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Elise Thoron
 
Works
Poetry Plays New Work Lit to Life Cultural Exchange Translation

My plays are music theater pieces.  Having your words set to music is one of the most sublime joys.  An actor holds words in their body, releases them on notes, which penetrate a listener, not only with meaning, but the breath of life. I particularly enjoy working with musicians, who do not primarily work in theater.

The Band
Elise with the cast of Hatuey Memory of Fire and Frank London

Musicians have a different rhythm of working; they come in skills honed, parts learned (well mostly‚Ķ) play together in one or two rehearsals, whereas we in theater labor and delve for weeks.  The time it takes to craft a piece of theater is astounding; musicians either love the process or fidget.  Working at Bard Summer Music Festival on Correspondence a concert theater piece I adapted from on Tchaikovsky’s correspondence with his patroness the Baroness von Meck, the concert musicians were so moved by the actors’ words, one said: “how can we play after that exchange?”  And the two actors so choked-up after a string quartet asked: “how can we speak now?”   Directing is listening, finding relationships between music and text, sounds in the room, I write scripts in my mind’s ear.  Recycling: washi tales incorporates the watery rhythmic sound of papermaking into the blend of traditional Japanese instruments and voices on stage.

ToasT   HATUEY MEMORY OF FIRE (writer) A Cuban Night Club Opera in Yiddish with music by Frank London.
     
ToasT  

RECYCLING: WASHI TALES (writer/director); with Japanese paper artist Kyoko Ibe along with American performer Karen Kandel, and Japanese traditional performers. Official website: www.washitales.com

     
Hatuey  

PROZAK AND THE PLATYPUS (book/lyrics/comic) music by Jill Sobule, artwork by KellyAnne Hanrahan. Official website: www.prozakandtheplatypus.com

     
Hatuey  

GREEN VIOLIN (book/lyrics) musical drama based on the murals Marc Chagall painted for the first Soviet Yiddish Theater (GOSET) in Moscow, 1920. Composer: Frank London. Co-conceived by Rebecca Taichman. Learn more about Green Violin here.

     
Hatuey  

CHARLOTTE: LIFE? OR THEATER? (book/lyrics) based on a series of paintings by German artist, Charlotte Salomon, music by Gary Fagin; developed by Ted Sperling. Learn more about Charlotte: Life? Or Theater? here.

     
Hatuey  

CORRESPONDENCE: Tchaikovsky - Von Meck (adapter/director) is a concert theater piece based on the thirteen year correspondence between Tchaikovsky and his patroness the Baroness Von Meck, whom he never met. For two actors, chamber orchestra, opera singer, two-hand piano, commissioned by Bard Summer Music Festival (Tchaikovsky, 1998).

     
Hatuey  

THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald, adapted and directed in Russian with saxophone/piano for the repertory of The Pushkin Theatre, Moscow, script draws on additional material from Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon and The Crack-up. Played nine years in repertory. (1995-2004).

     
Hatuey  

IN THE RAVINE by Anton Chekhov (unproduced) written for a seminar in Russian Literature taught by Robert L. Jackson, for actors and Russian chorus.