Music DARCY JAMES ARGUE | Writing and direction ISAAC BUTLER
Film design PETER NIGRINI | Scenic design MARUTI EVANS
Costume design SYDNEY MARESCA | Featuring SECRET SOCIETY
co-commissioned by THE BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC (BAM), THE FROMM MUSIC FOUNDATION and BETH MORRISON PROJECTS
produced by BETH MORRISON PROJECTS
“This is the age of conspiracy, the age of connections, secret links, secret relationships.”
— Don DeLillo, Running Dog
Based on in-depth research into the history, aesthetics, and psychology of conspiracy, Real Enemies is an evening-length, multimedia, jazz-fueled exploration of American paranoia. This innovative marriage of music-theater and hybrid nonfiction marks the first collaboration between composer Darcy James Argue, filmmaker Peter Nigrini and writer Isaac Butler, who together chronicle a shadow history of post-war America that may—or may not—be true.
Beginning with Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA data collection and moving through a dozen conspiracies, Real Enemies mimics and deconstructs how information overload, our need to make sense of the world, and government wrongdoing form the basis of our conspiracy culture.
Equal parts rollicking concert, impressionist documentary and lyric essay, Real Enemies is at the vanguard of both music-theater and hybrid non-fiction, continuing the boundary-pushing work started by composer Darcy James Argue.
“For a wholly original take on big band's past, present and future, look to Darcy James Argue."
“It's maximalist music of impressive complexityand immense entertainment value, in your face and then in your head"
-The Village Voice
"What composer Darcy James Argue, librettist/director Isaac Butler and cinematographer Peter Nigrini brought to the stage of Amsterdam’s City Theatre can measure up to American experimental theatre producer Robert Wilson’s best productions."
"What remains is a visual and auditive spectacle without precedent, which overwhelms, dwarfs, and makes you aware that innovation in music theatre is still possible. Real Enemies is paranoid, mythical, astounding, shocking and breath-taking – the same feelings you are left with after a Robert Wilson performance."
Real Enemies is supported by The MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital, primarily supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Additional funds come from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The World Premiere performance of Real Enemies is is supported, in part, by public funds from The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
PHOTOS BY NOAH STERN WEBER