Leonora, la maga y la maestra
Stacy Klein | Double Edge Theatre
Broadcast, streaming, and online premiere March 14, 2021, at 8PM EST
Streaming and online are FREE 24/7 beginning with the premiere
Captured at the Alexander Kasser Theater October 21st – 22nd, 2020
“Double Edge integrates dance, circus, masque, puppetry, multimedia, live music and elements inspired by Argentine Carnival to create theatrical events that are […] vividly experiential.” — The Boston Globe
A magical stage work inspired by the notorious life of the surrealist artist and feminist Leonora Carrington. Created by director Stacy Klein and performed by Double Edge Theatre.
Double Edge Theatre
Leonora, la maga y la maestra
Inspired by Leonora Carrington
Direction, Design Concept, and Creation by Stacy Klein
Composed by Alexander Bakshi
Co-Created with Jennifer Johnson and Carlos Uriona
Leonora Jennifer Johnson
Adán Carlos Uriona
The Pajaro Amanda Miller
The Flying Hyena Travis Coe
Trio of Shadows Matthew Glassman, Adam Bright, Robert Carlton
The Cook Milena Dabova
The Giantess Hannah Jarrell
Self Portrait Cariel Klein
Musicians John Peitso (conductor), Michael Williams
Costume Designers Tadea Klein, with Amanda Miller
Lighting Designer Mary Louise Geiger
Musical Director Liudmila Bakshi
Shadow Trio Creation Matthew Glassman
Aerial Design Adam Bright, Aerial Choreography Cariel Klein
Creative Consultants Morgan Jenness, Susan Aberth, Nina Mankin
Company Voice and Text Work Walton Wilson
Scenography Michal Kuriata, Michael Fitzgerald, Jeff Bird
Scenic Painting/Dramaturgy Jeremy Louise Eaton
Glass Egg Sculptor Ed Branson
Mask Designers Beckie Kravetz (Bird, Queen, Owls), Jana Zeller (The Giantess)
Assistant Lighting Designer Bailey Rosa
Producer Adam Bright
Associate Producer Cariel Klein
Production Manager Andrew Todd
To learn more about Double Edge Theater: Click Here
Stacy Klein (Direction/Design Concept/Creation) is a feminist theater artist. She is a visionary who came to the realization that she could not find a place among institutionalized formalities or rigid identities to create her art. Through a kabbalistic and mystical world lens, she visualizes in dreams and dimensions of hidden territories. In 1982, Klein became the founding artistic director of Double Edge Theatre in Boston, MA. This new ensemble was established to challenge the boundaries of perception and open new worlds at the crossroads of creativity, imagination, environment, and performance. She is also the founder of DE’s Center of Art, Living Culture and Art Justice in Ashfield, MA. Klein’s work has been written about in numerous publications and received awards, among them the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award for artists who have transformed their field.
Alexander Bakshi (Composer) was born in Sukhumi in 1952 and graduated from the Don Conservatory. He has lived in Moscow since 1985. He works with a synthesis of theater and music and has developed a new genre—the “theater of sound.” In his work, traditional musical forms such as the concerto, sonata, and trio are transformed into performances or dramatic scenes in which musicians become characters acting in a theatrical environment that is brought to life by the interaction of sound, space, and images.
Jennifer Johnson (Co-Creator/Leonora) is co-artistic director at Double Edge Theatre and has been working with the company since 1993. She loves the ocean and the forest and also gravitates to dark places. Johnson is lead actor, creator, and writer at DE and incorporates her passions into dramaturgy and into the physical metaphors she uses in her performance work as well as into collaboration and training. She believes that artists must continuously evolve for their work to be transformative. Johnson was the co-director of the Charlestown Working Theater in Boston for 24 years.
Carlos Uriona (Co-Creator/Adán) is co-artistic director at Double Edge Theatre and has been working with the company since 1996. He moved from Argentina, where he was the co-founder of the seminal Diablomundo Theatre, to join Double Edge in Ashfield. As a bridge builder, Uriona has forged the way for DE’s audience and grassroots involvement and infused the Theatre’s work with a deep sense of optimism. He is lead actor, creator, and puppeteer and, since joining DE, has co-created and appeared in all of the Theatre’s performances.
