater Workshop (where she is now a Usual Suspect), Van Lier Fellowship at New Dramatists, and HERE Artist Residency. She is also a recipient of the Space Grant at Brooklyn Arts Exchange and two Swing Space grants at the LMCC (Lower Manhattan Cultural Council). She is a 2006 recipient of the Urban Artist Initiative Grant for Individual Artists administered by the Asian American Artist Alliance, a 2008 grantee of the NYSCA Individual Artist Theater Commissioning Grant and Axe-Houghton Foundation.