ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
StageCast: Experiments in Performance and Technology
StageCast: Experiments in Performance and Technology is an experimental showcase of performances to discover new forms of live, theatrical storytelling over the internet. Utilizing new technologies developed by students and faculty members from the Computer Science (CS) and Electrical Engineering (EE) Departments, the performance will feature four original, short works by various acclaimed playwrights performed by Stanford students with live music interludes in-between.
Join us for an investigation into digital storytelling, creative coding, and a melding of art and science!
A TV Pilot I Failed to Sell
by Kate Tarker
A TV Pilot I Failed to Sell highlights the journey of an aspiring writer as she navigates the complex demands of the TV industry. Through multiple zoom meetings, the struggling artist pitches her idea of a screenplay to four different executives.
by Michael Yates Crowley
Unboxing, is a chaotic satire that pokes fun at influencer unboxing videos on YouTube. Meet a narrator, a lawyer, two box bros, a girlfriend and a… Homunculus?? Dive deep into the meaning of the box with this humorous play.
by Kelley Girod
In New York City, during the first days of the pandemic and lockdown, two friends who thought they long left a tragedy behind them, find themselves lost in time. As they try to comfort each other through the strangeness of self-isolation, they realize that there is nowhere to run from a past that hunts them like the Loup Garou, or werewolf, that used to stalk their nightmares as children.
by Mike Lew
Re-entry Camp speculates about the (hopefully soon) transition to a post-COVID era where pandemic-scarred people emerge to re-enter society. This satirical play draws on tropes of the hoarders, the overly-cautious preppers, the zoomers acclimated to online reality, and the people who never cared at all.
ABOUT THE MAKERS
MICHAEL RAU | StageCast Project Principal Investigator and Director of Production
TAPS Assistant Professor and Artistic Director Michael Rau is a live performance director specializing in new plays, opera, and digital media projects. He has worked internationally in Germany, Brazil, the UK, Ireland, Canada, and the Czech Republic. He has created work in New York City at Lincoln Center, The Public Theater, PS122, HERE Arts Center, Ars Nova, The Bushwick Starr, The Brick, 59E59, 3LD, and Dixon Place. Regionally, his work has been seen at the Ingenuity Festival in Cleveland OH, and the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, MA. He has developed new plays at the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, the Lark and the Kennedy Center. Michael Rau is a recipient of fellowships from the Likhachev Foundation, the Kennedy Center, and the National New Play Network. He has been a resident artist at the Orchard Project, E|MERGE, and the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Rau is a Forward/Story fellow and a speaker at Books in Browsers, StoryCode, and RailsConf2016. He has been an associate director for Anne Bogart, Les Waters, Robert Woodruff, and Ivo Van Hove. He is a New York Theater Workshop Usual Suspect and a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and received his MFA in Theater Directing from Columbia University.
TSACHY WEISSMAN | StageCast Project Principal Investigator
Tsachy’s research focuses on Information Theory, Data Compression and Communications, Statistical Signal Processing, Machine Learning, the interplay between them, and their applications, with recent focus on applications to genomic data compression and processing. He is inventor of several patents and involved in several companies as a member of the technical board. An IEEE fellow, he serves on the board of governors of the information theory society as well as the editorial boards of the Transactions on Information Theory and Foundations and Trends in Communications and Information Theory. He is founding Director of the Stanford Compression Forum. Inventor of several patents and involved in a number of companies as researcher or member of the technical board. Honors include an NSF CAREER award, several best paper awards, Horev fellowship for Leaders in Science and Technology, Henry Taub prize for excellence in research, incumbent of the STMicroelectronics Chair in the School of Engineering, and IEEE fellow. On the editorial boards of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory and Foundations and Trends in Communications and Information Theory. Founding Director of the Stanford Compression Forum. Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University since 2003.
KEITH WINSTEIN | StageCast Project Principal Investigator
Keith Winstein is an assistant professor of computer science and, by courtesy, of electrical engineering at Stanford University. His research group creates new kinds of networked systems by rethinking abstractions around communication, compression, and computation. He has received the SIGCOMM Rising Star Award, a Sloan Research Fellowship, the Usenix NSDI Community Award, and the Applied Networking Research Prize. Winstein previously served as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal and was one of the story consultants for HBO’s “Silicon Valley.”
SADJAD FOULADI | StageCast Project Software Lead
Sadjad Fouladi is a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University, working with Keith Winstein working on topics in computer systems and networking. His research interests include real-time video systems and the use of massive burst-parallelism for interactive computing.
