Last fall, Truck Space co-founder JRC saw the silent film Napoleon with a full orchestra in San Francisco. He says it re-ignited his desire to do his own inter-disciplinary interpretation of a classic work, something he'd been mulling over for years.
Now, the long wait is almost over.
This spring, JRC's producing Faust 2013, a project combining various art disciplines to interpret the Goethe's Faust, an evocative examination of pride, love, and the downfall of a man.
He says he was drawn to this particular fable, in part, because it's recognizable without being too familiar.
"I know the story just as it has tumbled into 'folklore' as cultural shorthand for bad deeds done with noble intention," JRC wrote in an e-mail interview. "That vague cultural memory is what makes Faust interesting, we know the idea and broad strokes of it, but not the detail."
The production will accompany the 1926 film version of Goethe's fable directed by F. W. Murnau and starring Gösta Ekman as Faust. JRC says silent films like this one offer plenty of material to inspire poets, dancers, and musicians.
"[Silent films] are about emoting in big way," he writes. "The actors kind of 'mug' for the camera without voice, and the whole film is about primal ideas and emotions expressed in large ways."
Participating in the production will be Phoenix poet Jack Evans, who JRC says also teaches film appreciation "on occasion."
To contrast Evans' "longer view of life and experience" and "very wry, keen sense of words and expression," JRC says he looked to Ernesto Moncado, who in addition to hosting poetry readings and writing poetry/prose, also leads a performance troupe called Arcana Collective.
They'll be joined by contemporary modern dance troupe, Dulce Dance Company.
JRC calls the production "a kind of 'high wire' act" because none of the troupes or performers have done a show with this many elements before. To pull it off will require trust -- not only in supporting their own acts but also in knowing when to give each discipline its own space.
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"What we are working toward is an almost sensory overload. Each performer/group is creating its own interpretation of the Faust legend, and combined will create still another, each audience member through their shifting attentions will create yet another valid version resulting in a unique experience that no one else can ever have," he says.
For more information, contact managing producer JRC at email@example.com.