DOG DAYS

CREATIVE TEAM

composed by DAVID T. LITTLE | libretto by ROYCE VAVREK
based on the short story “Dog Days” by JUDY BUDNITZ
directed by ROBERT WOODRUFF| music direction by ALAN PIERSON


commissioned by PEAK PERFORMANCES @ Montclair State University (NJ)
world-premiere production originally produced by PEAK PERFORMANCES @ Montclair State University (NJ)

in association with BETH MORRISON PROJECTS| tour produced by BETH MORRISON PROJECTS

2015 TOUR

JUNE 11-16 2015 (LA OPERA - OFF GRAND)

REDCAT (LOS ANGELES)

 

NYC PREMIERE

JANUARY 9-11 2016 (PROTOTYPE 2016)

SKIRBALL CENTER (NEW YORK)

 

ABOUT

DOG DAYS is a work of contemporary music-theatre from celebrated composer/librettist team David T. Little & Royce Vavrek that incorporates elements of opera, musical theatre, and rock-infused-concert music, to investigate the psychology of a working class American family pitted against a not-so-distant-future wartime scenario. This black comedy asks: is it madness, delusion, or sheer animal instinct that guides us through severely trying times? Where lies the line between animal and human, and at what point must we give in to our animal instincts merely to survive?

 

The country has fallen into chaos as an undefined war rages on US soil. Roads are closed except for military use. There is no work. Progressively, the schools close. Food runs out. The power gets shut off. Neighbors mysteriously vanish. Those without homes beg for food at the porches of those who do, but no one has anything to give. A family of five—parents, two sons, and a young daughter, Lisa—do what they can to survive. They eat wild grass from the yard. The father goes hunting every day, but all the animals have fled. “They know something we don’t,” he says. One day, Prince arrives.

 

Prince, a man in a dog suit, befriends Lisa and provides her with an escape from the isolated boredom of daily life. Lisa’s mother supports this friendship, though Lisa’s father, Howard, opposes it. Prince is Lisa’s pet—her only friend Howard confronts Prince. “Stand up,” he says. “You’re a human being, for God’s sake. Stand up like a man… I’ll give you my own clothes if you’ll… stand up like a man and talk to me. I know you can talk.” Prince barks; Howard chases him away. Conditions continue to worsen. It’s winter now. Dark early, and cold. The family hasn’t eaten in weeks, maybe months. “I wish I had a steak,” says one brother. The other brother adds “I heard in China people eat…” Silence. 

PHOTO

Photos by James Daniel 

PRESS

“IT’S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE THIS RIVETING SHOW IS CONFIRMED AS A GROUNDBREAKING AMERICAN CLASSIC.”

-The New York Times

 

“POWERFUL AND UNSETTLING”

-The New Yorker

 

“A TAUT, NUANCED WORK THAT CLAWED BENEATH THE SURFACE OF EVERY SITUATION… ITS POETRY IS INDELIBLE AND AFFECTING.”

-The New York Times

 

“IT IS DIFFICULT TO THINK OF ANYTHING WITH THAT KIND OF POWER AND ORIGINALITY ON ANY OTHER OPERA STAGE IN THE AREA.”

-The Star Ledger

 

“DIRECTOR ROBERT WOODRUFF FIERCELY CAPTURES THE OPERA’S INTERSECTION OF THE ORDINARY AND THE GROTESQUE.”

-The Wall Street Journal

 

“CREDIT IS DUE TO BETH MORRISON PROJECTS, WHICH FOSTERED THE OPERA TO FRUITION… WHY DO PROVOCATIVE OPERAS LIKE DOG DAYS RARELY REACH NEW YORK.”

-The New York Times

 

“DAVID T. LITTLE AND ROYCE VAVREK, ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING COMPOSER-LIBRETTIST TEAMS WORKING IN OPERA TODAY.”

-The Wall Street Journal

VIDEO

666 Ocean Ave, #D1 Brooklyn, NY 11226

 Tel: 646.682.7181

© 2018 Beth Morrison Projects

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