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The Accountant

Posted September 9th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistInterview

Trey Lyford has a masterful sense of staging.” Philadelphia Magazine

I was delivering mail at a temp job and came across this dimly lit office with a small lamp softly illuminating an old clerk. He was surrounded by papers stacked floor to ceiling. It felt like he was some kind of gatekeeper to a world that time forgot. I’ve never been able to shake that image.” Trey Lyford

In the forgotten office of an aging clerk, the tedium of everyday life transforms into a comical and haunting world of futility, remembrance, and regret. The Accountant is a visual theater piece inspired by the disorientation that death can bring into our lives and by Samuel Beckett’s rumination on impermanence, Krapp’s Last Tape.  

Co-creator of festival favorites all wear bowlers (2005), Amnesia Curiosa (2006), and Elephant Room (2011), Trey Lyford characteristically blends physical theater, vaudeville routines, illusion, and slapstick to celebrate the beauty fluttering in the details of everyday life and the poetic humor embedded at the epicenter of loss. When you account for the many moments that make up who you are, does it all add up?

Created in collaboration with performers Ben Bass and Coralie Holum Lyford, composer Cole Kamen-Green, and designers Eric Novak, Tara Webb, and Robin Stamey. 

Interested in being a part of The Accountant? Visit his website to participate in an online component called (re)collection. (re)collection is a culling and compiling of memory.  Our memory in all its fits and starts.  It is an attempt to collect the audience’s responses to imagery that may or may not bring up moments from your past. Learn more at https://www.treylyford.com/recollection.html.

The performance on Sept 7th at 8pm will feature ASL interpretation and audio description.

$29 general / $20.30 member
$15 student + 25-and-under

75 minutes

Conceived by Trey Lyford Created in collaboration with the Company Composer Cole Kamen-Green Set/Kinetics Eric Novak Costumes Tara Webb Sound Trey Lyford Creative Consultant Conor Lovett Performed by Trey Lyford, Ben Bass, Coralie Holum Lyford Lighting Design Robin Stamey Associate Producer Michaela Moore Public Relations Bryan Buttler Media Relations

Special thanks to Roger I. Ideishi, Kyle Lemieux, Meghan St. Thomas, Rachael Geier, Suli Holum, Bob Holum, Judy Hegarty Lovett, Julian Crouch, Rob Thirtle, Chris Green, Vanessa Solomon, Greg Kennedy, Pete Simpson, Kristen Sieh, Kristin Marting, Kim Whitener, Howard Fishman, Matt Saunders, Murph Henderson, Bill Bissell, Josie Smith, Nichole Canuso, Geoff Sobelle, Steve Cuiffo, Patricia Cooper Lyford, Glenn Perlman, Martin Stutzman, Courtney Riggar, Clayton Tejada, Scott Greer and Jennifer Child

Photos by Jenna Spitz (featured and below), Paula Court (above)

 

Major support for The Accountant has been
provided to Trey Lyford by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

 

Festival Producers: Edward & Anne Wagner
Festival Co-Producers: Shelley Green & Michael Golden


About Trey Lyford

Trey Lyford is a theater artist and co-artistic director, with Geoff Sobelle, of physical theater company rainpan 43, for which he has co-created works such as all wear bowlers (2005 Fringe Festival) and Elephant Room (2011). Lyford also develops and produces works as an individual artist and as an associate artist with the Obie Award-winning company The Civilians. His work has been presented at Center Theatre Group, St. Ann’s Warehouse, HERE Arts Center, Arena Stage, ATL’s Humana Festival, FringeArts, and La Jolla Playhouse, among others. Lyford holds an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. He has been honored with a Princess Grace Award and has received support from New York State Council on the Arts, Creative Capital, and New England Foundation for the Arts.


FringeArts interview with Trey Lyford

FringeArts: What was the initial inspiration for The Accountant?

Trey Lyford: The piece has been a long time coming . . . I originally thought of the show when I was temping in New York City in my early twenties. I was working at a pretty normal office, with glass-fronted offices that surrounded a pool of partitions for all the assistants in the middle. I was walking around delivering mail and one of the offices was completely dark and had an old man hunched over his desk. There was a lamp and he had stacks of paper surrounding him, floor to ceiling. It was right out of a Dickens novel and totally out of place in the modern office building. I have no idea what he did, or what his title was, but he felt like he had a secret doorway into another world under his desk. I have never been able to shake that image.

I came back to this idea (and also to one of my favorite Beckett pieces, Krapp’s Last Tape) when I starting hitting middle age. This isolation really began to speak to me when my life was hit with five important deaths within two years. The people who were sick or dying and the people who they left behind all had to take stock, look back at their lives and put it all together somehow. I was in awe of that space. The moments of total clarity, beauty and sorrow.

FringeArts: Why did you call this “The Accountant”?

Trey Lyford: It seemed to really say what it was for me. It tells you what kind of character is at the heart of the piece but it also references the idea that he is accounting for his life. Trying to find meaning and living in the memory of it all.

FringeArts: What are some of the performance “forms” you are playing with?

