This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

19Nov/16

FAYE DRISCOLL — THANK YOU FOR COMING: PLAY

(photo by Julieta Cervantes)

Faye Driscoll (center) makes her BAM debut with THANK YOU FOR COMING: PLAY (photo by Julieta Cervantes)

BAM NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL
BAM Fisher, Fishman Space
321 Ashland Pl.
November 16-19, $25, 7:30
718-636-4100
www.bam.org
fayedriscoll.com

Over the summer, we saw a work-in-progress LMCC Open Studios presentation of Guggenheim Fellow and Bessie Award winner Faye Driscoll’s latest piece, Thank You for Coming: Play, followed by an open and honest discussion about the project. Seeing the resulting production last night at the BAM Fishman, I am once again in awe of the Brooklyn-based choreographer’s creative ingenuity and absolute unpredictability. The second part of a trilogy that began with Thank You for Coming: Attendance, which had its New York premiere at Danspace Project in March 2014, Play also contains participatory, immersive elements at the beginning before evolving into a (possibly?) semiautobiographical narrative about a human being named Barbone searching for personal identity in a radically changing world. The fantastic cast, consisting of the bold and courageous Paul Singh, Laurel Snyder, Sean Donovan, Alicia Ohs, and Brandon Washington, make faces, constantly change wardrobe, repeat abstract dialogue, and call out declarations; there are also unexpected appearances by composer-musician Bobby McElver and Driscoll. What they all say and what they do are not always in sync as they grab one another, dress and undress in plain view, and disappear behind white boards on a set designed by Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin that Driscoll deconstructs and reconstructs. (The absurdly funny props and garments are by Jamie Boyle.) At one point Driscoll breaks out into a fierce song about rage that evokes Young Jean Lee, whom she has collaborated with in the past. Thank You for Coming: Play works best when it’s far from obvious; references to Donald Trump felt out of place in a show that otherwise is empowered by a tremendously infectious energy and a controlled chaos that is both passionate and intimate. Play marks Driscoll’s BAM debut; here’s hoping that we’ll soon be seeing her endless inventiveness at the Harvey or the Howard Gilman Opera House.