Curator: Michal Gamily / Moderator: Naomi Gold
Panelists: Edgar Oliver, Helen Oliver Adelson, Brian Butterick, Michael Laurence, Kevin Malony, Hapi Phace, Angela Rogers
Performers: Angela Rogers, Ben Williams
About Edgar Oliver
Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Edgar Oliver has lived and worked in New York City since 1977. He is a poet, playwright, and actor, and storyteller, who has been active in New York's downtown theatre and performing arts community since the early 1980s. He is also one of the most beloved storytellers of the acclaimed storytelling organization The Moth. Over the past thirty years, he has produced work that the New Yorker's Hilton Als calls "emotionally grand," while the Moth's George Dawes Green has described him as "the world's greatest living raconteur."
His plays, many of which were produced at La MaMa and in which he also performed as a stage actor, include The Drowning Pages, Hands in Wartime, The Ghost of Brooklyn, The Lost Bedroom, Motel Blue 19, Mosquito Succulence, The Poetry Killer, and The Seven Year Vacation. Edgar has also been a sought-after actor in myriad other plays, most notably with the Axis Theatre Company under the direction of Randy Sharp. Among his most important achievements are three acclaimed one-man shows: East 10th Street: Self Portrait with Empty House (directed by Randy Sharp); Helen & Edgar (directed by The Moth's Catherine Burns); and most recently, In the Park (also directed by Randy Sharp). In his review of East 10th Street, the New York Times' Ben Brantley called Edgar "a living work of theatre all by himself." Brantley subsequently described Helen & Edgar as "utterly absorbing."
Edgar has produced four collections of poetry: The Brooklyn Public Library, A Portrait of New York by a Wanderer There, Summer, and most recently, The Puddle Boy, all published by Oilcan Press. He has also written a novel titled The Man Who Loved Plants. In collaboration with Oilcan Press and the members of the Brooklyn-based band The Octave Doktors, he has produced an album of poetry and monologues called Desire & the Sea, which is based on material presented at a live performance at Coney Island in April of last year.
Panel & Performers
NAOMI GOLD (moderator) is thrilled to work with Edgar and the LaMama Coffeehouse Chronicles. In 2012, she worked on the show Helen & Edgar in a variety of capacities including publicity, organizing and selling merchandise, and backstage timekeeping. In 2013, she served as the Box Office and House Manager and Scene Shop Assistant for The Two Character Play at 292 Theatre in the East Village. More recently, she produced a successful Indiegogo campaign for Desire & the Sea, a collaboration between Edgar and his musical companions the Octave Doktors. Along with Oilcan Press founder Aaron Howard, she works as a Co-Chief of Staff to Edgar, creating and posting materials for social media; assisting with correspondence involving event organizers, publishers, and fans; providing program organization assistance; and creating and maintaining an archive of his work in all formats. She is an avid photographer, collage-maker, and urban explorer. In her spare time, she holds down a full-time job as an Assistant Dean in the Library at Seton Hall University.
HELEN OLIVER ADELSON (panelist), originally from Savannah, Georgia in the southern United States, moved to New York City in the late 70’s after studying in Paris and receiving a B.A. degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Her thirty-five year history of painting that ensued includes mainly portraits in oil on canvas, which she has exhibited in New York, Paris and Lucerne. She has also done much stage set design, especially for her brother Edgar Oliver’s numerous plays, many of which premiered at La Mama E.T.C. in New York City. She was also a founder of Pompeii Gallery on 10th Street and later Forsyth Street in New York City in the mid 80’s. Her most recent exhibit was a one-person installation last September at the gallery Participant, Inc. in New York City, and in May of this year she was one of the recipients of the Acker Award in New York.
BEN WILLIAMS (performer) is an actor and a sound designer. With Elevator Repair Service: Arguendo; Fondly, Collette Richland; The Select (The Sun Also Rises); Shuffle, The Sound and the Fury (April Seventh, 1928); No Great Society; and Gatz. Recent work: Grimly Handsome by Julia Jarcho (Obie Award - Best New American Play);A Beautiful Day... by Kate Benson (New Georges). Other collaborators include: Christina Masciotti, Sibyl Kempson, Lucy Alibar, Suzanne Bocanegra, The Wooster Group, New York City Players, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Awards for Sound Design: 2012 Obie, 2012 Lucille Lortel, 2013 LADCC. Ben is the Editor of Performance Texts for BODY, an online literary journal, where you can read other works by Edgar Oliver: www.bodyliterature.com
SARAH MOSKOWITZ (performer) performs at various venues around New York City. She has been seen acting in the raucous, prohibition-era show Speakeasy Dollhouse and playing with the band Amerigo Mackeral and the Octave Doktors. She also makes up the Sarah half of the duo “Sami & Sarah.” She likes to sing, and her instruments of choice include ukulele, banjolele, harmonium, typewriter and kazoo. She resides in Brooklyn with her daughter and her cat. www.soundcloud.com/sarahmouse, www.soundcloud.com/samisarah
THE OCTAVE DOKTORS (pre-show music) have been making poetry & music together for four years using a variety of instruments, typewriters & ideas. They are: Sami Bucella, Jeff Burns, Aaron Howard, Ghost Lee Pat, Sarah Moskowitz, and Angela Rogers.
About Coffeehouse Chronicles
Coffeehouse Chronicles is a free, interactive, educational series exploring the history and development of Off-Off Broadway from its inception within the Village “Coffeehouse Theatres” of the 1960’s through today. Part artist portrait, part history lesson, part community forum and part creative event, Coffeehouse Chronicles provides a home for personal and intimate engagement with art. Since 2005 La MaMa has presented more than 100 Coffeehouse Chronicles featuring personal oral accounts from artists of the day as well as conversations with present day artists who continue to work in the same bold, daring manner. Coffeehouse Chronicles are held on one Saturday each month (September through June).