Trey Lyford: Well this is tricky because I use kind of whatever I can to play with rhythm and imagery. It has a fair amount of clowning in it, but the dark, simple kind — not so much the red nose circus kind. I am using humor and awkwardness to tell the story of a life buried by frustrations and lost hopes. I have often used the term “soft slapstick” meaning the rhythms and the structure are similar to traditional bits, but there is a kind of existential void surrounding them. I still find that funny.

The second thing would be physical theater. I use all kinds of imagery and expression through physicality. This breaks the more naturalistic setting of an accountant’s office and brings it into the surreal. For me that lets us understand the mind of the accountant (more than his story). It’s about the state of memory and longing and the image based work seems to feed that more.

There is a bit of magic in it. I’ve gotten to play with illusion a fair amount in my work with Geoff [Sobelle, Lyford’s collaborator on Fringe Festival shows all wear bowlers (2005), Amnesia Curiosa (2006) and Elephant Room (2011)]. We have always been interested in the way illusions can provide a sense of wonder and amazement in a moment when you are not relying on language alone. I try to use it sparingly, but it really helps me put the world in a dream logic — you know, when you have a dream and your sister’s face morphs into an ice cream cone, except simpler than that. A little magic can go a long way.

Lastly, I’ve been inspired by old vaudeville routines. They find their way into the piece in a delicate way, but I have always adored them for their full out we are just here to entertain you! There is something so needy and frantic about that, but also so nostalgic. I use found routines, and imagined ones, throughout the show.

Excerpt. Read the full interview on the FringeArts Blog.

 

The Accountant

Posted September 8th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistInterview

Trey Lyford has a masterful sense of staging.” Philadelphia Magazine

I was delivering mail at a temp job and came across this dimly lit office with a small lamp softly illuminating an old clerk. He was surrounded by papers stacked floor to ceiling. It felt like he was some kind of gatekeeper to a world that time forgot. I’ve never been able to shake that image.” Trey Lyford

In the forgotten office of an aging clerk, the tedium of everyday life transforms into a comical and haunting world of futility, remembrance, and regret. The Accountant is a visual theater piece inspired by the disorientation that death can bring into our lives and by Samuel Beckett’s rumination on impermanence, Krapp’s Last Tape.  

Co-creator of festival favorites all wear bowlers (2005), Amnesia Curiosa (2006), and Elephant Room (2011), Trey Lyford characteristically blends physical theater, vaudeville routines, illusion, and slapstick to celebrate the beauty fluttering in the details of everyday life and the poetic humor embedded at the epicenter of loss. When you account for the many moments that make up who you are, does it all add up?

Created in collaboration with performers Ben Bass and Coralie Holum Lyford, composer Cole Kamen-Green, and designers Eric Novak, Tara Webb, and Robin Stamey.

Interested in being a part of The Accountant? Visit his website to participate in an online component called (re)collection. (re)collection is a culling and compiling of memory.  Our memory in all its fits and starts.  It is an attempt to collect the audience’s responses to imagery that may or may not bring up moments from your past. Learn more at https://www.treylyford.com/recollection.html. 

The performance on Sept 7th at 8pm will feature ASL interpretation and audio description.

$29 general / $20.30 member
$15 student + 25-and-under

75 minutes

Conceived by Trey Lyford Created in collaboration with the Company Composer Cole Kamen-Green Set/Kinetics Eric Novak Costumes Tara Webb Sound Trey Lyford Creative Consultant Conor Lovett Performed by Trey Lyford, Ben Bass, Coralie Holum Lyford

Lighting Design Robin Stamey Associate Producer Michaela Moore Public Relations Bryan Buttler Media Relations

Special thanks to Roger I. Ideishi, Kyle Lemieux, Meghan St. Thomas, Rachael Geier, Suli Holum, Bob Holum, Judy Hegarty Lovett, Julian Crouch, Rob Thirtle, Chris Green, Vanessa Solomon, Greg Kennedy, Pete Simpson, Kristen Sieh, Kristin Marting, Kim Whitener, Howard Fishman, Matt Saunders, Murph Henderson, Bill Bissell, Josie Smith, Nichole Canuso, Geoff Sobelle, Steve Cuiffo, Patricia Cooper Lyford, Glenn Perlman, Martin Stutzman, Courtney Riggar, Clayton Tejada, Scott Greer and Jennifer Child

Photos by Jenna Spitz (featured and below), Paula Court (above)

 

Major support for The Accountant has been
provided to Trey Lyford by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Festival Producers: Edward & Anne Wagner
Festival Co-Producers: Shelley Green & Michael Golden


About Trey Lyford

Trey Lyford is a theater artist and co-artistic director, with Geoff Sobelle, of physical theater company rainpan 43, for which he has co-created works such as all wear bowlers (2005 Fringe Festival) and Elephant Room (2011). Lyford also develops and produces works as an individual artist and as an associate artist with the Obie Award-winning company The Civilians. His work has been presented at Center Theatre Group, St. Ann’s Warehouse, HERE Arts Center, Arena Stage, ATL’s Humana Festival, FringeArts, and La Jolla Playhouse, among others. Lyford holds an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. He has been honored with a Princess Grace Award and has received support from New York State Council on the Arts, Creative Capital, and New England Foundation for the Arts.