Amanda Miller (Costume Designer/The Pajaro) is co-musical director at Double Edge Theatre and joined the company in 2011. In addition to being an actor and singer, Miller is a costumiere—a fabric-loving, textile-working wizard. She loves nature as a metaphor and microcosm of the universe. Miller is originally from Dubois, IN. She graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with a BA in women in theater, and general music: voice and saxophone.
Travis Coe (The Flying Hyena) is associate artistic director at Double Edge Theatre and has been working with the company since 2016. Coe has taken on several roles at DE, including actor, solo performer, co-creator, video director, and marketing. He pushes his desires and dreams forward unapologetically. Coe also co-founded Round Room Image in Chicago and received his BA in acting at Columbia College Chicago.
Matthew Glassman (Shadow Trio Creation/Shadow) has worked with Double Edge Theatre since 2000. He makes not-so-obvious connections between the realms of theater, nature, and the environment—and other sectors, such as social movements, local culture, and politics. Glassman is a writer, actor, and director and is the initiator of Art & Survival, a national convening hosted at The Farm that gathers artists, activists, and change-makers from around the country.
Adam Bright (Producer/Aerial Design/Shadow) is producing executive director at Double Edge Theatre and joined the company in 2005. He leads DE’s organization and business with an artistic and holistic vision. His art combines acting, producing, and aerial rigging. As producer he leads all major projects of the Theatre, including the Spectacles, touring performances, and the events and business of the Farm Center. Bright moved to Ashfield from Kent, England, and holds an honors degree in theater from Hull University.
Robert Carlton (Shadow) is an artist from Wayne, PA. He is a musician in DE’s performances and also leads the Food Systems at the Theatre. He holds a BA in theater and music from Temple University. In Philadelphia, Carlton worked as an actor and sound designer. Along with other Temple alumni he started the theater collective Found Theater, with whom he performed in several productions for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.
Milena Dabova (The Cook) is director of choreography and grants at Double Edge Theatre and has worked with the company since 2008. She is a seeker of highest and deepest potential in herself and others through her passion for physicality. Dabova is an actor, co-creator, and dancer and is originally from Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She holds a BA summa cum laude in theater and dance and psychology from Amherst College.
Hannah Jarrell (The Giantess) is director of community development at Double Edge Theatre and has worked with the company since 2006. Jarrell is a quiet engine of DE, sharing art and community, whether acting on stage, or high on stilts, or in social gatherings. She is a native of Austin, TX. She is a graduate of Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX, where she received her BA in theater, German, and Spanish, and an MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College.
Cariel Klein (Associate Producer/Aerial Choreography/Self Portrait) is associate producer at Double Edge Theatre and came back to the company in 2017 after having been raised there. She has an urge to find a creative community that would work with her towards a just world. Klein is an antagonist in an imperialist world and an accomplice in an antiracist, multigenerational artistic movement. She finds beauty in the mixture of athleticism, art, and creativity, which she explores in aerial choreography and performance as well as in her role leading residencies.
John Peitso (Conductor) is co-musical director and lighting director at Double Edge Theatre and has worked with the company since 1993. He uses breath as a conduit for the voice in his composition and throughout his training and musical leadership. Peitso works with the Ensemble and resident artists as well as a community of fellow musicians. Peitso was the TD/music director at Charlestown Working Theater for 24 years.
Michael Williams (Musician), hailed by the Boston Globe as “one of the city’s best percussionists,” has performed throughout North America and Europe and is based in the Boston area. An advocate for contemporary music, he is a founding member of chamber opera company Guerilla Opera and served as its artistic director for eleven seasons, commissioning and premiering more than two dozen new operas.
Tadea Klein (Costume Designer) was raised in Ashfield, MA, and graduated from Bard College with a degree in creative writing and Judaic studies. After studying in Israel, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, she is now the costume designer and resident farmer at DE.
Mary Louise Geiger (Lighting Designer) is a lighting designer whose most recent work includes Until the Flood, Draw the Circle (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater); X, or Betty Shabazz v. The Nation (Acting Company tour and NYC); Nat Turner in Jerusalem, Forever, Oedipus at Palm Springs (NYTW); The Liar (CSC); and My Mother has 4 Noses (Duke), among many others. Geiger is also arts professor and head of lighting design at Tisch School of the Arts.