DUSTIN SCHROEDER | StageCast Project Manager
Dustin Schroeder received a B.A. in physics and a B.S.E.E. in electrical engineering from Bucknell University and a Ph.D. in geophysics from The University of Texas at Austin. He is an Assistant Professor of geophysics and (by courtesy) of electrical engineering with Stanford University. He is also a center fellow (by courtesy) with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. His research seeks to approach problems from both an earth system science and radar system engineering perspective. He is a Science Team Member on the Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-Surface (REASON) Instrument on NASA’s Europa Clipper Mission and the Mini-RF Instrument on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. He has participated in three Antarctic field seasons with the Investigating the Cryospheric Evolution of the Central Antarctic Plate (ICECAP) Project and NASA’s Operation Ice Bridge. His research interests include observing and understanding the role that subglacial water plays in the evolution and stability of continental ice sheets and its contribution to the rate of sea level rise, and also include the development, use, and analysis of geophysical radar remote sensing systems that are optimized to observe hypothesis-specific phenomena.
KELLEY GIROD | Author
Kelley Nicole Girod is an award-winning playwright (Atlantic Launch New Play Commission 2019, Sheen Center Fellow 2019, Stein and Liberace Fellow 2007, John Golden Fellow 2008) whose work has been developed/presented at Atlantic Theater Company, Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, The Fire This Time Festival, Harlem 9, Primary Stages, Project Y, Poetic Theater Productions, Classical Theater of Harlem, Frigid NYC, Planet Connections Theater Festival, The Field, and Dixon Place. Kelley has had the pleasure of working with Frederick Zollo, Keith Beauchamp and Michael JP Reilly as script consultant on Zollo Productions Film The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till (2018). Kelley’s essay “About Alice or When Social Distancing Ends” was recently published in The Flashpaper: Theater’s Thoughts on Right Now, and was also published in American Theater Magazine 2020.Kelley Nicole Girod also works a producer in NYC, and founded the OBIE Award winning, groundbreaking new play festival for Black playwrights, The Fire This Time Festival, going into its 12th season this year and is currently featured on PBS AllArts, NYtimes, and Playbill. She is also working with Bloomsbury Publishing on The Fire This Time’s first published anthology.Outside of the festival, Kelley has produced and curated at The Sheen Center and served as Producing Director at The Billie Holiday Theater from 2014-2015. She has also produced events with Frederick Zollo and Keith Beauchamp over the years. Kelley has also served as a guest lecturer at Yale School for Drama. Kelley is a 2008 Graduate of Columbia’s MFA Playwriting Program.Kelley’s favorite roles are as the mother of Penelope Evelyn and Noelle Anamaria, and wife of the amazing Dr. David L. Fernandes, who has been steadily providing care for patients at one of NYC’s COVID epicenters since the beginning of the pandemic.
MIKE LEW | Author
Mike Lew’s plays include Teenage Dick (Donmar Warehouse, Wooly Mammoth, Ma-Yi at the Public, and Artists Rep productions; Public Studio, O’Neill, OSF workshops), Tiger Style! (Olney, Huntington, La Jolla Playhouse, and Alliance productions; O’Neill and CTG workshops), Bike America (Ma-Yi and Alliance productions), microcrisis (Ma-Yi, InterAct, and Next Act productions), Moustache Guys, and the book to the musical Bhangin’ It (Richard Rodgers Award; La Jolla Playhouse, Jerome Robbins Project Springboard and Rhinebeck Writers Retreat “Triple R” workshops). He is a Tony voter, Dramatists Guild Council member, and resident of New Dramatists. He is a Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Ma-Yi and former La Jolla Playhouse Artist-in-Residence (both with Rehana Lew Mirza). Honors include Lark Venturous and NYFA fellowships and the Kleban, PEN Emerging Playwright, Lanford Wilson, Helen Merrill, Heideman, and Kendeda awards. He is former co-director of Ma-Yi Writers Lab, the largest collective of Asian-American playwrights in the country. He is married to fellow playwright Rehana Lew Mirza, who he met in Ma-Yi Lab. Training: Juilliard (2013), Yale (2003).
KATE TARKER | Author
Kate Tarker’s plays include THUNDERBODIES (Soho Rep., NYTimes’ Unforgettable Theater Moments of 2018), Dionysus Was Such a Nice Man (The Wilma, FoolsFURY), and Laura and the Sea (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble). Her work has been called “screamingly funny” (The New York Times) and “staggeringly original” (The San Francisco Chronicle).