FringeArts interview with Trey Lyford

FringeArts: What was the initial inspiration for The Accountant?

Trey Lyford: The piece has been a long time coming . . . I originally thought of the show when I was temping in New York City in my early twenties. I was working at a pretty normal office, with glass-fronted offices that surrounded a pool of partitions for all the assistants in the middle. I was walking around delivering mail and one of the offices was completely dark and had an old man hunched over his desk. There was a lamp and he had stacks of paper surrounding him, floor to ceiling. It was right out of a Dickens novel and totally out of place in the modern office building. I have no idea what he did, or what his title was, but he felt like he had a secret doorway into another world under his desk. I have never been able to shake that image.

I came back to this idea (and also to one of my favorite Beckett pieces, Krapp’s Last Tape) when I starting hitting middle age. This isolation really began to speak to me when my life was hit with five important deaths within two years. The people who were sick or dying and the people who they left behind all had to take stock, look back at their lives and put it all together somehow. I was in awe of that space. The moments of total clarity, beauty and sorrow.

FringeArts: Why did you call this “The Accountant”?

Trey Lyford: It seemed to really say what it was for me. It tells you what kind of character is at the heart of the piece but it also references the idea that he is accounting for his life. Trying to find meaning and living in the memory of it all.

FringeArts: What are some of the performance “forms” you are playing with?

Trey Lyford: Well this is tricky because I use kind of whatever I can to play with rhythm and imagery. It has a fair amount of clowning in it, but the dark, simple kind — not so much the red nose circus kind. I am using humor and awkwardness to tell the story of a life buried by frustrations and lost hopes. I have often used the term “soft slapstick” meaning the rhythms and the structure are similar to traditional bits, but there is a kind of existential void surrounding them. I still find that funny.

The second thing would be physical theater. I use all kinds of imagery and expression through physicality. This breaks the more naturalistic setting of an accountant’s office and brings it into the surreal. For me that lets us understand the mind of the accountant (more than his story). It’s about the state of memory and longing and the image based work seems to feed that more.

There is a bit of magic in it. I’ve gotten to play with illusion a fair amount in my work with Geoff [Sobelle, Lyford’s collaborator on Fringe Festival shows all wear bowlers (2005), Amnesia Curiosa (2006) and Elephant Room (2011)]. We have always been interested in the way illusions can provide a sense of wonder and amazement in a moment when you are not relying on language alone. I try to use it sparingly, but it really helps me put the world in a dream logic — you know, when you have a dream and your sister’s face morphs into an ice cream cone, except simpler than that. A little magic can go a long way.

Lastly, I’ve been inspired by old vaudeville routines. They find their way into the piece in a delicate way, but I have always adored them for their full out we are just here to entertain you! There is something so needy and frantic about that, but also so nostalgic. I use found routines, and imagined ones, throughout the show.

Excerpt. Read the full interview on the FringeArts Blog.

 

The Accountant

Posted September 8th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistInterview

Trey Lyford has a masterful sense of staging.” Philadelphia Magazine

I was delivering mail at a temp job and came across this dimly lit office with a small lamp softly illuminating an old clerk. He was surrounded by papers stacked floor to ceiling. It felt like he was some kind of gatekeeper to a world that time forgot. I’ve never been able to shake that image.” Trey Lyford

In the forgotten office of an aging clerk, the tedium of everyday life transforms into a comical and haunting world of futility, remembrance, and regret. The Accountant is a visual theater piece inspired by the disorientation that death can bring into our lives and by Samuel Beckett’s rumination on impermanence, Krapp’s Last Tape.  

Co-creator of festival favorites all wear bowlers (2005), Amnesia Curiosa (2006), and Elephant Room (2011), Trey Lyford characteristically blends physical theater, vaudeville routines, illusion, and slapstick to celebrate the beauty fluttering in the details of everyday life and the poetic humor embedded at the epicenter of loss. When you account for the many moments that make up who you are, does it all add up?

Created in collaboration with performers Ben Bass and Coralie Holum Lyford, composer Cole Kamen-Green, and designers Eric Novak, Tara Webb, and Robin Stamey. 

Interested in being a part of The Accountant? Visit his website to participate in an online component called (re)collection. (re)collection is a culling and compiling of memory.  Our memory in all its fits and starts.  It is an attempt to collect the audience’s responses to imagery that may or may not bring up moments from your past. Learn more at https://www.treylyford.com/recollection.html.

The performance on Sept 7th at 8pm will feature ASL interpretation and audio description.

