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New show ‘Prayer: A Song Cycle’ at Eclectic Company Theatre

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Eclectic Company Theatre is mounting a new show “Prayer: A Song Cycle,” created by The Reflective Collective with music composed by Sackjo22. Directed by Angela Grillo and produced by Laura Lee Bahr, Angela Grillo and Beth Ricketson for Eclectic, the show opens Friday, July 27, 2014.

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The seed of this show came from a dream Evie Ruth had after seeing Megumi Sasaki's first documentary on famed "proletariat" art collectors, Herb and Dorothy Vogel (“Herb and Dorothy,” 2008, Arthouse Films). “In the dream, Dorothy walks in a processional holding an aerogram on which instructions for a performance installation called, Prayer, are written. Dorothy embraced the mystery of art. She could ‘see’ art.”

Prayer as a conduit of transformation is at the center of “Prayer: A Song Cycle” which is an immersive multi-media performance piece. Built on a song cycle composed by Sackjo22 (Susan Joseph), this unique collection of “prayers for guidance, relief and gratitude re-imagines Evie's dream of Dorothy Vogel through music, text, video and gesture. The ephemeral Chorus (Sackjo22 and Evelyn Stettin), and Dorothy (Beth Ricketson), performing with Haskel Joseph dedicates art as prayer.”

Art has been a vehicle for spiritual communication in many different cultures. In most Native American languages the word prayer is synonymous with the word prayer. Art is often used as a direct tool for prayer and spiritual communion with the Creator with the artist becoming “the channel through which the divine inspiration flows.”

The Reflective Collective is a collaboration of Grillo, Joseph and Ruth. They came together through working on “boxWINDOWdoor,” a play on dreams conceived and written through Ruth, directed by Grillo, with music by Sackjo22. Through the five year process of gestating Acts I and II, they explored how to make art from the subterranean realm of dreams, visions and the unconscious. This exploration shifted and transformed their art and lives. In this current installation, music by sackjo22 is the foundational structure. “Prayer” unveils a shift in artistic and conceptual direction for the collaborators who finally understand that their job is to be guided by the “imaginal,” rather than the other way around!

“Prayer: A Song Cycle” opens 8:30 p.m., Friday, June 27 and performs 8:30 Friday and Saturday and 7:30 Sunday through July 13. Dark on July 4. There will be an additional 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday, July 6. Admission is $12. Visit www.eclecticcompanytheatre.org.

The Eclectic Company Theatre is located at 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd. (between Chandler and Magnolia) in Valley Village.

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