American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) ends performances of the world premiere production FUTURITY: A MUSICAL BY THE LISPS, with music and lyrics by César Alvarez with The Lisps; book by Molly Rice and César Alvarez; directed by Sarah Benson tonight, April 15, 2012, at the A.R.T.'s second space, OBERON, at 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge.
As the Civil War rages around him, the Union soldier Julian Munro dreams of bringing peace to the world and an end to human suffering. Under the guidance of Lord Byron's brilliant daughter, Ada Lovelace, Julian attempts to invent an omnipotent steam-powered brain designed to save humanity before it destroys itself. Featuring the indie-rock band, The Lisps, this quirky new musical melds science fiction, historical narrative, and the sounds of American folk music to explore Julian and Ada's epic fantasy of a utopian future.
The company includes César Alvarez as Julian Munro, Sammy Tunis as Ada Lovelace, Edwin Lee Gibson as the General, Anne Gottlieb as Lady Byron, Aaron Schroeder as the Sergeant, and Chelsey Donn as Vincent. The ensemble of soldiers, musicians, and scientists will be played by Eric Farber, Ben Simon, Lorenzo Wolff, and A.R.T. Institute actors Milia Ayache, Matthew Christian, Liza Dickinson, Teri Gamble, Rose Hogan, Carl James, Michael Kane, and Lindsey Liberatore. The production design is by Emily Orling, Set and Costume Design by David Israel Reynoso, Lighting Design by Austin R. Smith, Sound Design by Matt Tierney, Choreography by Annie-B Parson, and Music Direction by Debra Barsha.
César Alvarez is a New York-based composer, lyricist, performer, writer and saxophonist, founding member of The Lisps. He is also the co-founder and resident composer of LA-based dance company Contra-Tiempo. His recent composition credits include Damned Beautiful for Helix Dance (Edinburgh Fringe), 3 2's or AFAR by Mac Wellman (Dixon Place), Full Still Hungry for Contra-Tiempo (Ford Amphitheater). He was a 2004 Meet The Composer/Van Lier Fellow and attended Interlochen Arts Academy 1997-99. Alvarez holds a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory and a Master of Fine Arts from Bard College.
Chelsey Donn participated in the FUTURITY Workshops (with Michael Cerveris) at Ars Nova, HERE, and Joe's Pub; appeared in When in Disgraceat Theatre at St. Clements; The Demon, AWhat? at Ensemble Studio Theater; and Sighting V at Union Square Theater. Regional credits include The Corn is Green and Mommy Says I'm Pretty on the Inside at the Williamstown Theater Festival; David and Lisa at Walnut Street Theater; andAccomplice: Hollywood (produced by Neil Patrick Harris). Films: Arthur, Loving Leah, Orenthal: The Musical. Television: "Onion News Network."
Eric Farber plays a soldier and is the drummer of the production, and the creator of the Steam Brain, a behemoth percussion contraption - integrated with his traditional drumset - comprising a vast network of hand-cranked,belt-driven, spring-loaded kinetic mechanisms, made from found relics of the industrial age, furnishing both a visual and sonic representation of the machine that creates peace. He participated in the FUTURITY Workshops at Ars Nova, The Rudyard Ripling, HERE, Joe's Pub, Ars Nova, Joe's Pub, and Bard College. He is a member of The Lisps (Extropian), The Ladybug Transistor (Merge, Fortuna Pop!), The Fisherman Xylophonic Burlesque Orchestra (TikiJive). Farber holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from The New School University with a degree in Philosophy of Technology and Ontology.