$29 general / $20.30 member
$15 student + 25-and-under

75 minutes

Conceived by Trey Lyford Created in collaboration with the Company Composer Cole Kamen-Green Set/Kinetics Eric Novak Costumes Tara Webb Sound Trey Lyford Creative Consultant Conor Lovett Performed by Trey Lyford, Ben Bass, Coralie Holum Lyford

Lighting Design Robin Stamey Associate Producer Michaela Moore Public Relations Bryan Buttler Media Relations

Special thanks to Roger I. Ideishi, Kyle Lemieux, Meghan St. Thomas, Rachael Geier, Suli Holum, Bob Holum, Judy Hegarty Lovett, Julian Crouch, Rob Thirtle, Chris Green, Vanessa Solomon, Greg Kennedy, Pete Simpson, Kristen Sieh, Kristin Marting, Kim Whitener, Howard Fishman, Matt Saunders, Murph Henderson, Bill Bissell, Josie Smith, Nichole Canuso, Geoff Sobelle, Steve Cuiffo, Patricia Cooper Lyford, Glenn Perlman, Martin Stutzman, Courtney Riggar, Clayton Tejada, Scott Greer and Jennifer Child

Photos by Jenna Spitz (featured and below), Paula Court (above)

 

Major support for The Accountant has been
provided to Trey Lyford by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Festival Producers: Edward & Anne Wagner
Festival Co-Producers: Shelley Green & Michael Golden


About Trey Lyford

Trey Lyford is a theater artist and co-artistic director, with Geoff Sobelle, of physical theater company rainpan 43, for which he has co-created works such as all wear bowlers (2005 Fringe Festival) and Elephant Room (2011). Lyford also develops and produces works as an individual artist and as an associate artist with the Obie Award-winning company The Civilians. His work has been presented at Center Theatre Group, St. Ann’s Warehouse, HERE Arts Center, Arena Stage, ATL’s Humana Festival, FringeArts, and La Jolla Playhouse, among others. Lyford holds an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. He has been honored with a Princess Grace Award and has received support from New York State Council on the Arts, Creative Capital, and New England Foundation for the Arts.


FringeArts interview with Trey Lyford

FringeArts: What was the initial inspiration for The Accountant?

Trey Lyford: The piece has been a long time coming . . . I originally thought of the show when I was temping in New York City in my early twenties. I was working at a pretty normal office, with glass-fronted offices that surrounded a pool of partitions for all the assistants in the middle. I was walking around delivering mail and one of the offices was completely dark and had an old man hunched over his desk. There was a lamp and he had stacks of paper surrounding him, floor to ceiling. It was right out of a Dickens novel and totally out of place in the modern office building. I have no idea what he did, or what his title was, but he felt like he had a secret doorway into another world under his desk. I have never been able to shake that image.

I came back to this idea (and also to one of my favorite Beckett pieces, Krapp’s Last Tape) when I starting hitting middle age. This isolation really began to speak to me when my life was hit with five important deaths within two years. The people who were sick or dying and the people who they left behind all had to take stock, look back at their lives and put it all together somehow. I was in awe of that space. The moments of total clarity, beauty and sorrow.

FringeArts: Why did you call this “The Accountant”?

Trey Lyford: It seemed to really say what it was for me. It tells you what kind of character is at the heart of the piece but it also references the idea that he is accounting for his life. Trying to find meaning and living in the memory of it all.

FringeArts: What are some of the performance “forms” you are playing with?

Trey Lyford: Well this is tricky because I use kind of whatever I can to play with rhythm and imagery. It has a fair amount of clowning in it, but the dark, simple kind — not so much the red nose circus kind. I am using humor and awkwardness to tell the story of a life buried by frustrations and lost hopes. I have often used the term “soft slapstick” meaning the rhythms and the structure are similar to traditional bits, but there is a kind of existential void surrounding them. I still find that funny.

The second thing would be physical theater. I use all kinds of imagery and expression through physicality. This breaks the more naturalistic setting of an accountant’s office and brings it into the surreal. For me that lets us understand the mind of the accountant (more than his story). It’s about the state of memory and longing and the image based work seems to feed that more.

There is a bit of magic in it. I’ve gotten to play with illusion a fair amount in my work with Geoff [Sobelle, Lyford’s collaborator on Fringe Festival shows all wear bowlers (2005), Amnesia Curiosa (2006) and Elephant Room (2011)]. We have always been interested in the way illusions can provide a sense of wonder and amazement in a moment when you are not relying on language alone. I try to use it sparingly, but it really helps me put the world in a dream logic — you know, when you have a dream and your sister’s face morphs into an ice cream cone, except simpler than that. A little magic can go a long way.

Lastly, I’ve been inspired by old vaudeville routines. They find their way into the piece in a delicate way, but I have always adored them for their full out we are just here to entertain you! There is something so needy and frantic about that, but also so nostalgic. I use found routines, and imagined ones, throughout the show.

Excerpt. Read the full interview on the FringeArts Blog.

 

The Accountant

Posted September 7th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistInterview

Trey Lyford has a masterful sense of staging.” Philadelphia Magazine

I was delivering mail at a temp job and came across this dimly lit office with a small lamp softly illuminating an old clerk. He was surrounded by papers stacked floor to ceiling. It felt like he was some kind of gatekeeper to a world that time forgot. I’ve never been able to shake that image.” Trey Lyford

In the forgotten office of an aging clerk, the tedium of everyday life transforms into a comical and haunting world of futility, remembrance, and regret. The Accountant is a visual theater piece inspired by the disorientation that death can bring into our lives and by Samuel Beckett’s rumination on impermanence, Krapp’s Last Tape.  

