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Happiness Is A Warm Gun

Happiness is a Warm Gun (2014)

Happiness is a Warm Gun (2014)

Happiness Is A Warm Gun
a devised work of The LIDA Project

This six-part performance exploration of gun culture and violence deconstructs the American gun debate. From freedom to fear, our complex relationship with firearms, and the role they play in our society is one of the most polarizing issues of our generation. From the inside it has become a cornerstone of the ideological “Culture War” with players on both sides staking uncompromising positions, making broad claims and dehumanizing anyone who may disagree with their perspective. From the outside it looks like a high-stakes game being played by people with endless resources, who play loose with the rules and only let you play if you buy into their brand.

It is a game.

A trivial pursuit where we chase one another around in circles gathering facts and assembling parts and pieces in a race to win the grand prize- the right to call our opponent wrong. The right to call ourselves true american.

This is where the LIDA Project’s exploration begins. With a circle…

“We’re losing that level of intimacy in American theater. The fourth wall is becoming a fourth cinderblock wall where that connection with the audience isn’t as tangible as it used to be.”
– Tommy Sheridan

Production History
October 10 – December 20, 2014 : site specific residences :: Denver, CO

Media Coverage
LIDA Project performances bring gun discussions into living rooms – The Denver Post
The LIDA Project takes aim with Happiness is a Warm Gun – Westword

The Company (Direction)
Carol Bloom
Robin Davies
Nancy Flanagan
Sinjin Jones
Erika Kae
Tommy Sheridan
Kenny Storms

Ensemble
Kenneth Berba
Logan Custer
Dell Domnik
Caty Herrick
Sinjin Jones
Erika Kae
Ren Kolozak
Iona Leighton
Jihad Milhem
J. Edward Nelson
Ben Turk
Madison Ritter

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The Works

Part I: Raw
Three soldiers from different eras in American history find themselves on common ground as they explore the existential reasons for their meeting. Directed by Carol Bloom with performances by Ren Kolozak, Jihad Milhem, Ben Turk, & Madison Ritter.

Part II: The Happy Couple
The Gods intervene in this chapter to manipulate a couple who believe their lust for power entitles them to happiness. Drected by Nancy Flanagan with performances by Dell Domnik, Caty Herrick, Iona Leighton, & J. Edward Nelson.

Part III: Kamikaze
Reality TV comes to the living room with this high-energy work about sensationalism and extremes. Directed by Sinjin Jones with performances by Caty Herrick, Sinjin Jones, Ren Kolozak, & Madison Ritter.

Part IV: Mind the Machina
A young man is trying to discover the keys to a better life and takes a journey into a world of madness. Directed by Erika Kae with performances by Kenneth Berba, Logan Custer, Iona Leighton, & Ben Turk.

Part V: Between The Middle
Two people attempt to play a game of chess but mistrust leads to a debate on rules and strategy. Directed by Kenny Storms with performances by Caty Herrick, Erika Kae, & Ben Turk.

Part VI: Beep
Following a tragic event, a couple struggles to reconcile personal beliefs with reality. Directed by Robin Davies with performances by Dell Domnik, Iona Leighton, and J. Edward Nelson.

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R.U.R. / lol

R.U.R. / lol (2013)

R.U.R. / lol (2013)

R.U.R. / lol
a devised work of The LIDA Project*

Part text. Part noise. Part sound. Part image. All Robot.

R.U.R./lol, an original work loosely based on the 1920 Czech science-fiction play Rossum’s Universal Robots. At the end of humanity four robots remain. Through their controllers they work to protect what remains of the planet from a catastrophic event. The process leads them to question how we came to this end.

Production History
February 15 – March 2, 2013: work | space :: Denver, CO

Awards
Best Lighting Design (Steven J. Deidel), True West Award
Best Multimedia Integration (Steven J. Deidel, Kenrick Fischer, Kevin Zegan, Max Peterson and Brian Freeland), True West Award
Best New Play, True West Awards Nomination
Best Scenic Design (Steven J. Deidel / David Lafont), True West Awards Nomination
Best Sound Design (Dustin Lacy), True West Awards Nomination

Media Coverage
LIDA Project’s R.U.R./lol uses robots to examine what it means to be human – Westword
Photo Essay: My Night at LIDA Project’s ‘R.U.R./lol’ – CultureWest

