JACK & is a stand-up routine turned sitcom baking fiasco that mingles cakes and kitchen disasters, recipes and remedies, jokes, and goldfish to paint the portrait of a dream interrupted and resumed. The comedy of errors is structured on social codes and training from prison reentry programs to debutante balls. The performance considers re-entry to society after prison, focusing not the time one has served but the measure of one’s dreaming that is given to the state.

“Jack” works the night shift at an industrial bakery. He returns home to bake a cake for his wife “Jill”; “Jack” ends up whirling through a dance—part dream, part ritual—re-entering his own internal life. The performance draws on aspirational class stories like those in The Honeymooners and Amos & Andy; the paintings of Agnes Martin, Ellen Gallagher and Ruth Asawa; tigers in Harlem; real and imagined entering society ceremonies like Cotillion balls; and markers of transition from John Canoe traditions, to the mirroring and mimicry found in African American dance pageantry of the late nineteenth Century.

Directed by Kaneza Schaal and starring Cornell Alston, the performance explores markers of transition and transformation and the liminal spaces that bridge worlds.

Kaneza Schaal is a New York City based theater artist. Her recent work GO FORTH premiered at PS122 and then showed at the Genocide Memorial Amphitheater in Kigali, Rwanda; LMCC’s River-to-River Festival; Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans; Cairo International Contemporary Theater Festival in Egypt; and at her alma mater Wesleyan University, CT. Schaal received a 2017 MAP Fund award, 2016 Creative Capital Award, and is the current Aetna New Voices Fellow at Hartford Stage. This spring her new piece CARTOGRAPHY will be workshopped through New Victory Theater Lab, NYU Abu Dhabi, and will show at The Kennedy Center’s New Vision New Voices. Her work with The Wooster Group, Elevator Repair Service, Richard Maxwell/New York City Players, Claude Wampler, Jim Findlay, and Dean Moss has brought her to venues including Centre Pompidou, Royal Lyceum Theater Edinburgh, The Whitney Museum, and MoMA.

Run time: 75 min.

JACK & is a project of Creative Capital, the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, and The Map Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by the Contemporary Arts Center (Cincinnati) in partnership with On The Boards (Seattle), Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), REDCAT (Los Angeles), and NPN; a commission by Hartford Stage through the Aetna New Voices Fellowship; and with support from BRIClab, the Baryshnikov Arts Center, and THE LUMBERYARD.

Accessibility

Note: the September 8 performance will be ASL interpreted.