The Angels' Cradle: 1993
An epic tale of a buffoon civilization living beneath an abandoned city using tragedy, gesture-based dance, found object instruments and with a melodramatic structure: this ground breaking work takes the viewer on a pilgrimage of the senses, a theatrical journey which strips away the trappings of "safe" theatre to uncover a vibrant, passionate core. The Angels' Cradle takes place in the sub-basement of a large, deserted department store. In this urban catacomb, strung with pipes, brimming with shadows and the scurrying of rats and pigeons, live THE BUFFOONS - a tiny society of outcasts, people whose deformities and eccentricities have been exaggerated by years of isolation. Their world seems harsh, but they live in gentle harmony, with their own colorful dialect, and with tasks carefully divided. Together, they survive and support each other, finding food, singing and dancing, sometimes even bouncing - quite literally - off the walls. Into this world drops someone from up above - a homeless man, who in many ways, becomes a savoir. Their confrontation, clash and eventual coming together creates a landmark production.
Performance History: The New Victory Theater, New York; The Capitol Theater, Windsor, Ontario; The Detroit Opera House in a site specific production; Concord College, WV; Roger Williams University, RI. Colorado State University, Fort Collins; The University of Arkansas, Little Rock; Muskegon Community College, MI., Santa Fe Stages, Colorado College, Colorado Springs; Fort Lewis College, CO; St. John's University, MN; St. Mary's University, MN; The Greer Garson Theater, Santa Fe; Taos Community Theater, NM; Vanderbilt University, Nashville, The Broadway Cultural Center, Albuquerque; University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN.
"a coherent vision of a special society brought to light by a committed, versatile cast...the play cries out for hearts and minds open to its wide embrace of humanity"
The New York Times
"pure theatrical gold"
The Detroit Metro Times
"theater at its best"
The Durango Herald
"a visual and aural feast"
The Santa Fe Reporter
"a dreamy pop opera...a parable of urban anomie and cultural neglect...amply demonstrating Grottesco's athleticism and inventiveness...composed in (their) signature mix of modern and medieval dramatic styles"
The Detroit News
"a physicality rarely seen outside the circus...a reminder that the human disposables from whom many people turn are, in fact, people"
The Muskegon Chronicle
Running Time 2 hours
Cast 5 performers/3crew members
Sound 4 CD players, 8 speakers, 1 subwoofer, 5 amps, mixing board
Lighting 100 instruments, 96 dimmers (minimum, varies according to space)
Stage 30 X 30 X 18 minimum. Proscenium, thrust, black box or site specific. Wooden, dance or sprung floor
Set Up 24 hour set up minimum, 2 hour strike (more for site specific)
Assistance Pre-hung plot, crew for load-in, set up, focus, and load out.