The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Aug 27, 2012

Starting from Scratch

Posted by Valerie Nahmad

After a summer full of performing, fundraising, and a lot cardboard, The Bearded Ladies are finally ready to begin our Cabaret Revolution! Like any healthy revolution, this one is starting slowly with a few people and a lot of books and meetings.  The Bearded Ladies begin our year-long project with a German Expressionist cabaret we are titling Marlene and the Machine.  It will be an exploration of the music of the Weimer Republic and the visual style of German Expressionist films.

Bearded Ladies artistic director John Jarboe, photo by Jarrod Markman

Bearded Ladies are starting with an array of different research materials: history books, recordings of Marlene Dietrich and Lotte Lenya, and a host of films from the period. While we listen, watch, and read we will be jotting down our impressions, ideas, and questions as a company, searching for characters, ideas, and textures.  Right now we know very little.  We know that we are interested in representations of The Future, the tension between man and machine, and how celebrity plays into the above.  Once we shift from research to creating, we will share our discoveries and new questions online  and in some street performance events we have planned as preludes to our show.  Of course the fact that The Bearded Ladies have any time to do this exploration is due to the generosity of the Knight Foundation, and for that we are very grateful.  Marlene and the Machine opens at The Wilma Theater in December 2012.

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