Jenny Magnus

On the theme of Attention:

"...It made me feel a little scared to think that maybe there’s a whole class of things that I'm unaware of. That I am un-self-conscious of. And that I'm going to be forced to pay attention to. I can't quite see how I'm going to stay in the present if there are all of these things I have to pay attention to.  It all goes by so fast, it’s confusing, and I feel like I'm not really in control of it. Like it’s sweeping me along and I only have time to pick up on a few things..." Cruise Control, The Willies, 1993

 Graphics by Julia Williams. Head by Vicki Walden.

Graphics by Julia Williams. Head by Vicki Walden.

“…Saw this last night at Prop Theater. Astonishing, beautiful, funny, riviting! Jenny Magnus her talent is just so BIG, I couldn't stop thinking about her work and how it always blows my mind. Brook CelesteJulie WilliamsPaul Brennan, Troy Martin, Vicki Walden, Beau O'Reilly all give powerfully connected performances. I would make reservations, sold out last night…”

“…So Jenny Magnus' NOT ANOTHER DAY is currently running at the Prop Thtr. It opened last weekend and I gotta tell you that I am biased as hell but I still think this show is just so fucking good. It's about how hard it is to make art, but it's also about how hard it is to let go of your idea of yourself to make room for something outside of yourself. Does that sound heady? OK, its a little heady. But it is also a snarky sung through show with breaks for the funniest goddamn soap opera you have ever seen. So see it this weekend before you lose track of it and it becomes that show that everyone is talking about that you missed and it makes you feel like a jackass. Because you will. Boy, will you….”

“…
Funny. Thought-provoking. Immensely entertaining. This original work by Jenny Magnus is the caliber of art that makes Chicago the leading source for cutting-edge theater….”

(Not) Another Day

Written and Directed By Jenny Magnus

A sung meta-play about process, and a process; a process of a soap opera writer who can't think of an ending, a process of a soap opera actor who refuses to leave, and all the soap operas in life that can play with time and process.  

An actor on the popular soap opera Another Day is killed off, but he refuses to leave the show.  The producers have no choice but to stage his funeral, and when he remains intractable, the funeral goes on, day after day, stuck in the twilight soap opera world of attenuated time and constant drama.  The cast of the soap opera begins to become unhinged as they replay the same moments over and over.  Like shipwrecked passengers, they turn on each other, breaking down the boundaries of civilized behaviour.  At the same time, the man, perpetually in his coffin, playing dead, begins to have an afterdeath experience of the bardos, or in-between places, that are described in the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. At the same time, a writer, who is composing the entire project is concerned with the formal narrative elements of their story and its themes.  

(Not) Another Day attempts to explore the way time is experienced, as an elastic perceptual band that binds us together, and as an eternal inner state.  With the use of video, beats, and live actors singing, (Not) Another Day is a funny and sad thought: maybe our souls are only the idea and memory others have of us after we are dead.  Maybe we can’t really finish things satisfactorily, we can only try to tolerate ringing (non) endings.  Produced and enacted by The Curious Theatre Branch, now in it’s 30th season, as a sung play experience, a non-opera with video.   

On stage:

Paul Brennan

Leo Brun

Brook Celeste

T-Roy Martin

Beau O’Reilly

Vicki Walden

Julia Williams

On video:

Ian Belknap

Jayita Bhattacharya

KellyAnn Corcoran

Kelli Cousins

Ben Johnson

Shalaka Kulkarni

Pippen Mueller

Zoe Pike

Maggie Vaughn

Video: Jeffrey Bivens

Music Engineering: Ralph Loza at ESS

Production Assistance: Gen Wurst, Sid Branca, Charlotte Hamilton, Stefan Brun, Simone LaPierre

Rehearsal footage When Something is Not from (Not) Another Day written by Jenny Magnus. Vicki Walden, Julia Williams, Troy Martin, Brook Celeste, Paul Brennan, and Beau O'Reilly