Her works have been developed at The Lark, The Vineyard, Rattlestick, The Wilma, Ars Nova, NYTW, Magic Theatre, Cutting Ball, the Playwrights’ Center, Theatre503 in London, and The O’Neill, among others. She is the recipient of a Jerome Fellowship, The Vineyard’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the National Science Playwriting Award, Theater Masters’ Visionary Playwright Award, a PWCenter/NET Ensemble Collaboration Grant, and she has been featured twice on the Kilroys List. She’s been a finalist for the L. Arnold Weissberger Award, Princess Grace Award, and the Relentless Award. Residencies: Tofte Lake Center, SPACE at Ryder Farm, and two-time MacDowell Colony Fellow. Alum of Ars Nova Play Group, New Georges Jam, and Playwrights’ Center Core Writer. Tarker has also collaborated with Pig Iron and SITI Company Conservatory, and currently holds commissions from Theater Masters, Soho Rep., and Playwrights Horizons. Teaching: Wesleyan, University of the Arts, PlayPenn, and Playwrights’ Center. M.F.A. Yale.
MICHAEL YATES CROWLEY | Author
Michael Yates Crowley is a Brooklyn-based writer and performer whose work has been produced in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Berlin, Edinburgh, and elsewhere. His works for theater include The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B Matthias (Playwrights Realm at The Duke on 42nd Street); Gunplay: A Love Story (developed at NYTW and Ars Nova); Song of a Convalescent Ayn Rand Giving Thanks to the Godhead (American Repertory Theater, Joe’s Pub); temping (premiered at the 53rd New York Film Festival, A.R.T.); The Dead, Inc. (Schlosstheater Moers); Evanston: A Rare Comedy (2013 O’Neill NPC selection, 2015 Alliance/Kendeda Finalist); and The Ted Haggard Monologues (published by S. Fischer Verlag; filmed by HBO). He is a former New York Foundation for the Arts Playwriting fellow and member of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwrights Program at Juilliard. Together with the director Michael Rau, he founded the narrative technology company Wolf 359.
GELSEY BELL | Vocals
Gelsey Bell is a singer, a songwriter, and a scholar. She has been described by the New York Times as “one of New York’s most adventurous musicians” and the “future of experimental vocalism.” She performs regularly as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, culling from a wide range of techniques and styles to create her own performance works, to literally voice those of contemporary composers, and to explore improvisation.
Her sound walk Cairns (2020), created with composer Joseph White, was listed on the New York Times Best Theater of 2020 list. She is currently a HARP Artist at the HERE Arts Center, developing a new opera called mɔːnɪŋ. After many years as a singer-songwriter, during which she released two studio albums, Under A Piano (2005) and In Place of Arms (2010), Gelsey began to bring her songwriting into the experimental world through song cycles and collaborative works. These include SubtracTTTTTTTTT (2020) and A Series of Landscapes (2020), created with thingNY for online; Skylight (2019), created with composer and saxophonist Erin Rogers; shuffleyamamba (2019), created with choreographer Yasuko Yokoshi; Prisoner’s Song (2015), created with visual artist Erik Ruin; This Takes Place Close By (2015), a collaboratively composed opera by thingNY; Airs and Interruptions (2015), originally composed for CNDC-Angers/Robert Swinston’s performance of Merce Cunningham’s choreography, with music by John King — this became the album Ciphony (2017); WIFE (2015), which was commissioned by Avant Media; the song cycle Our Defensive Measurements (2013) for five performers, which was commissioned by Roulette and the Jerome Foundation; SCALING (2011) for piano and two vocalists; and Bathroom Songs (2010), which has been performed in bathrooms all over the world. Her smaller pieces include “Murmuration” (2020), commissioned by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, “Aviatrix” (2019), commissioned by Megan Ihnen and Alan Theisen; the This is Not a Land of Kings suite (2018), which was also released as an EP; Spent Horizon (2015), first performed with vocalist Odeya Nini; “Weight” (2014), which was commissioned by Ne(x)tworks; and Locker Room Duet, created with fiddler Cleek Schrey. She also developed and composed music for Wealth from the Salt Seas with choreographer Anna Sperber and composed music for choreographer Kimberly Bartosik’s You are my heat and glare, which premiered in Paris in 2013. She received a 2017 sound/music grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and both a residency (2015-2016) and a commission (2013) from Roulette and the Jerome Foundation. She has been a resident artist at Mount Tremper Arts, the Kinosaki International Arts Center, and the Exploring the Metropolis Ridgewood Bushwick Composer-in-Residence for 2018. She also released the EP Toyland (2017) of holiday covers created with Joseph White.
