The Bushwick Starr was thrilled to collaborate with West Yorkshire Playhouse in presenting the world premiere of Animal Wisdom, a new music-theater piece by Obie Award-winning composer and performer Heather Christian.

Heather talks to dead people, gets freaked out and writes music. Animal Wisdom is a lo-fi, idiosyncratic, folk-blues Requiem written from theoretical or actual (you decide) conversations with the dead performed alongside poorly remembered Methodist hymns from the 1800s, hyperbolized family mythologies, and community rituals of the ridiculous in the form of a gothic catholic mass- because how else can you address your soul? Animal Wisdom is a musical offering created by sinners and science nerds for believers and non-believers alike.

Co-produced by The Bushwick Starr + West Yorkshire Playhouse

Created by Heather Christian
Directed by Mark Rosenblatt
Co-Directed by Emilyn Kowaleski
Featuring & made in collaboration with Sasha Brown, Heather Christian, Fred Epstein, Eric Farber & Maya Sharpe

Music, Book & Lyrics - Heather Christian
Director - Mark Rosenblatt
Co-Director - Emilyn Kowaleski
Guitar, Cello, & Vocals - Sasha Brown
Piano & Vocals - Heather Christian
Bass & Vocals - Fred Epstein
Percussion & Vocals - Eric Farber
Violin & Vocals - Maya Sharpe
Lighting Designer & Art Director - Andrew Schneider
Scenic Designers - Eric Farber & Andrew Schneider
Sound Designer - Stowe Nelson
Costume Designer - Heather McDevitt Barton
Dramaturg - Jill Frutkin
Orchestration - Sasha Brown, Heather Christian, Fred Epstein, Eric Farber & Maya Sharpe
Production Stage Manager - Kendall Allen
Technical Director/Associate Lighting Designer - Tater Dave Polato
Producer - Lucy Jackson
Associate Producer - Brittany Coyne
Wardrobe Supervisor and Assistant Costume Designer - Eva Jaunzemis
Sound Engineer - Jay Maury
Lighting Engineer - Eamon Goodman
Production Interns - Sarah Gallegos & Chris Pinto

The development of Animal Wisdom was undertaken as part of the Transform Festival at West Yorkshire Playhouse in Summer 2015 and a Bushwick Starr artist residency in Summer 2017, in addition to a residency at NACL as part of a new long-term partnership with The Bushwick Starr.


A brief encounter with Heather

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