BRIClab: Kamala Sankaram: Looking At You (work-in-progress)
Looking At You (work-in-progress) is an immersive techno-noir, music-theater piece confronting the issue of privacy in our digitized society, and the question of how loss of privacy could transform us as a global culture. With a dynamic score for three saxophones, piano, and electronics—inspired equally by dance music, crime jazz, and operatic arias—Kamala Sankaram’s story of high-tech espionage lays bare these urgent questions.
General Admission: Seated
KAMALA SANKARAM (Composer) has been praised as “strikingly original” (The New York Times) and “new voice from whom we will surely be hearing more” (LA Times). Recent commissions include Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Memphis, Opera on Tap, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Awards, grants and residencies include: Jonathan Larson Award, NEA ArtWorks, MAP Fund, Opera America, NY IT Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical, the Civilians, HERE, the MacDowell Colony, and the Watermill Center. Her opera, Thumbprint (written with librettist Susan Yankowitz), premiered in the 2014 PROTOTYPE Festival, and was featured on NPR, Agence France Presse, and media outlets around the world. Thumbprint has since received productions at LA Opera and Opera Ithaca. She is currently working with librettist Jerre Dye on The Parksville Murders, the first opera written for virtual reality. Episode 1 is now available on Samsung VR. As a performer, Kamala has been hailed as “an impassioned soprano with blazing high notes” (Wall Street Journal). She has performed and premiered pieces with Beth Morrison Projects, Anthony Braxton, and the Wooster Group, among others, and is the leader of Bombay Rickey, an operatic Bollywood surf ensemble whose debut was named Best Eclectic Album by the Independent Music Awards Vox Pop. Bombay Rickey’s opera-cabaret Bombay Rickey (Meets the Psychology of Desire), a collaboration with Rob Handel and Kristin Marting, premiered in the 2016 PROTOTYPE Festival and was most recently presented in London at Tête-à-Tête Opera’s Cubitt Sessions. Bombay Rickey has been selected for the 2017/18 season’s Mid-Atlantic Arts touring roster, and will release their sophomore album in the spring of 2018. Ms. Sankaram holds a PhD from the New School and is currently a member of the composition faculty at SUNY Purchase.
ROB HANDEL (Playwright) is from Poughkeepsie. His collaborations with Kamala Sankaram include Bombay Rickey (Meets the Psychology of Desire) and Enchantress. His comic science fiction opera The Artwork of the Future, with composer Eric Moe, was developed at New Dramatists, where Rob was a resident playwright from 2008-2015. He heads the dramatic writing program at Carnegie Mellon University, served on the board of the MacDowell Colony, and was a founding member of 13P. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife, poet Joy Katz, their son, and two dachshunds.
KRISTIN MARTING (Director) is a director of hybrid work based in NYC. Over the last 25 years, she has constructed 27 stage works, including 12 original hybrid works, 8 reimaginings of novels and 7 classic plays. She works in a collaborative, process-driven way to fuse different disciplines into a cohesive whole. Kristin has directed 17 works at HERE and also premiered works at 3LD, Ohio Theatre, and Soho Rep. Her work has toured to 7 Stages, Berkshire Festival, Brown, MCA, New World, Painted Bride, Perishable, UMass, Moscow Art Theatre and Oslo. She has directed workshops for Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Playwrights Horizons, Public Theatre, Target Margin, and others. Select residencies include Cal Arts, Drop Forge and Tool, LMCC, Mabou Mines, MASS MOCA, NACL, Orchard Project, Playwrights Center, Voice & Vision and Williams. Kristin was named a nytheatre.com Person of the Decade, a Woman to Watch by ArtTable and received a BAX10 Award. Selected grants: 2 MAP Fund, NEA, NYSCA, Greenwall, Harkness, Jerome and Santvoord Foundations. Kristin is co-founder and Artistic Director of HERE, where she directs projects, cultivates artists and programs (including 17 OBIE-award winners) two performance spaces for an annual audience of 30,000. She is also Founding Co-Director of Prototype Festival.
Looking at You is produced as part of the BRIClab Residency. BRIClab is a commissioning and residency program that offers local artists time and space to explore and expand the possibilities of their work in music, dance, theater and multi-disciplinary performance. Work-in-progress showings, presented with moderated artist-audience dialogues, open artists’ process and creativity to BRIC’s diverse public.