Gelsey is a core member of new music ensemble thingNY and performance collective Varispeed. With thingNY, she has collaboratively written and arranged music for multiple projects including SubtracTTTTTTTTT, A Series of Landscapes, This Takes Place Close By, IN HOUSE, TIME: A Complete Explanation in Three Parts, and the many SPAM extravaganzas. She has also performed in Vinko Globokar’s Un Jour Comme Une Autre, and Paul Pinto’s minis and Erin Roger’s Trajectories and Chronolinea (released on the album minis/Trajectories in 2016). As a founding member of Varispeed, Gelsey collaboratively arranged and performed in their critically acclaimed adaptation of Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives and John Cage’s Empty Words. She has also taken the lead in arranging their three-person rendition of Robert Ashley’s “Love is a Good Example” and Kenneth Gaburo’s Maledetto. Gelsey is also a member of the improvisation trio the Chutneys with Chris Cochrane (guitar) and Fast Forward (percussion). They released their debut album Home in 2019.
Gelsey has also had the honor to have worked with a wide range of performance creators as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, including composer Dave Malloy, originating the role Princess Mary in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (from Ars Nova to Broadway), and as a co-arranger and Pearl in Ghost Quartet; composer Robert Ashley, in his final opera, CRASH, in a part that was written for her, and the revival of That Morning Thing; visual artist Matthew Barney and composer Jonathan Bepler, as part of the vocal trio in the Wake Ensemble in The River of Fundament; composer Kate Soper, in her opera Here Be Sirens; composer John King, alongside Joan La Barbara in his Micro-Operas, as well as Impropera; choreographer Yasuko Yokoshi, for BELL; composers Rick Burkhardt and Brendan Connelly and the Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf, for their opera You, My Mother; in various projects with composer and fiddler Cleek Schrey, as well as composer and glass player Miguel Frasconi; composer Anthony Gatto and sculpture Chris Larsen in their opera Wise Blood; Avant Media, for various performances of the music of John Cage; and Panoply Performance Lab, for the recording of their opera Institute_Institu.
In January of 2015, Gelsey received her Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University. Her dissertation, Voice-Acts: Performance and Relationality in the Vocal Activities of the American Experimental Music Tradition, traces the stories of five experimental composers writing music for their own performing voices during the 1970s. She was awarded the Monroe Lippman Memorial Prize for her dissertation and the 2012 NYU Stefanos Tsigrimanis Artistic Scholar Award. She has published articles in Tempo, Performance Research, TDR/The Drama Review, The Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies, and Movement Research Performance Journal. She is the Critical Acts Co-Editor for TDR/The Drama Review and an Associate Editor for The Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies. She is part-time faculty in the College of Performing Arts at the New School.
JOSH MODNEY | Violin
Josh Modney is a violinist devoted to creative musicmaking. A “new-music luminary,” “superb violinist” (The New York Times), and “multitasking virtuoso” (The New Yorker) hailed for “jaw-dropping technical skill…” and as “one of today’s most intrepid experimentalists” (Bandcamp Daily), Modney collaborates with a wide array of renowned ensembles and artists as part of a broad scene of adventurous music that thrives at the nexus of composition, improvisation, and interpretation.
Modney is violinist and Executive Director of the Wet Ink Ensemble (named “The Best Classical Music Ensemble of 2018” by The New York Times) and a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and performed with the Mivos Quartet for eight years, a new-music string quartet he co-founded in 2008. Modney’s fresh and versatile approach to the violin and uniquely dynamic performance practice has made him a highly sought-after collaborator. He has worked closely on new solos and duos with composers including Kate Soper, Alex Mincek, Eric Wubbels, Sam Pluta, Andrew Greenwald and Rick Burkhardt, as well as projects with major figures including Kaija Saariaho, Mathias Spahlinger, Helmut Lachenmann, George Lewis, Pauline Oliveros, Christian Wolff, and Peter Ablinger.