Co-creator of festival favorites all wear bowlers (2005), Amnesia Curiosa (2006), and Elephant Room (2011), Trey Lyford characteristically blends physical theater, vaudeville routines, illusion, and slapstick to celebrate the beauty fluttering in the details of everyday life and the poetic humor embedded at the epicenter of loss. When you account for the many moments that make up who you are, does it all add up?

Created in collaboration with performers Ben Bass and Coralie Holum Lyford, composer Cole Kamen-Green, and designers Eric Novak, Tara Webb, and Robin Stamey.

Interested in being a part of The Accountant? Visit his website to participate in an online component called (re)collection. (re)collection is a culling and compiling of memory.  Our memory in all its fits and starts.  It is an attempt to collect the audience’s responses to imagery that may or may not bring up moments from your past. Learn more at https://www.treylyford.com/recollection.html.

The performance on Sept 7th at 8pm will feature ASL interpretation and audio description.

 

$29 general / $20.30 member
$15 student + 25-and-under

75 minutes

Conceived by Trey Lyford Created in collaboration with the Company Composer Cole Kamen-Green Set/Kinetics Eric Novak Costumes Tara Webb Sound Trey Lyford Creative Consultant Conor Lovett Performed by Trey Lyford, Ben Bass, Coralie Holum Lyford

Lighting Design Robin Stamey Associate Producer Michaela Moore Public Relations Bryan Buttler Media Relations

Special thanks to Roger I. Ideishi, Kyle Lemieux, Meghan St. Thomas, Rachael Geier, Suli Holum, Bob Holum, Judy Hegarty Lovett, Julian Crouch, Rob Thirtle, Chris Green, Vanessa Solomon, Greg Kennedy, Pete Simpson, Kristen Sieh, Kristin Marting, Kim Whitener, Howard Fishman, Matt Saunders, Murph Henderson, Bill Bissell, Josie Smith, Nichole Canuso, Geoff Sobelle, Steve Cuiffo, Patricia Cooper Lyford, Glenn Perlman, Martin Stutzman, Courtney Riggar, Clayton Tejada, Scott Greer and Jennifer Child

Photos by Jenna Spitz (featured and below), Paula Court (above)

 

Major support for The Accountant has been
provided to Trey Lyford by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Festival Producers: Edward & Anne Wagner
Festival Co-Producers: Shelley Green & Michael Golden


About Trey Lyford

Trey Lyford is a theater artist and co-artistic director, with Geoff Sobelle, of physical theater company rainpan 43, for which he has co-created works such as all wear bowlers (2005 Fringe Festival) and Elephant Room (2011). Lyford also develops and produces works as an individual artist and as an associate artist with the Obie Award-winning company The Civilians. His work has been presented at Center Theatre Group, St. Ann’s Warehouse, HERE Arts Center, Arena Stage, ATL’s Humana Festival, FringeArts, and La Jolla Playhouse, among others. Lyford holds an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. He has been honored with a Princess Grace Award and has received support from New York State Council on the Arts, Creative Capital, and New England Foundation for the Arts.


FringeArts interview with Trey Lyford

FringeArts: What was the initial inspiration for The Accountant?

Trey Lyford: The piece has been a long time coming . . . I originally thought of the show when I was temping in New York City in my early twenties. I was working at a pretty normal office, with glass-fronted offices that surrounded a pool of partitions for all the assistants in the middle. I was walking around delivering mail and one of the offices was completely dark and had an old man hunched over his desk. There was a lamp and he had stacks of paper surrounding him, floor to ceiling. It was right out of a Dickens novel and totally out of place in the modern office building. I have no idea what he did, or what his title was, but he felt like he had a secret doorway into another world under his desk. I have never been able to shake that image.

I came back to this idea (and also to one of my favorite Beckett pieces, Krapp’s Last Tape) when I starting hitting middle age. This isolation really began to speak to me when my life was hit with five important deaths within two years. The people who were sick or dying and the people who they left behind all had to take stock, look back at their lives and put it all together somehow. I was in awe of that space. The moments of total clarity, beauty and sorrow.

FringeArts: Why did you call this “The Accountant”?

Trey Lyford: It seemed to really say what it was for me. It tells you what kind of character is at the heart of the piece but it also references the idea that he is accounting for his life. Trying to find meaning and living in the memory of it all.

FringeArts: What are some of the performance “forms” you are playing with?

Trey Lyford: Well this is tricky because I use kind of whatever I can to play with rhythm and imagery. It has a fair amount of clowning in it, but the dark, simple kind — not so much the red nose circus kind. I am using humor and awkwardness to tell the story of a life buried by frustrations and lost hopes. I have often used the term “soft slapstick” meaning the rhythms and the structure are similar to traditional bits, but there is a kind of existential void surrounding them. I still find that funny.