The Company
Direction: Lorenzo Sariñana
Production Design: Steven J. Deidel
Lighting Design: Steven J. Deidel / Kenrick Fischer
Scenic Design: Steven J. Deidel / David Lafont
Sound Design: Dustin Lacy / Lorenzo Sariñana
Costume Design: Lorenzo Sariñana
Projection Design: Steven J. Deidel /Brian Freeland / David Lafont / Max Peterson

Ensemble
Robots: Rhea Amos / Hart DeRose / Laura Lounge / Heidi Pachner
Controllers: Kenrick Fisher / Brian Freeland / Dustin Lacy / David Lafont / Tommy Sheridan / Lorenzo Sariñana

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Red Hot Patriot

Red Hot Patriot (2012)

Red Hot Patriot (2012)

Red Hot Patriot
by Margaret and Allison Engel

Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful. I only aim at the powerful. When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel – it’s vulgar.”
– Molly Ivins

Production History
October 25 – 28, 2012 : work | space :: Denver, CO
November 2 – 10, 2012 : The Aurora Fox :: Aurora, CO
November 15 – 30, 2013 : The Dairy Center :: Boulder, CO

Awards
Best Drama, True West Award Nomination
Best Actress in a Drama (Rhonda Brown), True West Award Nomination
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play (Rhonda Brown), Henry Award Nomination
Best Political Theatre, Best of Westword 2013

The Company
Producers: A. Zeik Saidman & Brian Freeland
Associate Producer: Alana Smart
Direction: Brian Freeland
Stage Management: Tommy Sheridan
Lighting Design: Jacob M. Welch
Scenic Design: David Lafont
Sound Design: Max Peterson
Costume Design: Sharon McClaury
Publicity: Gloria Shanstrom

Ensemble
Rhonda Brown: Molly Ivins
Rhea Amos: The Helper

A very special thank you to our original production sponsors:
Presenting Sponsor: C. Richard and Marianne Reinisch Foundation | Sponsors: ACLU of Colorado, Brett Family Foundation, In memory of Joel Ehrlich, Caroline Lapp and Phil Barber, & John P. Oppenheim, PC, Attorney at Law | Beloveds: Bob Drake, Bruce & Jaren Ducker, Dr. Bob & Marilyn Fried, Paul & Jean Kottke, Elaine Selberg & Dan Recht, Jane & Stan Thalman, & Jan Temple

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Auto da Fé

Trina Magness and Dan O'Neill in Auto da Fé  (2012)

Trina Magness and Dan O’Neill in Auto da Fé (2012)

Auto da Fé
An original adaptation of the book by Elias Canetti by Rebecca Gorman O’Neill.

A twisted creation developed by The LIDA Project ensemble, playwright Rebecca Gorman, and director Brian Freeland. Manipulations of darkness and light and juxtapositions of ghastly imagery help to re-imagine Canetti’s breakthrough 1935 work about a lone recluse and his infinite library of books.

Production History
May 11 – June 2, 2012: work | space :: Denver, CO

Awards
Best New Work (Rebecca Gorman O’Neill), True West Awards Nomination
Best Actor in a Drama (Dan O’Neill), True West Awards Nomination

Media Coverage
LIDA Project’s surreal Auto da Fé – The Denver Post
The Sound and The Fury – Westword

The Company
Producers: Brian Freeland, Steven J. Deidel & The LIDA Project
Direction: Brian Freeland
Words / Dramaturgy: Rebecca Gorman O’Neill
Production Stage Manager: G. Austin Allen
Lighting Design: Steven J. Deidel / Anna R. Kaltenbach
Scenic Design: David Lafont
Projection Design: Steven J. Deidel / Ryan Gaddis
Costume Design: Hart DeRose
Sound Design: Brian Freeland
Associate Sound Design / Operator: Anson Nicholson
Associate Lighting Design: Tommy Sheridan

Ensemble
Dan O’Neill: Kien
Trina Magness: Therese
Robin Davies: Doorman / Fischerle
Lorenzo Sariñana: George / Brute / Beggar / Others

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Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (2011)

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (2011)

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep
a devised work of The LIDA Project*

The LIDA Project’s 6-part award winning epic on health, care, mortality and dying in the United States originally premiered in December of 2011 in a unique collaboration between the LIDA Project and a group of guest directors and community leaders. The work was environmentally designed and performed in private residences.

