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  • Overtone Industries Presents World Premiere Of
    The Woman in the Wall

    A New Operatic Work Written in Medieval Modes

    With Performances in the Atmospheric
 Masonic Lodge in Culver City
    Fridays & Saturdays – March 23, 24, 30 & 31, 2012

    LOS ANGELES, CA – February 6, 2012 – Nonprofit organization Overtone Industries presents the world premiere of its new opera The Woman in the Wall, with two weekends of performances opening Friday, March 23, 2012 at the Masonic Lodge in Culver City.  Reuniting the award-winning Overtone creative team of the critically-acclaimed 2010 Songs & Dances of Imaginary Lands, The Woman in the Wall is an operatic work by Composer O-Lan Jones and Librettist Kathleen Cramer, conducted by David O, and produced by Vibrant Production Management.  Inspired by the 14th Century tradition of The Anchoress, the opera is a “mystery play” in the ancient tradition; it explores the openings and paths inside that are revealed when all doors are locked shut.  For more information, please see http://www.overtoneindustries.org and https://www.facebook.com/overtoneindustries

    The opera, which is written in Medieval modes using instruments of the time, will run for two weekends – on Fridays and Saturdays – from March 23 to March 31, 2012 with performances starting at 8:00pm.  Ticket prices are $25 for Peasants (seating closest to the performers), $40 for Royalty (seating in the middle of the performance space), and $50 for the Virtuous (reserved seating on an elevated platform).  Online tickets can be purchased via http://www.overtoneindustries.org or by calling Overtone Industries at 323-655-2410.  Performances, which are ceremonial in nature, will be held in the atmospheric Masonic Lodge at 9635 Venice Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232 (http://culvercitymasons.org; 310-836-0467). The show is suitable for mature teen and adult audiences.

    The subject of the production is inspired by the 14th Century tradition of The Anchoress – a woman who volunteers to be enclosed for the rest of her life in a church cell – with one window open to the sacred world and the other open to the ordinary world.  Over the course of seven days, which cover seventeen years, we follow The Anchoress, “Marianna” (Gretchen Johnson), as she becomes the inspirational advisor to everyone from the peasants to the king.  As we follow her journey inward through her temptations, doubts, revelations, and fears, we see how she transforms the people’s questions in relation to the Seven Virtues that light her way.  Ultimately, the work is a “mystery play” in the ancient tradition; it explores the openings and paths inside that are revealed when all doors are locked shut.  The production features an orchestra of 10 instrumentalists, a cast of a dozen principal singers, and a 30-member chorus from the Angel City Chorale, led by Sue Fink.

     

    The Woman in the Wall is a new operatic work written in Medieval modes by Composer O-Lan Jones and Librettist Kathleen Cramer. In balcony - Livia Reiner, Kathleen Kelso, and Octavia Leclerc-Jones. Below - Gretchen Johnson as Marianna. Photo Credit: Emily Brooke Sandor

    Credits –
    The Woman in the Wall
    reunites the innovative Overtone Industries creative team of Composer O-Lan Jones, Librettist Kathleen Cramer, Conductor David O, and producer Vibrant Production Management, that most recently collaborated on the critically-acclaimed experimental opera Songs & Dances of Imaginary Lands, which was honored with Ovation Award nominations for Music Direction and Scenic Design, and a win for Costume Design for the 2009-2010 season.

    – Composer & Director – O-Lan Jones
    – Librettist – Kathleen Cramer
    – Music Director – David O
    – Scenic & Costume Designer – TBA
    – Marianna, The Anchoress – Gretchen Johnson
    – Remaining Cast & Orchestra – TBA
    – Producer – Vibrant Production Management

    O-Lan Jones, Director & Composer –
    O-Lan Jones is the Artistic Director of Overtone Industries, guiding her company in the creation of new mythological operas and theatricales. Miz Jones is a full-service artist – an award-winning actor, sound designer, writer and composer.  She has been consistently involved in experimental theater, music and opera since the age of 16.  She originated roles in the plays of Sam Shepard, Julie Hebert, and Beth Henley, among others.  The press has referred to her as an “uncategorizable legend.”

