The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presents the U.S. premiere of Bird in Magic Rain with Tears by Norwegian theater company Winter Guests. Written by Alan Lucien Øyen and Andrew Wale and directed by Alan Lucien Øyen, the production runs in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater February 20-21 as part of Nordic Cool 2013. Press opening night is February 20, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. The production will be performed in English.
How far would you go to be immortalized in cyberspace? In Bird in Magic Rain With Tears, a multimedia play in two acts, the lengths-and the limits-to this question are precariously navigated by three lost souls whose paths fatefully intertwine: a conceptual artist grieving over her son's death-an HIV-positive boy-prostitute seeking the truth about his past- and a terminally ill, closeted gay businessman longing for the love his marriage could never provide. Norwegian playwright and director Alan Lucien Øyen and his company Winter Guests surround these characters with two revolving walls, juxtaposing their interactions with live video and using smartphones and laptops as the only props. Also taking inspiration from a biography of real-life shipping mogul John Fredriksen, once the richest man in Norway, Øyen treads the boundaries of fact vs. fiction-and how we attempt to stage and preserve our fragile lives.
Winter Guests was established in 2006 as a producing and touring company for work created by choreographer and director Alan Lucien Øyen. What began as works based in dance with the use of some text, has fractioned into two parallel lines of work: choreographic work with dancers and staging of plays with actors. The company now produces mainly theater works written by Alan Lucien Øyen, often in collaboration with the performers, while Øyen continues to stage commissioned dance performances for dance companies around the world. Winter Guests received great critical acclaim for the 2009 production of America-Visions of Love, a play about writing a screen-play for a movie about America which is in turn destined for the European stage. The play is based on experiences had while traveling through the States and includes original text, transcribed recordings, and improvisations. This has become part of the working method for the company-contextualizing their own reality into the subject matter of the piece, resulting in rich, eccentric, and entertaining performances. The company aims to create performances of the highest quality with rich and dramatic content, which means working only with highly skilled and experienced people both on-stage and off. Described as "sincere and emotive," the performances have engaged audiences and critics alike. The company is closely associated with BIT-teatergarasjen, in Bergen, with whom all productions have been co-produced. Work has also been created in co-production with Carte Blanche and The House of Dance, Norway. To date, the company has toured 15 countries on four continents.
Explore the Arts: On February 20, join a free post-performance discussion with a moderator and members of the company.
Bird in Magic Rain with Tears runs in the Terrace Theater evenings at 7:30 p.m. on February 20 and 21. Tickets are $34 and up and available for purchase online, at the Kennedy Center box office, or by calling Instant Charge at (202) 467-4600. Patrons living outside the Washington metropolitan area may dial toll-free at (800) 444-1324 or can visit kennedy-center.org.