Production History
December 02 – December 17, 2011 : site specific residences :: Denver, CO
January 27 – February 11, 2012 :site specific residences :: Denver, CO

Awards
Special Achievement – Denver Post Ovation Award

Media Coverage
LIDA health-care epic: Home theater for what ails us – The Denver Post
Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep tackles health, care, death and dying in the USA – Westword

The Company
Direction: Robin Davies / Brian Freeland / Josh Hartwell / Jaime Lujan / Brenda Cook Ritenour / Kate Roselle / Tommy Sheridan / Kenny Storms
Artistic Director: Brian Freeland
Dramaturgy: Rebecca Gorman O’Neill
Movement: Tonya Malik-Carson
Scenic Design: Amelia Charter
Production Assistant: Laura Lounge

Ensemble
Rhea Amos, Meg Chamberlain, Hart DeRose, Nancy Flanagan, Michelle Hurtubise, Madeleine Joyce, Sonia Justl, Deanna Lowman, Heidi Pachner, Lorenzo Sariñana, Stefin Woolever, & Ryan Wuestewald

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The Works

The Soldier
The Soldier maneuvers through a recent Iraq War veterans struggles to care for herself and her relationships while her PTSD and grief from the war spin into a sadistic health insurance game show. Directed by Tommy Sheridan with performances by Rhea Amos, Hart DeRose, Nancy Flanagan, Michelle Hurtubise, Madeleine Joyce, Heidi Pachner, Stefin Woolever, and Ryan Wuestewald.

The Addict
The Addict is a cyclical spiral of losing control and asking for help. It grapples with both tangible and systemic addictions and whether or not we have the agency to choose our own paths. Directed by Kate Roselle and Kenny Storms with performances by Nancy Flanagan, Madeleine Joyce, Deanna Lowman, Heidi Pachner, Lorenzo Sariñana, and Stefin Woolever.

The Survivor
An exploration of how we grapple with death–both losing those we love and dealing with the knowledge of our own. Directed by Jaime Lujan with performances by Rhea Amos, Hart DeRose, Michelle Hurtubise, Madeleine Joyce, Lorenzo Sariñana, and Ryan Wuestewald.

The Middleman
An examination of the difficult choices that individuals have to make on health + care in a world of 7 billion people. Directed by Robin Davies with performances by Rhea Amos, Hart DeRose, Michelle Hurtubise, Heidi Pachner, and Ryan Wuestewald.

The Immigrant
An exploration of alternative medicine, cultural assimilation, and the red tape beaurocrtic hoops we have to jump through. Directed by Brenda Cook Ritenour with performances by Hart DeRose, Michelle Hurtubise, Deanna Lowman, and Lorenzo Sariñana.

The Patient
The Patient is a poetic and lyrical exploration of the ins outs ups downs of a person’s final moments and how hospice and its workers provide support to that person and their relatives. “What’s more important than our final moment,” one patient asks. Death responds, “Them.” Directed by Josh Hartwell with performances by Nancy Flanagan, Madeleine Joyce, Deanna Lowman, Heidi Pachner, and Stefin Woolever.

* Development collaborators: Rhea Amos, Meg Chamberlain, Amelia Charter, Robin Davies, Hart DeRose, Nancy Flanagan, Brian Freeland, Josh Hartwell, Michelle Hurtubise, Madeleine Joyce, Sonia Justl, Laura Lounge, Deanna Lowman, Jaime Lujan, Tonya Malik-Carson, Rebecca Gorman O’Neill, Heidi Pachner, Brenda Cook Ritenour, Lorenzo Sariñana, Kate Roselle, Tommy Sheridan, Kenny Storms, Stefin Woolever, & Ryan Wuestewald

 

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Justin Bieber Meets Al Qaeda

Justin Bieber Meets Al Qaeda (2011)

Justin Bieber Meets Al Qaeda (2011)

Justin Bieber Meets Al Qaeda
a devised work of The LIDA Project*

This original LIDA collaborative work inspired by Max Fritch’s The Firebugs and Albert Camus’s The Just, focuses on American pop culture and attitudes a decade after the Al Qaeda attacks on the United States. An irreverent, bombastic, and controversial examination of American politics and culture post 9-11.

