Off-Broadway’s acclaimed Keen Company concludes its innovative 21st season of Hear/Now audio-theater reimagining of the classic radio drama on Friday, May 21, beginning at 7 pm, with the world premiere of Adventurephile. The newly commissioned work by Melissa Li and Kit Yan (the award-winning NYC-based Queer Asian-American creative team who wrote Cancelled – an effervescent and resonant high-school musical about cancel culture – for the company’s Keen Teens program in 2019), speaks to today’s world with their signature provocative and entertaining pop-culture sensibility.
Directed by Morgan Green, the podcast-within-a-podcast takes listeners on an unforgettable journey to the unexplored destination of an uninhabited island off the southern coast of China, via the eponymous fictional audio platform Adventurephile. The promise is that this trip is going to be so good, it’s scary! Featuring the voices of Stephanie Mieko Cohen, Emiko Dunn, Kennedy Kanagawa, and Zachary Noah Piser, the Keen production is stage managed by Norman Anthony Small and audio engineered by Garrett Schultz, with sound design by Fan Zhang, musical direction by Mona Seyed-Bolorforosh, and music mixing by Jay Eigenmann.
Adventurephile debuts for free on Friday, May 21, at 7 pm, on the Keen Company website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel, and is available on such popular podcasting apps as Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and more. Full transcripts are also available for deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons.
On Sunday, May 23, Dzieci Theatre – an experimental ensemble dedicated to a search for the sacred through the medium of theater (and whose name means “Children” in Polish) – will present a free livestream of The Struggle of the Magicians. Described by the company as “a spirited reimagining” of the 1904 ballet scenario by Armenian-born philosopher, mystic, spiritual teacher, and composer G.I. Gurdjieff, the new 45-minute version will contain no ballet, but will focus on the message of the fable.
Though never performed in its entirety, Gurdjieff worked on the piece for more than three decades, and the homily offered at the high requiem mass of his 1949 funeral in Paris concluded with a quotation from the ballet: “God and all his angels keep us from doing evil by helping us always and everywhere to remember our Selves.”
The Struggle of the Magicians streams live on Sunday May 23, 7 pm, on the Dzieci YouTube channel. Viewing is free, and registration is not required. An open discussion will follow the performance; donations are welcome. To view, go online.