The second thing would be physical theater. I use all kinds of imagery and expression through physicality. This breaks the more naturalistic setting of an accountant’s office and brings it into the surreal. For me that lets us understand the mind of the accountant (more than his story). It’s about the state of memory and longing and the image based work seems to feed that more.

There is a bit of magic in it. I’ve gotten to play with illusion a fair amount in my work with Geoff [Sobelle, Lyford’s collaborator on Fringe Festival shows all wear bowlers (2005), Amnesia Curiosa (2006) and Elephant Room (2011)]. We have always been interested in the way illusions can provide a sense of wonder and amazement in a moment when you are not relying on language alone. I try to use it sparingly, but it really helps me put the world in a dream logic — you know, when you have a dream and your sister’s face morphs into an ice cream cone, except simpler than that. A little magic can go a long way.

Lastly, I’ve been inspired by old vaudeville routines. They find their way into the piece in a delicate way, but I have always adored them for their full out we are just here to entertain you! There is something so needy and frantic about that, but also so nostalgic. I use found routines, and imagined ones, throughout the show.

Excerpt. Read the full interview on the FringeArts Blog.

 

The Accountant

Posted September 6th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistInterview

Trey Lyford has a masterful sense of staging.” Philadelphia Magazine

I was delivering mail at a temp job and came across this dimly lit office with a small lamp softly illuminating an old clerk. He was surrounded by papers stacked floor to ceiling. It felt like he was some kind of gatekeeper to a world that time forgot. I’ve never been able to shake that image.” Trey Lyford

In the forgotten office of an aging clerk, the tedium of everyday life transforms into a comical and haunting world of futility, remembrance, and regret. The Accountant is a visual theater piece inspired by the disorientation that death can bring into our lives and by Samuel Beckett’s rumination on impermanence, Krapp’s Last Tape.  

Co-creator of festival favorites all wear bowlers (2005), Amnesia Curiosa (2006), and Elephant Room (2011), Trey Lyford characteristically blends physical theater, vaudeville routines, illusion, and slapstick to celebrate the beauty fluttering in the details of everyday life and the poetic humor embedded at the epicenter of loss. When you account for the many moments that make up who you are, does it all add up?

Created in collaboration with performers Ben Bass and Coralie Holum Lyford, composer Cole Kamen-Green, and designers Eric Novak, Tara Webb, and Robin Stamey. 

Interested in being a part of The Accountant? Visit his website to participate in an online component called (re)collection. (re)collection is a culling and compiling of memory.  Our memory in all its fits and starts.  It is an attempt to collect the audience’s responses to imagery that may or may not bring up moments from your past. Learn more at https://www.treylyford.com/recollection.html.

The performance on Sept 7th at 8pm will feature ASL interpretation, audio description, and captioning. Although the performance is sold out for general admission, if you would need to use these accessibility services, please contact the FringeArts Box Office at 215.413.1318 to ask about tickets set aside for those needing these services.

$29 general / $20.30 member
$15 student + 25-and-under

75 minutes

Conceived by Trey Lyford Created in collaboration with the Company Composer Cole Kamen-Green Set/Kinetics Eric Novak Costumes Tara Webb Sound Trey Lyford Creative Consultant Conor Lovett Performed by Trey Lyford, Ben Bass, Coralie Holum Lyford Lighting Design Robin Stamey Associate Producer Michaela Moore Public Relations Bryan Buttler Media Relations

Special thanks to Roger I. Ideishi, Kyle Lemieux, Meghan St. Thomas, Rachael Geier, Suli Holum, Bob Holum, Judy Hegarty Lovett, Julian Crouch, Rob Thirtle, Chris Green, Vanessa Solomon, Greg Kennedy, Pete Simpson, Kristen Sieh, Kristin Marting, Kim Whitener, Howard Fishman, Matt Saunders, Murph Henderson, Bill Bissell, Josie Smith, Nichole Canuso, Geoff Sobelle, Steve Cuiffo, Patricia Cooper Lyford, Glenn Perlman, Martin Stutzman, Courtney Riggar, Clayton Tejada, Scott Greer and Jennifer Child

Photos by Jenna Spitz (featured and below), Paula Court (above)

 

Major support for The Accountant has been
provided to Trey Lyford by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Festival Producers: Edward & Anne Wagner
Festival Co-Producers: Shelley Green & Michael Golden


About Trey Lyford

Trey Lyford is a theater artist and co-artistic director, with Geoff Sobelle, of physical theater company rainpan 43, for which he has co-created works such as all wear bowlers (2005 Fringe Festival) and Elephant Room (2011). Lyford also develops and produces works as an individual artist and as an associate artist with the Obie Award-winning company The Civilians. His work has been presented at Center Theatre Group, St. Ann’s Warehouse, HERE Arts Center, Arena Stage, ATL’s Humana Festival, FringeArts, and La Jolla Playhouse, among others. Lyford holds an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. He has been honored with a Princess Grace Award and has received support from New York State Council on the Arts, Creative Capital, and New England Foundation for the Arts.


