Critically-acclaimed theatre collaborative Banana Bag & Bodice’s highly anticipated new work, ‘LongYarn,’ which is listed as one of Time Out NY’s 20 Best Theatre Shows in NYC in 2016, will premiere at The Bushwick Starr theater in January.
The outrageous folktale follows the adventures of the long-lived “Mother,” a character based on strong, peculiar and compelling women from throughout history. The outlandish adventures of her youth that will be featured in the play include tales of riverboat piracy, a stint as a professional wrestler, lost days as a crack addict and being raised by a family of cows, all spun through a tenor of joyful hopelessness.
“’LongYarn’ is Banana Bag & Bodice’s first new play in three years, and the Starr is their proving ground,” said Sue Kessler, executive director of The Bushwick Starr. “It’s certainly been a challenge for them to develop this show basically as commuters, working both in their Beacon, NY homestead and in Brooklyn, but their commitment to the work and to getting this piece off the ground in NYC is triumphantly clear. Written by award-winning playwright, Jason Craig, the show spins the tale of “Mother,” played by the talented and wild Jessica Jelliffe, a character mash-up of prominent women throughout history. Along with a tight knit cast, and a stellar line-up of designers, including music by Dave Malloy, ‘LongYarn’ will be story-telling at its best, excitement, humor, darkness, lore, and reverie.”
Banana Bag & Bodice is a theatre collaborative that creates unique play-shows with an emphasis on original text, music composition and collective design. Since founding in 1999, the company has created nine original shows in a variety of theatrical forms including a SongPlay adaptation of an epic poem; a claustrophobic container tale; the post-punk exploits of a band that finds faith on an oilrig titled ‘The Fall & Rise of The Rising Fallen’; a futuristic costume drama titled ‘The Sewers’; and a musical about eating animals.
“We forged a relationship with this company, and the brilliant madcap folks who run it — Jessica Jelliffe and Jason Craig — years ago when they performed an excerpt from their popular show ‘Space//Space’ at the Starr’s Bushwhack Series,” Kessler said. “Since then, a lot has changed. Jess and Jason had a kid and moved upstate; but what hasn’t changed is our almost swoon-like interest in their work, and our desire to present them in our season. At last, the time has come.”
‘LongYarn’ will have its world premiere at The Bushwick Starr, located at 207 Starr Street, on Wednesday, January 13, and will run until Saturday, January 30. Tickets are $18 general admission and can be purchased through The Bushwick Starr website.