Open Eye Figure Theatre is proud to present SenseAbility, September 29 – October 1, 2017. Created and performed by composer, designer, performer, and writer Craig Harris, SenseAbility brings his signature multimedia dramatic work to the Open Eye stage to explore how our personal experiences and cultural narratives help us navigate our ongoing struggle to make the world a better place.
Inspired yet haunted by the voice of Elijah, Harris invites the Prophet of all time into our time, imagining him on a shared journey of transformation. Performing his newest staged composition, Harris weaves music and visual textures with his memories of Bethlehem and new family connections in the West Bank.
An immersive sensory landscape surrounds the audience with the sounds, sights, smells, tastes… even the touch and feeling revealed in the visceral experience that is inescapable in a life under sustained occupation.
How is destiny revealed in the face of scarcity and uncertainty? How is resilience, even joy, possible under such challenging circumstances? Can we imagine the Prophet Elijah as another sojourner on our pathway toward greater understanding? Despite a constant struggle to be one’s best self in the malaise of loneliness, doubt and oppression, Elijah beckons us to take up our mantle and discover what is possible. What destiny awaits those that seek a new SenseAbility?
“I grew up in a Conservative Jewish family, and my daughter is married to a wonderful Palestinian man and lives in a refugee camp in the West Bank,” says Craig Harris. “SenseAbility is informed by my personal journey and my experiences traveling there.”
Craig Harris, Kym Longhi, and Jim Peitzman collaborate to bring the story to the stage. Kym Longhi will direct SenseAbility, with projection design and installation by Jim Peitzman, lighting design by Mike Grogan, and costume design and digital illustration by Candy Kuehn.
SenseAbility is the culmination of two previous works by Craig Harris—Elijah in the Wadi and Making Sense.
Elijah in the Wadi is an exploration of the life and character of the Prophet Elijah, an iconic figure in the Abrahamic religions. Elijah is a witness and an activist who speaks truth to power, has a deep connection to his people, and is a fierce advocate for those who are disenfranchised. Carried away in a whirlwind, he travels through his time, our time and all time. Elijah makes appearances at every Sabbath everywhere in every household each week, at Passover at every Seder every year, and at key moments in human development. In his omnipresence, Elijah represents each of us in our constant struggle to be our best selves and our striving to make the world a better place in spite of loneliness, doubt and oppression. Elijah in the Wadi was commissioned by the 2015 Right Here Showcase and was presented at Illusion Theatre.
More about Elijah in the Wadi (including video of the performance):
In Making Sense Harris reflects on his recent trips and new family connections in Bethlehem, West Bank, using our human senses of sound, sight, smell, taste, touch and feeling to explore life under sustained occupation, and to celebrate joy and resilience under challenging circumstances.
Craig Harris says, “Experience throughout history shows that discovery and understanding often occur through the mixing and sharing of different ways, especially when we are receptive rather than fearful. I hope SenseAbility creates an environment conducive to contemplation and communication.”
Learn more about Craig Harris’ experiences in Bethlehem/West Bank:
About Open Eye Figure Theatre (OEFT)
Open Eye Figure Theatre creates original figure theatre, animating the inanimate on an intimate scale; trains the next generation of figure theatre artists; and advances adventurous, artist-driven programming in the Open Eye theater space. Open Eye is nationally recognized for bringing a visual feast of evocative figure theater to the stage. The company’s whimsical yet profound work surprises and delights whether experienced in the company’s historic jewel box theater in Minneapolis or in neighborhoods throughout the Twin Cities with the Driveway Tour. From experimental object works to puppet shows in backyards to community pageants to miniature spectacles, Open Eye consistently creates a unique, contagious exchange between artists and audiences.
Learn more at openeyetheatre.org.
September 29, 7:30pm
September 30, 7:30pm
October 1, 2pm
Run time: 65 minutes. No intermission.
Recommended for ages 12 and older.
Pay-as-able option always available.
Reservations or pre-purchase strongly recommended.
$18 — General Admission
$15 — Student or Senior
$10 — Economic Accessibility Ticket
Or pay-as-able at the door
Available at openeyetheatre.org.
Location and Parking
Open Eye Figure Theatre
506 East 24th St., Minneapolis, MN 55404 (Map)
Open Eye is located 2 blocks south of Franklin Ave between Portland Ave and 35W.
Park for free in the Lutheran Social Service lot at 24th and Portland.