FringeArts interview with Trey Lyford

FringeArts: What was the initial inspiration for The Accountant?

Trey Lyford: The piece has been a long time coming . . . I originally thought of the show when I was temping in New York City in my early twenties. I was working at a pretty normal office, with glass-fronted offices that surrounded a pool of partitions for all the assistants in the middle. I was walking around delivering mail and one of the offices was completely dark and had an old man hunched over his desk. There was a lamp and he had stacks of paper surrounding him, floor to ceiling. It was right out of a Dickens novel and totally out of place in the modern office building. I have no idea what he did, or what his title was, but he felt like he had a secret doorway into another world under his desk. I have never been able to shake that image.

I came back to this idea (and also to one of my favorite Beckett pieces, Krapp’s Last Tape) when I starting hitting middle age. This isolation really began to speak to me when my life was hit with five important deaths within two years. The people who were sick or dying and the people who they left behind all had to take stock, look back at their lives and put it all together somehow. I was in awe of that space. The moments of total clarity, beauty and sorrow.

FringeArts: Why did you call this “The Accountant”?

Trey Lyford: It seemed to really say what it was for me. It tells you what kind of character is at the heart of the piece but it also references the idea that he is accounting for his life. Trying to find meaning and living in the memory of it all.

FringeArts: What are some of the performance “forms” you are playing with?

Trey Lyford: Well this is tricky because I use kind of whatever I can to play with rhythm and imagery. It has a fair amount of clowning in it, but the dark, simple kind — not so much the red nose circus kind. I am using humor and awkwardness to tell the story of a life buried by frustrations and lost hopes. I have often used the term “soft slapstick” meaning the rhythms and the structure are similar to traditional bits, but there is a kind of existential void surrounding them. I still find that funny.

The second thing would be physical theater. I use all kinds of imagery and expression through physicality. This breaks the more naturalistic setting of an accountant’s office and brings it into the surreal. For me that lets us understand the mind of the accountant (more than his story). It’s about the state of memory and longing and the image based work seems to feed that more.

There is a bit of magic in it. I’ve gotten to play with illusion a fair amount in my work with Geoff [Sobelle, Lyford’s collaborator on Fringe Festival shows all wear bowlers (2005), Amnesia Curiosa (2006) and Elephant Room (2011)]. We have always been interested in the way illusions can provide a sense of wonder and amazement in a moment when you are not relying on language alone. I try to use it sparingly, but it really helps me put the world in a dream logic — you know, when you have a dream and your sister’s face morphs into an ice cream cone, except simpler than that. A little magic can go a long way.

Lastly, I’ve been inspired by old vaudeville routines. They find their way into the piece in a delicate way, but I have always adored them for their full out we are just here to entertain you! There is something so needy and frantic about that, but also so nostalgic. I use found routines, and imagined ones, throughout the show.

Excerpt. Read the full interview on the FringeArts Blog.

 

International Fringe 2018: A Welcome to Artists from Around the World

Posted September 2nd, 2018

The United States government may be pursuing an isolationist policy but the Philadelphia Fringe is doing the opposite: opening its doors not only to the most creative American performers and performances but also to the best and most creative theater artists and their productions from around the world—overcoming the ancient fear of the symbolic Tower of Babel with people not understanding each other.

To show the worldwide scope of the 22nd Philadelphia Fringe Festival, we offer this spotlight on performers from abroad and productions by American artists that present a global perspective.

Theater writer Henrik Eger, editor of Drama Around the Globe and contributor to Phindie and Broad Street Review, among other publications, has lived in six countries on three continents and has visited Africa and Australia as well. He bids everyone a hearty WELCOME to the City of Brotherly Love—this year in 18 different languages: Arabic, Celtic, Chinese, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Latin, Polish, Romanian, and Spanish.

We start this year’s overview with a special welcome to two programs featuring a wide range of global creators:

INTERNATIONAL CREATIVES

  1. le super grandBienvenue & welcome to Montreal-based choreographer Sylvain Émard and Le Super Grand ContinentalLe Grand Continental wowed audiences during its run at the 2012 Fringe Festival and has garnered enthusiastic response across the world. Fully realizing a blissful marriage between the pure delight of line dancing and the fluidity and expressiveness of contemporary dance, the celebratory event enlists hundreds of local people to perform its synchronized choreography in large-scale public performances. The world’s most infectious performance event returns to the front steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in an even larger spectacle of dance.

More info and tickets here

  1. Bonvenon, willkommen, bienvenido, witamy, bienvenue & welcome to Do You Want A Cookie? from The Bearded Ladies Cabaret—a world premiere with an international cast. Do You Want A Cookie? serves up a delicious romp through cabaret history, with an international cast of artists performing a live revue of cabaret from the Chat Noir to Weimar nightlife to 21st-century drag. The all-star cast comes draws from around the world, including Bridge Markland (Berlin), Malgorzata Kasprzycka (Paris/Warsaw), Dieter Rita Scholl (Berlin), and Tareke Ortiz (Mexico City).

