Joan Didion's The White Album at Sydney Festival
Sydney Festival 2020 | Theatre
About Joan Didion's The White Album
First published in 1979, Joan Didion’s caustic, seminal essay The White Album is a shifting literary mosaic.
It takes readers from the Black Panther Trials to a troubled recording session with The Doors, to student sit-ins and strikes, and into the events that put an end to the hazy hopes of the Summer of Love: the Manson Murders.
Obie-winning actor Mia Barron delivers Didion’s highly theatrical text in full as a parallel performance unfolds behind her. 25 young audience members participate in vignettes juxtaposing the social upheaval of the ’60s with present day injustice and institutional violence.
It’s a bold, genre-bending staging of The White Album’s entire text by experimental theatre director Lars Jan, founder of performance and art lab Early Morning Opera and acclaimed large-scale installation artist.
His epic, kinetic sculptural and installation works have exhibited in Times Square and at Art Basel Miami; their inventive use of space is reflected in The White Album’s versatile, modernist stage design echoing Didion’s Los Angeles home.
Jan expands Didion’s piercing and jaundiced observations of her world and her own mind into a brilliantly theatrical phantasmagoria of voices, attitudes, dreams and nightmares.
The White Album premiered at Pittsburgh’s International Festival of Firsts in October 2018.
2hr (no interval)
Warning: This performance contains strobe lighting, theatrical fog and portrayal of gun violence.