    As an actress she has worked with directors Tim Burton, Jonathan Demme, Ivan Reitman, Paul Schrader, John Schlesinger, Oliver Stone, Peter Weir, and Paul Bartel who directed Shelf Life, a movie she wrote and starred in.  She is perhaps best known for playing Esmeralda, the reclusive Christian organist in Edward Scissorhands, and numerous waitress roles (Seinfeld, Shoot the Moon, Miracle Mile, Natural Born Killers, and The Truman Show).  A repeat member of Burton’s ensemble casts, she also played hick trailer-dwelling mama Sue Ann Norris in Mars Attacks! Television credits include Lonesome Dove and The X-Files; and she was a series regular on CBS’s Harts of the West.

    Last summer she sang a major role in Terry Wolverton & David Ornette Cherry’s opera Embers at Grand Performances in downtown LA.  She will soon appear in Aram Rappaport’s new film Syrup.

    Miz Jones has worked as a composer creating original music, songs, sound designs and scores for more than 40 productions.  On the West Coast she has written music for Padua Hills Playwrights, LA Women’s Shakespeare Company, San Diego Rep, the Taper Too and California Shakespeare Festival in the Bay Area.  On the East Coast, her music has been showcased at Playwright’s Horizons, the Workhouse, La Mama, and the Kurt Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

    She was the director, choreographer and one of the 11 composers who created Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands.  The critically-acclaimed opera was called “an ambitious, possibly groundbreaking new opera” (Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times), “epic avante-garde opera… a carnival fun house” (Anthony Byrnes, KCRW), and “a feast for the senses” (Mayank Keshaviah, LA Weekly).

    She has composed three short operas; five musicals; and has scored two short films.  Jones is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Overtone Industries, whose work the Los Angeles Times called “audaciously experimental entertainment.”  www.o-lanjones.com

    Kathleen Cramer, Librettist –

    Kathleen Cramer is a Bay Area artist who has written for Overtone Industries for many years.  In San Francisco, she began a serious collaboration with O-Lan Jones, yielding five operas.  In addition to The Woman in the Wall, she collaborated with Jones on the critically-acclaimed Songs & Dances Of Imaginary Lands in 2010.  She also wrote Happy Hour Becomes Electra, for Overtone’s production String of Pearls, and collaborated with Jones on The Man Whose Brother Was Eaten by Wolves and The Woman Who Forgot Her Sweater, which premiered at [INSIDE] the Ford.

    After beginning her career in New York’s Off-Off Broadway scene, working with many cutting edge playwrights, Cramer co-founded the Padua Hills Playwrights Festival in Los Angeles, which held both a school and an acclaimed festival every summer for 18 years. She also writes for the magazine Works and Conversations as a contributing editor.

    
David O, Music Director –
    David O is an award-winning composer, performer, and musical director.  His work has been featured at Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Mark Taper Forum, and the Hollywood Bowl, as well as other venues in Los Angeles and around the world.  His choral composition, A Map of Los Angeles, was commissioned by the LA Master Chorale with performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2008 and 2009.  Thousands of Los Angeles children and their parents know David as “The Professor” for his six years of performances with Summersounds at the Hollywood Bowl, produced by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  His original musicals include The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip and The Legend of Alex, both commissioned by Center Theatre Group’s P.L.A.Y. Program, and Imagine, commissioned by South Coast Repertory Theater. The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip was performed as part of the inaugural season of the Kirk Douglas Theater.

    David is the musical director, arranger, and co-composer for Disney Creative Entertainment’s new production, Toy Story: The Musical, which opened at Disney California Adventure in 2011.  Some of David’s most unique work includes non-traditional theater pieces for which he served as both musical director and composer.  Most notably, he created an entirely a capella score for Hippolytos, a new translation of Euripides’ tragedy commissioned to inaugurate the Fleischman Theater at the newly-refurbished Getty Villa in Malibu.  In addition, David was the composer, musical director, and on-stage pianist/percussionist for A Noise Within’s production of Ubu Roi, for which he received the 2006 Ovation Award for Sound Design in a Large Theater.  For the 2009-2010 season, he was nominated for an Ovation Award in Music Direction for Overtone’s Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands.