Modney’s playing has been featured on a wide variety of outstanding recordings, including titles on Carrier Records, Deutsche Grammophon, Sono Luminus, New World Records, hat[now]ART, Nonesuch, and Tzadik Records. Recent highlights include Alex Mincek’s Torrent (Sound American), which features a series of duos written for Modney, and was selected as one of the “Best Albums of 2017” by The New York Times and The Nation; Steve Reich’s Pulse/Quartet (Nonesuch), lauded for ”pitch perfect performances” (The Guardian); Scott Wollschleger’s Soft Aberration (New Focus), selected as a “Notable Recording of 2017” by The New Yorker; and Wet Ink: 20 (Carrier), which features Modney as soloist on Sam Pluta’s Portraits/Self-Portraits.
Modney’s 2017 release of improvised chamber music with guitarist Patrick Higgins (ZS), EVRLY MVSIC (NNA Tapes), earned praise for its “clairvoyant connection and sheer instrumental prowess” (The Quietus), and his 2018 debut solo release, Engage (New Focus Recordings), featuring duos by Wet Ink’s Sam Pluta, Kate Soper and Eric Wubbels alongside solo works by Taylor Brook and Anthony Braxton, Modney’s reinterpretation of J.S. Bach’s luminous Ciaccona in Just Intonation, and Modney’s own solo improvisations, was lauded by The New York Times as “one of the most intriguing programs of the year” and a “highlight of 2018.”
Modney has a passion for large-scale performance projects, including recitals of J.S. Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin in Just Intonation, and evening-length chamber works including Mathias Spahlinger’s extension for violin and piano (with Eric Wubbels), Wolfgang Rihm’s Musik für Drei Streicher (with ICE), and Kate Soper’s IPSA DIXIT (with Wet Ink), praised by Alex Ross as “comprehensively astounding …. a twenty-first century masterpiece” (The New Yorker).
MARIEL ROBERTS | Cello
Mariel Roberts is an American cellist, widely recognized not just for her virtuosic performances, but as a “fearless explorer” in her field (Chicago Reader). Her ravenous appetite for collaboration and experimentation as an interpreter, improvisor, and composer have helped create a body of work which bridges avant-garde, contemporary, classical, improvised, and traditional music. Roberts is widely recognized for her “technical and interpretive mastery” (I care if you listen) and for performances which seethe with “excruciating intensity” (The Whole Note).
Roberts has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician across four continents, most notably as a member and co-director of the Wet Ink Ensemble (named “The Best Classical Music Ensemble of 2018” by The New York Times), as well as with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Mivos Quartet, Bang on a Can All Stars, and Ensemble Signal. She performs regularly on major stages for new music such as the Lincoln Center Festival (NYC), Wien Modern (Austria), Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), Cervantino Festival (Mexico), Klang Festival (Denmark), Shanghai New Music Week (China), Darmstadt Internationalen Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Germany), and Aldeburgh Music Festival (UK). Roberts has been featured on a wide variety of outstanding recordings, including titles on Innova Records, Albany Records, New World Records, New Amsterdam, Carrier Records, New Focus, and Urtext Records. Roberts’ compositions have been performed at venues such as Merkin Hall and Miller Theater in New York City.
Roberts has released two solo albums of new works commissioned for her. The first, “Nonextraneous Sounds” (2012), was noted for its “technical flair and exquisite sensitivity” (Composers Forum). 2017’s “Cartography” (2017), solidified Roberts’ position as “one of the most adventurous figures on New York’s new music scene—one with a thorough grounding in classical tradition but a ravenous appetite for and tireless discipline in new work.” (Bandcamp).
Her close collaborators have spanned a wide range of genres and include some of the most important figures on the contemporary and experimental scene, such as George Lewis, Alex Mincek, Tim Hecker, Nate Wooley, M. Lamar, Patrick Higgins (Zs), Ingrid Laubrock, Jeffrey Mumford, Sam Pluta, Eric Wubbels, and Ambrose Akinmusire.
PERFORMANCE DATES + TIMES
March 04-06, 2021
This performance is free and open to the public.
This production will run one hour. The four pieces will be presented without intermission.
The May Ellen Ritter Production Fund
The Pigott Fund for Drama
Stanford Compression Forum
These productions include references to death, suicide, and depiction of gun violence.
Project Principal Investigator + Director of Production
Project Principal Investigators
Costume Design Advisor
Lighting Design Advisor
Video & Sound Designer
Project Software Lead
Software Team Members
Sam Howell Petersen
Assistant Stage Manager
Morgan Gwilym Tso