Performance as Design: The Mediaturgy of John Jesurun's Firefall

Performance as Design: The Mediaturgy of John Jesurun's Firefall PERFORMANCE AS DESIGN The Mediaturgy of John Jesurun’s Firefall Bonnie Marranca ohn Jesurun has been working in New York for more than two decades as a playwright, director, and media artist, in Deep Sleep, Snow, and Slight Return creating theatre productions that incorporate video and film in live performance, and, in Faust and Philoctetes, revisioning classics. At the same time he has written and staged more than sixty episodes of his long-running Chang in a Void Moon, which he calls a “living film serial.” A pioneer in the use of media in theatrical performance, Jesurun has explored theatrical styles that extend from storytelling to drama to music theatre and computer-based theatre through his ongoing challenge to the “reality” of performance space. His recent production of Firefall, produced in February 2009 at Dance Theater Workshop in New York, is a ground-breaking example of a work that lends itself to what I call “mediaturgy.” This term refers to a particular focus on methods of composition in media works that I hope will suggest new critical modes of comprehending and writing about them. In the present context, I have moved away from the familiar use of “dramaturgy” because of its historical http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art MIT Press

Performance as Design: The Mediaturgy of John Jesurun's Firefall

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Publisher
MIT Press
Copyright
© 2010 Bonnie Marranca
Subject
Features
ISSN
1520-281X
eISSN
1537-9477
DOI
10.1162/PAJJ_a_00003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PERFORMANCE AS DESIGN The Mediaturgy of John Jesurun’s Firefall Bonnie Marranca ohn Jesurun has been working in New York for more than two decades as a playwright, director, and media artist, in Deep Sleep, Snow, and Slight Return creating theatre productions that incorporate video and film in live performance, and, in Faust and Philoctetes, revisioning classics. At the same time he has written and staged more than sixty episodes of his long-running Chang in a Void Moon, which he calls a “living film serial.” A pioneer in the use of media in theatrical performance, Jesurun has explored theatrical styles that extend from storytelling to drama to music theatre and computer-based theatre through his ongoing challenge to the “reality” of performance space. His recent production of Firefall, produced in February 2009 at Dance Theater Workshop in New York, is a ground-breaking example of a work that lends itself to what I call “mediaturgy.” This term refers to a particular focus on methods of composition in media works that I hope will suggest new critical modes of comprehending and writing about them. In the present context, I have moved away from the familiar use of “dramaturgy” because of its historical

Journal

PAJ: A Journal of Performance and ArtMIT Press

Published: Sep 1, 2010

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