    David has musically directed countless musical theater productions in the Los Angeles area, including the world premiere of 13, the musical by Jason Robert Brown.  He has also served as musical director for the West Coast premieres of Michael John LaChiusa’s The Wild Party and Little Fish.  Other notable productions as Musical Director include The Last 5 Years (Pasadena Playhouse), The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World ([INSIDE] the Ford), and Divorce: the Musical (Hudson Mainstage). http://www.davidomusic.com

    Gretchen Johnson, The Anchoress “Marianna” –

    The Woman in the Wall, written especially for her by O-Lan Jones and Kathleen Cramer, is Gretchen Johnson’s fourth collaboration with Overtone Industries. Johnson performed in the company’s epic performance of Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands, staged in a sprawling, empty Culver City car dealership where the production received rave reviews, including one from the Los Angeles Times’ Mark Swed.  She appeared in the Overtone presentations of Herakles and the Hydra at The Met Theater and New York’s Carnegie Hall, and The Woman Who Forgot Her Sweater, also written for her, at [Inside] the Ford.  She is currently at work on a recital of under-sung and unsung music of Hollywood composers and poets.  In addition to concert stages and recital halls, she has produced and performed recitals at the Goethe Institute and other local venues including coffee houses, private salons, retirement villages and the historic steps of Echo Park’s Delta Street.  A specialist in new music theater, she has premiered works by Meredith Monk and the BOBS and, in a role written especially for her, she toured for two seasons with the Los Angeles Opera’s community production of Who Wants To Be An Opera Singer?  An active recitalist and concert performer, she has performed new works by Los Angeles-based composer Enrique Gonzáles-Medina, including Siete Poeminimos, Los Versos de la Maestra, and concert presentations of his opera Serafina y Arcángela.

    Angel City Chorale –

    Angel City Chorale, conducted by Founder/Artistic Director Sue Fink, i
s a multi-talented, multicultural choir ensemble of 160 men and
 women that truly reflects the spirit of Los Angeles, the city it calls
 home.  Performing an extraordinary repertoire, ranging from Classical a
nd Folk to Pop and Gospel, has become the group’s hallmark.  Angel
 City Chorale has appeared at such venues as Staples Center, the Los A
ngeles Convention Center, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the John A
nson Ford Amphitheater.  The choir has performed with Stevie Wonder,
 Luther Vandross, and Mary Chapin Carpenter.  Angel City Chorale has b
een selected by internationally acclaimed Music Director and Record Producer Frank McNamara to appear in an hour-long PBS special, The
 American Tenorshttp://www.angelcitychorale.org

    Vibrant Production Management, Producers –
    Vibrant Production Management works with artists of various disciplines to create and manage original, vivid artistic experiences. Vibrant offers comprehensive production services from concept to completion. Beginning with a shared vision, the firm assembles teams of artists and managers to provide energy and movement to a project. The firm handles logistics, allowing the artistic product to be presented as high-quality, seamless entertainment. Providing hands-on production management coordination from scheduling to show calling, Vibrant works in collaboration with artists to bring ideas to life. Vibrant Production Management is a partnership between Sara Adelman and Michelle Magaldi.  Adelman and Magaldi have been producing and managing live events together for over ten years in and around Los Angeles as independent contractors and employees of award-winning arts organizations. 

http://vibrantmgmt.com

    Overtone Industries –
    Emmy and Dramalogue award-winning Overtone Industries creates vivid, original myths and fables, bringing them to life in the form of opera and music/theater.  The organization is passionate about live performance and its transformational power, created as performers and audiences participate together in each unfolding moment.  Overtone believes that artistic expression is an essential ingredient to our lives; a catalyst for artists and audience members to understand themselves and each other in a fresh new way.  By exploring new relationships among words, acting, movement, and music, the non-profit ultimately seeks to create work geared to invite a broad demographic of people to experience together the Big Questions and the Big Joy of being alive.  Overtone Industries’ work has been performed in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and in New York at the Kurt Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. http://www.overtoneindustries.org

    Support –
    Overtone Industries currently receives support from Achilles Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Metabolic Studio, The National Endowment for the Arts as well as a plethora of generous individual donors.

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    For more information, to request images, or arrange interviews please contact Green Galactic’s Lynn Tejada at 213-840-1201 or lynn@greengalactic.com.

    The Woman in the Wall, a “mystery play” in the ancient tradition, explores the openings and paths inside that are revealed when all doors are locked shut. Foreground - Gretchen Johnson as Marianna. Background - Livia Reiner, Octavia Leclerc-Jones, and Kathleen Kelso. Photo Credit: Emily Brooke Sandor

    Posted on February 6th, 2012 lynn-hasty No comments

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