Liudmila Bakshi (Musical Director) holds a PhD in musicology from the Institute of Art Research in Moscow and has published numerous articles about contemporary music. As a singer, a soprano, she has performed throughout Europe, Japan, and the United States, often in the works of her husband, Alexander Bakshi. She has staged over a dozen musical-theatrical productions in Russia, Poland, China, and other countries.
Morgan Jenness (Creative Consultant) is a freelance dramaturg based in New York City. For over ten years, Jenness worked at The Public Theater, under both George C. Wolfe and Joseph Papp in roles ranging from literary manager to director of play development to associate producer of the New York Shakespeare Festival. They were also associate artistic director at the New York Theatre Workshop and an associate director at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in charge of new projects.
Susan Aberth (Creative Consultant) is the Edith C. Blum Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at Bard College, NY, where her specialties include Latin American art, surrealism, outsider art, and esotericism. She holds a BA from UCLA; an MA from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU; and a PhD from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is the author of Leonora Carrington: Surrealism, Alchemy and Art (2004) and has contributed essays to several publications.
Nina Mankin (Creative Consultant) is a dramaturg who works with theaters and individual artists to help them realize their work, and is also an arts journalist. She holds a MA in performance studies/critical theory from New York University.
Walton Wilson (Company Voice and Text Work) serves as chair of the Acting Department and head of Voice and Speech at the Yale School of Drama. He is the resident voice and speech advisor for Yale Repertory Theatre and has served as voice, text, and dialect coach for productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in regional theater. Wilson’s professional acting credits include productions Off-Broadway and in regional theaters and Shakespeare festivals across the United States.
Michal Kuriata (Scenography) works with sculptures, paintings, drawings, and stage design. He was born in Wrocław, Poland, and acquired his master’s degree in sculpture from the Wrocław Academy of Fine Arts. Kuriata has worked as set designer for numerous theater performances. A portfolio of his work can be found at www.michalkuriata.com.
Michael Fitzgerald (Scenography) is the facilities and operations director at Double Edge. He was born and raised in Ashfield, MA, on the Fitzgerald Family Dairy Farm, now Double Edge’s Farm Center. He has four decades of manipulating the human built world—carpentry, farming, building homes, churches, and theatrical productions. Fitzgerald is chairman of Ashfield’s Planning Board.
Jeff Bird (Scenography) is currently the technical director at Amherst College. He has been working as a college technical director since 1999. Finding ways to create things that no one has made or thought of before and helping other people develop these skills keeps him engaged and excited about his work. Bird first worked with Double Edge on Don Quixote in 2002 and since then has collaborated as both a builder and designer on a number of projects.
Jeremy Louise Eaton (Scenic Painting/Dramaturgy) is director of design at Double Edge Theatre and has been with the company since 2004. She works to create spaces and opportunities for herself and others to learn. In addition to developing numerous roles and designing, Eaton also co-leads DE’s training programs. Before coming to DE and Massachusetts, she lived in other countries (Laos and Pakistan) and throughout the United States (California, Maryland, North Carolina, and Wisconsin).
Ed Branson (Glass Egg Sculptor) is a glass artist who works in Ashfield, MA. Since 1982 glass has had a constant presence in his life. This relationship has been enhanced and explored with some of the world’s glass masters, but predominantly his knowledge of this magic material is built on day-to-day experience and practice in his studio. His work can be found at www.edbranson.com.
Beckie Kravetz (Mask Designer) began her sculpture career as a theatrical mask maker. She received her training at the Yale School of Drama, the Centro Maschere e Strutture Gestuali in Italy, the Taller de Madera in Guatemala, and the Instituto Allende in San Miguel, Mexico. In 1988, she became the resident mask maker for the Los Angeles Opera. Her skills have helped transform the faces of dozens of singers, including Placido Domingo, Sir Thomas Allen, Carol Vaness, Samuel Ramey, Gerald Finley, and Rod Gilfry.
Jana Zeller (Mask Designer) is a second-generation German-American puppeteer and visual artist based in Vermont. Zeller loves to perform for family audiences, whether they are in a tiny library in Vermont or an esteemed theater in New York. She also teaches puppetry workshops on the road, and art classes at her own studio.
