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Barbara Lanciers: Leaves with a Name, an Original Theatrical Presentation

Barbara Lancier's grandmother as a young girlLeaves with a Name is a theatre piece that questions the ideologies involved in war, while exploring the timeline of war’s ripple effect. The inspiration for Leaves with A Name is my grandmother’s exodus from Hungary during World War II and her subsequent journey to the United States.

The characters in the play include a grandmother (based on my own grandmother), the granddaughter and the memory of the grandmother as an eighteen-year-old girl. How did this grandmother create, manipulate and fabricate her own reality and, thus, her own sense of identity? What did she do in order to make sure that she had a life beyond war? How does her past manufacturing of truth affect her granddaughter’s relationships with the various branches of her family tree and shape the lens through which she sees the world? How did this grandmother bury the truth of the past and how does she maneuver around the unearthing of this past by that piece of herself she tried to leave behind?

This story has relevance to the current global climate. It explores the direct and indirect results of human scarring that war leaves in its wake. Like so many victims of World War II or any such tragedy, my grandmother’s key tool for survival was her imagination and her willingness to bury and/or distort secrets.

The cast of "Leaves with a Name," Caroylnne Wilcox, Eileen Cuff and Barbara LanciersThe world of Leaves with A Name is inhabited by three female performers who use physical score and original, documentary and recovered text to bring the story to life. The physical score is the result of collaborative efforts on the part of the actors. Gestures were pulled from paintings and sculptures from the World War II era (particularly the work of Alfred Hrdlicka) as well as images evoked from contemporary Hungarian literature and cinema. These gestures were then turned into three separate phrases. The physicality of the piece is created entirely from these phrases and appears, at times, to be pedestrian and, at other times, borders on the abstract. Leaves with A Name is intended for audiences in the United States as well as Central and Eastern Europe.

Leaves with A Name is made possible by the generous support of Philip Arnoult and the Center for International Theatre Development, the Towson University Department of Theatre and the Peabody Institute Department of Dance.

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"Leaves with a Name" is a theatre piece that questions the ideologies involved in war, while exploring the timeline of war’s ripple effect. The inspiration for Leaves with A Name is Barbara Lancier's grandmother’s exodus from Hungary during World War II and her subsequent journey to the United States.
poster artwork: Carolynne Wilcox

Upcoming Performances:

4/14 - 4/15/2007- Leaves with A Name is at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore (the Mt. Vernon area). Saturday, April 14th at 7:30pm and Sunday, April 15th at 3:00pm

5/26 - 5/27/2007 - Leaves with A Name and Freedom Dance will do a double bill at the Creative Alliance on Friday May 25th at 8pm and Sat. May 26th at 3pm. Friday night there will be a panel discussion after the show

The Collaborators:

  • Written and directed by Barbara Lanciers:

Barbara Lanciers is a company member and the resident choreographer for The Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf in New York City. She has trained extensively with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company. Barbara performed in the SITI Company production of Hay Fever (Actors Theatre of Louisville) and served as Anne Bogart’s assistant on Death and The Ploughman. Barbara is an Anne Bogart endorsed teacher the Viewpoints training method for theatre practitioners. She is a 2007 MFA Candidate in Theatre at Towson University and a Fulbright Finalist for the 2007-2008 grant season. She joined AHF in 2006.

  • Composer: Baris Perker (PhD. Candidate, Peabody Institute):

Baris Perker holds two BMs in composition and piano departments from Mimar Sinan University, Turkey and MM in composition from Peabody Institute. He has studied with numerous teachers in composition including Nicholas Maw, Bruno Amato, Shefer Mahoney, Hasan Ucarsu. Perker’s recent recognitions are the 2006 Macht Orchestral Composition Competition first prize, 2006 Prix D'Ete second prize, 2005 Randolph S. Rothschild award. His piano concerto has been played two times in Turkey by broadly known two orchestras Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra and Presidential Symphony Orchestra. His orchestra piece the Dreamy Dance was played by Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra last year that won the first prize in 2006 Macht competition at Peabody and it will be performed by Peabody Symphony Orchestra coming Spring.

  • Outside Eyes: Temple Crocker (actor for Richard Foreman), Rachel Chavkin (Artistic Director of the TEAM):

Temple Crocker is a maker of performances, installations, books and other objects. Her most recent performance project veils/vestiges: the aesthetics of hidden things, a collaboration with Annie Kunjappy, premiered at the Ontological-Hysteric Theatre in the summer of 2005. Temple recently performed in Richard Foreman’s film/performance project, Zomboid.
Rachel Chavkin has directed/co-authored a number of works with the TEAM including Particularly in the Heartland (winner of the 2006 FRINGE FIRST AWARD at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival) and Give up! Start over! (in the darkest times I look to Richard Nixon for Hope) (winner of the 2005 FRINGE FIRST AWARD).

Ms. Chavkin has been a Drama League Directing Fellow and is a New Georges Affiliated Artist. She received her BFA from NYU and has served on the directing faculty at Playwrights Horizons Theatre School. She is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia University

  • Lighting Design: Michael Philips (Technical Director/Lighting Designer, Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf)

Michael Philips was educated at Tulane University and is a founding member of the Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf. Michael has designed lights for dance and theatre productions in New Orleans and New York City. In addition to lighting design, Michael often serves as Technical Director, Stage Manager and Videographer for Two-Headed Calf.

  • Costume Design: Shannon Maddox (Funkopolis, Creative Mechanics Theatre Company)

Shannon Maddox is a founding member of Creative Mechanics Theatre Company in New York City. Having worked extensively as a performer and in costume design, Shannon has recently been seen onstage in New York in Stealing Pears (Peculiar Works Project), Better and Worse (stART Series), Bochenski's Brain (HERE), rite #55/wonderwall elegy (The Judson House Project), Audioplay: Safe (CHARAS/El Bohio), and 3 Stories to the Ground (Present Company Theatorium). A member of the ensemble Funkopolis, Shannon starred in the company's productions of An Exquisite Dream of Fire and WingsAs a designer. She has also recently designed regional productions of Bat Boy, Once Upon A Mattress, Jeffrey, and The Laramie Project, which she also assistant directed. Collaborating with Artistic Director Gabriel Shanks, she has designed costumes for Brad Fraser's Poor Super Man, Marlane Meyer's Etta Jenks, and the original work Pierced. She has her MFA from Towson University, and has taught gestural performance in workshops across the country.

  • Set Design: Barbara Lanciers and Temple Crocker

The Actors:

  • Barbara Lanciers (Ilona)
  • Carolynne Wilcox (Nagymama)
    Carolynne Wilcox is an actor-creator/graphic designer who hails from the Pacific Northwest. Her favorite Seattle credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the Fremont Troll (Originator/Costume Designer/Helena), Cowboy Mouth (Co-Producer/Graphic Designer/Cavale), The Maids (Co-Producer/Graphic Designer/Solange) and The Pickle (Co-Playwright/Graphic Designer/Dr. Stephens). As an MFA candidate in Theatre at Towson University, more recent credits include 65 Days (Movement Coordinator & Talking Fish), Dirty Little Rooms (Producer/Graphic Designer/Lucy Grealy) and Troy Women (Assistant Director/Acting Coach) in addition to Leaves with A Name (Graphic Designer/Nagymama)
  • Eileen Cuff (Barbara)
    Eileen Cuff has worked semi-professionally and professionally in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area since childhood. She is a recent graduate of Towson University. Her last project was as an ensemble member and choreographer for the Baltimore production of Dirty Little Rooms.
  • Project Mentor: Martha Clarke

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