Thursday, May 14, 2009

Season finale wraps up with 'Success of Failure'

Photo by Jim Findlay

After successful runs of such productions as “Blackwatch,” which brought us to the frontlines of Iraq, and “Disfarmer,” to early 20th century Arkansas, St. Ann’s Warehouse’s season comes to an end with Cynthia Hopkins’ “The Success of Failure (or, The Failure of Success),” which finds us in outer space.

The two-week production marks another finale, this to Hopkins’ Accidental Trilogy, which began at St. Ann’s in 2004. Part I had Hopkins, a writer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and theater artist, joined by a cast of characters all played by her, projected on film as she accompanied herself singing harmonies and playing multiple instruments. In Part II, she was more naked – playing herself, unadorned in a t-shirt and jeans. In both, she is also surrounded by her band, Gloria Deluxe.

Part III finds Hopkins again alone on stage as the protagonist Ruom Yes Noremac, though accompanied by the occasional dancing and back-up singing of Jim Findlay and Jeff Sugg, her cohorts at her company Accinosco and the production’s designers, as they create a hybrid of intergalactic narrative, emotive music, innovative orchestral environments and immersive video work.

“The Success of Failure” tells the heroic saga of protagonist Ruom Yes Noremac’s secret mission to save the world. During the course of her lonely journey through space, Ruom Yes Noremac realizes that only by failing to save the Earth can she succeed in saving the Universe, offering a fascinating exploration of time, space, and the pros and cons of evolution.

Multi-faceted in both structure and content, The Success of Failure (Or, The Failure of Success) incorporates elements of scientific and autobiographical truth as well as fiction.

Directed by DJ Mendel, the production makes its New York premiere in Brooklyn, following a world premiere at The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis last month.

Typical of St. Ann’s productions, “The Success of Failure” is a don’t miss, a wild ride that includes flying and floating in space, as Hopkins takes us on a mission to save the universe and ends up saving herself.

Cynthia Hopkins’ “The Success of Failure (or, The Failure of Success)” runs May 22 to June 7. Tickets start at $22.50 and are available online at and by phone at 718-254-8779 or 866-811-4111. Tickets can also be purchased at the St. Ann’s Warehouse Box Office at 38 Water Street.


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