Bailey Rosa (Assistant Lighting Designer) hails from Lafayette, IN, where she grew up working in community theater. She has a BFA in lighting design from The Theatre School at DePaul University and an MFA in lighting design from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Recent lighting design credits include Richard III (The New School); Spring Awakening (Vanguard Theater Company); Closing Night (HERE Performing Arts); The Hope Hypothesis (Voyage Theater Company); Sing, Goddess (HERE Performing Arts); and The Shoebox (SheNYC Arts).
Andrew Todd (Production Manager) is production manager and an actor at Double Edge and has worked with the company since 2011. He has performed in several of DE’s Spectacle performances and was the associate lighting designer for The Grand Parade. Todd is originally from Des Moines, IA, and graduated from Indiana State University with a BA in theater with a concentration in acting and performance while dabbling in playwriting, dramaturgy, and media design.
Where the Bird Sings Best, Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s imaginative journey through his ancestry, was the starting point when I began working on Double Edge’s Latin American Cycle. Yet as the 2016 election approached, and so much misogyny was laid bare, I realized that I could not make any more performances without a woman as a central figure. Discovering the 20th-century writer, painter, and sculptor of the Surrealist circle Leonora Carrington, someone who remains all too embedded in the hidden territories of our cultural landscape, was no less than a revelation—of an artistic partner, mentor, guide, and inspiration. Her literary work, such as the kabbalistic The Stone Door, took hold alongside of her magnificent art, and we learned that Jodorowsky was indeed one of many artists and filmmakers who sought Carrington’s artistic mentorship. Her unique imagination guided those men (and women) she mentored, as well as all who experience her fantastically committed process of creation. The encounter which we have unveiled, between Leonora and Adán (everyman), portrays the magic, mystery, and humanity found in Carrington’s work, yet the way it is painted and imagined is without doubt mine and the ensemble’s own invention.
Leonora Carrington (1917–2011) was one of the most remarkable artists of the twentieth century who is only now receiving the attention she deserves. Painter, sculptor, playwright, printmaker, costume designer, and fiction writer, this multitalented artist left behind a remarkable body of work that has been the subject of exhibitions and books worldwide. Born in England, during the 1930s she became part of the Surrealist circle in France where she was forced into exile, like so many other surrealist artists, because of World War II. In 1943 she moved permanently to Mexico where she remained until her death, raising a family and becoming an important part of that country’s cultural life.
Her work deals with global myths and esoteric teachings ranging from Tibetan Buddhism to the Kabbalah, alchemy, Celtic magic, and Goddess Worship. As an early and ardent feminist, she sought to reclaim women’s central role in these spiritual traditions. Likewise, she was a pioneer in addressing speciesism and the planet’s impending ecological disaster.
Working with Double Edge Theatre as their Leonora Carrington consultant over the past six months has been a great learning experience. I expected to convey traditional information on the artist, only to find that the director, Stacy Klein, had already purchased not only the primary texts on this artist but many of the more obscure as well. These items were worn with use, tagged with notes, and clearly had been carefully read and memorized. Discussions about the performance were held at a very high level with many nuances at play that engaged a great variety of sources. Klein and the other participants incorporated aspects of Carrington’s biography, relationships, artwork, and writing in order to provide a unique vision of Carrington, an extraordinarily gifted and powerful individual, and her mentorships of other artists. The final product is steeped in magic, revealing not only the alchemical melding between great seers but also their spiritual tug of war around issues of gender. Every aspect of this performance is based on factual evidence, and yet it also transcends reality to provide a tantalizing glimpse of what happens when the creative arts meet the magical arts. My own role was to provide a gentle nudge here and there as to accuracy and atmosphere, taken from the subjective perspective of my own relationship with the artist. More often than not, I stood in humble amazement watching this piece distill and go through many transmutations until it reached its current state. Everyone’s dedication and tireless drive to give Carrington the respect she is due impressed me and has informed my own working methods.
PODCAST: The Talking Cure
EP7: Stacy Klein | Double Edge Theatre
Recorded remotely on April 23, 2020 via Zoom.
Co-produced by PEAK Performances @ Montclair State University | Alexander Kasser Theater. Development support provided by the Office of the Dean of Special Programs at Skidmore College and the New York State Council on the Arts.