Production History
September 9 – October 8, 2011: work | space :: Denver, CO

Awards
Best Multimedia Integration (Steven J. Deidel) -Denver Post Ovation Award
Best Lighting (Steven J. Deidel) – Denver Post Ovation Award Nomination
Best Sound (Kenny Storms & Max Peterson)– Denver Post Ovation Award Nomination

Media Coverage
Art from the ashes: A decade later, great art inspired by 9/11 is rare
Photo call: Opening night for new LIDA Project
The Terror, the Terror!
The Denver Post Fall Arts Preview

The Company
Producers: Brian Freeland, Steven J. Deidel & The LIDA Project
Direction: Brian Freeland
Dramaturgy: Rebecca Gorman O’Neill
Lighting / Projection Design: Steven J. Deidel
Sound Design: Max Peterson & Kenny Storms
Costume Design: Annette Westerby
Associate Lighting Design: Anna R. Kaltenbach
Associate Lighting Design / Lighting Programmer: G. Austin Allen
Projection Associate / Content Creation: Ryan Gaddis
Pixel Twister: Joe Deats
Camera Operators / Video Technicians: Tommy Sheridan & Alex Polzin
LIVE Sand Artist: Amelia Charter

Ensemble
Patrick Balai: Homeland Security / George W. Bush
Robin Davies: White
Hart DeRose: Anna Lucia
Dan O’Neill: Osama Bin Ladin
Safa Samiezade-Yazd: The Chorus
Matthew Schultz: Sadam Hussain / Bieber
Ryan Wuestewald: Wilson

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* Development collaborators: Robin Davies, Hart DeRose, Brian Freeland, & Matthew Schultz. Additional collaboration from Steven J. Deidel, Rebecca Gorman O’Neill, Dan O’Neill, & Kenny Storms

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Roller Skating With My Cousin

Chorus (a.k.a. The Large Hadron Collider) in Roller Skating With My Cousin. Photo: Erin Preston (2010).

Chorus (a.k.a. The Large Hadron Collider) in Roller Skating With My Cousin. Photo: Erin Preston (2010).

Roller Skating With My Cousin
a devised work of The LIDA Project*

Part science lab, part disco, Roller Skating With My Cousin combines the mythology and archetypes of the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel with the sexual revolutionary act of roller skating, while simultaneously asking whether we can all create a custom-designed universe in our kitchen sink and, furthermore, why did Ronald Reagan fail as the anti-Christ? This mash-up of themes results in a lively, dark romp in which a synchronized chorus of roller skaters builds a tower under a star-flecked mirror ball sky.

“Roller Skating With My Cousin is a musical love letter from the future, on wheels, with utter disregard for logic and linearity…let LIDA be your guide… For sensible people, the 1980s have long been thought of as a time best forgotten…Then along came the delightfully whacked-out lunatics at the LIDA Project.”
-Kurt Brighton, The Denver Post

“It’s riveting, surprising, a beautiful cross…between theater and life.”
-Juliet Wittman, Westword

Production History
January 15 – February 20, 2010: BINDERY | space :: Denver, COMedia Coverage
Rolling ’round the 80’s (The Denver Post)
Review: Bob Bows (Colorado Drama)
A Wheel Deal (Westword)The Company
Direction: Brian Freeland / Tonya Malik-Carson
Stage Management: Tommy Sheridan
Asst. Stage Management: Ryan Gaddis
Lighting Design: Steven J. Deidel / Anna R. Kaltenbach
Projection Design: Steven J. Deidel
Sound Design: Brian Freeland
Scenic Design: Steven J. Deidel
Scenic Charge: Schuyler Burks
Costume Design: Julie Rada
Properties Design: Julie Rada


Ensemble

Ed Cord, Desiree Gagnon, Miriam Eric Suzanne, Melanie Owen, Julie Rada, Matthew Schultz, & Crystal Verdon.

Chorus
Julie Adams, Gabrielle Begeman, Vicky Cruz, Danica Dalezal, Sara Downey, Allison Hakala, Heather Rae Johnson, Jessica Kolacny, Ariel Quigley, & Stacey Spaulding.

Images

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* Development collaborators: Ed Cord, Steven J. Deidel,  Brian Freeland, Desiree Gagnon, Tonya Malik-Carson, Miriam Eric SuzanneMelanie Owen, Julie Rada, Matthew Schultz, & Crystal Verdon.