More info and tickets here

REFUGEES and EXILES

  1. ear whispered

    As Far As My Fingertips Take Me. Photo by

    وسهلا اهلا (ahlaan wasahlan) & bienvenu. Welcome to Tania El Khoury who lives in Lebanon and the UK with her multifaceted program ear-whispered. Little is known about Palestinian refugee camps and their communities. El Khoury presents her Fringe work in five parts through interactive performances and installations at Bryn Mawr College:

    1. Gardens Speak, an interactive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. (Bryn Mawr College.) Read more.
    2. Camp Pause, a video installation that tells the stories of four residents of the Rashidieh Refugee Camp on the coast of Lebanon. (Bryn Mawr College.) Read more.
    3. As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, an encounter through a gallery wall between a single audience member and a refugee. (Old City & Bryn Mawr College.) Read more.  
    4. Stories of Refuge, an immersive video installation that invites audiences to lay down on metal bunk beds and watch videos shot by Syrian asylum seekers in Munich, Germany. (Old City.) Read more.
    5. Tell Me What I Can Do, a newly commissioned work featuring letters that audiences have written in response to Gardens Speak. (Bryn Mawr College.) Read more.

More info and tickets here

  1. Bienvenido & welcome to the bilingual (Spanish & English) cast of La Fábrica performing Gustave Ott’s Passport. Lost in a foreign country, Eugenia is detained and thrown into a vicious maelstrom of miscommunication. This poetic and immersive Kafkaesque thriller delves into the question of immigration—exposing the mechanics of language and power. Some performances will be presented in English, some in Spanish, and some will be decided at the toss of a coin.

More info and tickets here

Read More

2018 Festival Spotlight: Shows from the Theater Canon

Posted August 28th, 2018

This year’s Fringe artists have looked to the past and taken inspiration from great playwrights and authors of the past. Check out these shows that create new work based on the theater canon. (There’s a noticeable absence: we covered Shakespeare in last week’s Festival Spotlight.) 

Samuel Beckett

accountant

The Accountant // Trey Lyford
In the forgotten office of an aging clerk, the tedium of everyday life transforms into a comical and haunting world of futility, remembrance and regret. The Accountant is a visual theater piece inspired by Samuel Beckett’s raw rumination on impermanence, Krapp’s Last Tape, and the disorientation that death can bring into our lives.
More info and tickets here

Company // EgoPo Classic Theater
Bring your blanket and pillow for a Beckett slumber party. EgoPo remounts their 2009 Fringe hit, which sold out in five cities. An immersive sensory experience, you are blindfolded on your back in the dark, the haunting text of modernist master Samuel Beckett’s short story “Company” whispered in your ear.
More info and tickets here

Sarah Kane

Phaedra’s Love // Svaha Theatre Collective
Phaedra is sexually obsessed with Hippolytus, her son. Hippolytus hates everyone and everything. The crown is burning and everybody is waiting for any excuse to rip the royal family to shreds. Literally. A riot erupts in gruesome hilarity because that’s just human nature, am I right? After producing Crave in 2016, Svaha returns with Phaedra’s Love by Sarah Kane, poete maudit of contemporary theater.
More info and tickets here

Read More

Does It All Add Up? Trey Lyford on The Accountant

Posted July 18th, 2018

Trey Lyford’s distinct brand of physical theater has impressed Fringe Festival audiences in all wear bowlers (2005), Amnesia Curiosa (2006) and Elephant Room (2011). He returns to the Festival this year with The Accountant, a new interdisciplinary theater piece that follows the story of a middle-aged office clerk stuck in the tedium of life, fusing physical theater, humor, and illusion to create a “dreamscape of memory and loss.”

Lyford’s latest work will give audiences the chance to ruminate on their own lives, to think about the people who have come and gone, who have touched them in different ways. In witnessing the accountant coming to terms with the loss in his life, viewers are immersed in Lyford’s humor, slapstick, and illusion while reckoning with their own experiences. We asked Lyford about how the show has evolved since its conception and about the many performance forms that make up this innovative piece.

FringeArts: What was the initial inspiration for The Accountant?

Trey Lyford: The piece has been a long time coming . . . I originally thought of the show when I was temping in New York City in my early twenties. I was working at a pretty normal office, with glass-fronted offices that surrounded a pool of partitions for all the assistants in the middle. I was walking around delivering mail and one of the offices was completely dark and had an old man hunched over his desk. There was a lamp and he had stacks of paper surrounding him, floor to ceiling. It was right out of a Dickens novel and totally out of place in the modern office building. I have no idea what he did, or what his title was, but I felt like he had a secret doorway into another world under his desk. I have never been able to shake that image.

I came back to this idea (and also to one of my favorite Beckett pieces, Krapp’s Last Tape) when I started hitting middle age. This isolation really began to speak to me when my life was hit with five important deaths within two years. The people who were sick or dying and the people who they left behind all had to take stock, look back at their lives and put it all together somehow. I was in awe of that space. The moments of total clarity, beauty, and sorrow.

Read More