a performance installation
writer & director Thomas Riccio
Created by Dead White Zombies
Performers: Stephanie Cleghorn, John Michael Coglin, Catherine Culver, Brad Hennigan, Hilly Holsonback, Luke Lafitte, Justin Locklear, Lori McCarty, Ben Miro, and
Design Team: Lori McCarty, Producer and Objects; Annell Brodeur, Costumes; Frank Dufour, Sound; Danielle Georgiou, Choreography; Mona Karsa, Video; Dillon McInnes, Lighting; Thomas Riccio, Installations; Michael Cleveland, Assistant Producer, and Hannah Weir, Girl Friday.
Flesh World keeps it real, real meta. The obscure story drops viewers into a disorienting world and demands they work to uncover their own conclusions and to form interpretations based on few narrative clues. I've yet to figure out portions - the delineations between the spiritual realm and the protagonist's own psyche - and the fact that it's still on my mind speaks to the impression it imparts.
Presented by a progressive new collective called Dead White Zombies, Flesh World is less about nakedness and more about life on Earth...an interactive-art-performance-play about K-Low, a lost soul trying to make sense of life while on her path to reincarnation. Along the way she becomes an undercover spy in the spirit world and consults the audience regarding her destiny. It all takes place in a 36,000-square-foot former welding shop where every inch has been transformed.
The installations are marvelous curiosities filled with sights, sound, and things...
Flesh World isn't like anything else you're liable to see elsewhere in town.
Riccio comes from a long line of contemporary writers — Harold Pinter to Erik Ehn, Richard Foreman to John O’Keefe — whose surreal approach avoids, or at least subverts, the conventions of linear storytelling…If you can just sit back and enjoy the strangeness, if you don’t need to know what happened and why, his work pays off in other ways.
The Grand Experiment: A lot's been made of Flesh World, the unconventional theater piece currently being performed by Dead White Zombies...catch one of the final shows this weekend.
some audience responses...
I found the performance profoundly grounding, in an unexpected way. I saw it as a poetic, harmonious offering of paradigm realignment and shifted perceptions, reincarnations, as you say…the grounded peacefulness it engenders in its audience, even as the heroine is going through a painful re-imagining with violence and sexual tension haunting her. The piece invites its audience to step through the portal gently; it does not threaten or demand engagement or grab anyone by the throat.
I watched the body language of attendees throughout. It's as though they entered a quietly meditative state, became more relaxed as the show unfolded, led by the structure and ambiance of the work. I found my own breath becoming slower and deeper, and I felt more connected on a tactile level to each reality that enveloped us. It seemed my vision became sharper.
Listen to me. NOW. There is very little time left. You must see FLESH WORLD this weekend before it closes. It's the freshest most visually magnificent piece of theatre I've seen in...forever. Go. See Justin Locklear, John Michael, Brad Hennigan and Ilknur Ozgur in a Thomas Riccio masterpiece. You owe your soul this journey.
I just saw "Flesh World" and it blew my mind. It was trippy, sexy, raunchy, poetic, sweet, tragic, beautiful and ugly (and a bunch of other words, too, but that's enough for now). Thanks for the trip.
But the truth was that as I dove into the message that I could see a soul trying to communicate. A pure soul in search of the real truth, trying to be heard, struggling to reach his/her true goal in this world. It was a phenomenal play. There were numerous elements that intrigued me as well however to get the full experience you should see the play personally and find your own interpretation just as the protagonist did. It was wonderful play by the way, certainly all the week I was thinking of this masterpiece.
Sandra A Moreno
Go see "Flesh World" being produced by Dead White Zombies. No, seriously...GO SEE "FLESH WORLD" BEING PRODUCED BY DEAD WHITE ZOMBIES. It is a deeply profound and haunting piece of experimental theatre that (quite literally) takes you on a journey through our heroine's fragmented psyche comparable to Dante's passage through hell and back...and the prize at the end of the tunnel is just as precious. Go see "Flesh World."
Dead White Zombie was absolutely amazing! I was blown away!
I continue to be so excited and thrilled that I saw Flesh World. I am looking forward with great anticipation to the next opportunity to see whatever comes next.
Loved your new creation and your genius in turning a broken-down warehouse into a world-class theater suited to your ideas of revolutionizing theater.
It was visually stunning. Very cool.
We were quite moved and hadn't seen anything that powerful before. I'd love to know when you have another.