Wonder/Wall: Giving Designers a Spotlight

Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts is launching “Wonder/Wall” this month, a new immersive video performance series combining live performance and video projection to create a storytelling experience never before seen at Bay Street Theater. 

Each week in July, Bay Street’s courtyard will be transformed into a new experience, featuring four world premieres created by five different artists, whose work has been commissioned by Bay Street Theater and created specifically for this location.

Wonder/Wall runs Tuesdays through Sundays from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. starting Tuesday, July 6, through Saturday, July 31. 

Each evening features five individual 15-minute performances starting at 8:30 p.m., which will include a live performance element that takes place within the immersive video world surrounding the audience. 

Wonder/Wall is conceived and curated by Bay Street’s Artistic Associate, Josh Wilder.

“My intention for “Wonder/Wall” was to highlight the other storyteller of the theater: the projections designer,” says Mr. Wilder. “We seldom get to see them at the forefront, and this moment that we’re in right now—in a way—forces them to take centerstage. “Wonder/Wall” provides an amazing opportunity for designers to create a new and immersive experience for patrons who are ready to get back to the theater. I am very excited that Bay Street took on this new venture that I hope will reinvent itself for many years to come.” 

Each week, a different artist reimagines the Courtyard at Bay Street Theater to create an engaging and reflective video art experience. Wonder/Wall participating artists include Rasean Davonte Johnson, Yee Eun Nam, Mike Billings, Brian Staton, and Brittany Bland.

Week One, July 6 through July 11, the theater presents “We Are In This Together, As Well As The Stages: Shutdown, Crisis, Restart” by Rasean Davonte Johnson, designed “to be experienced!!” 

Rasean Davonte Johnson is a video artist and designer of projections for theatre, film, and installations. He is the owner of the design studio eightinfinitystudio, which has been responsible for projects such as “A Night of Wonder,” in collaboration with sound designer and composer Pornchanok Kanchanabanca, and “A Wedding and an Ostrich” at the Eiffel Tower in collaboration with Elizabeth Mak.

Week two, July 13 through July 18 is “Frankenstein” by Yee Eun Nam. We’ve all seen and heard of the classic creature, but what if Frankenstein’s monster is one of us?

Yee Eun Nam is a visual artist and an award-winning set and video designer for opera, theater and any forms for live performances, currently based in Los Angeles. She was born and raised in Seoul, where she studied sculpture and metal craft.

Week three, from July 20 through July 25, is “20,000” by Mike Billings and Brian Staton, an irreverent mash-up of text and imagery from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the writings of environmentalist Rachel Carson. 

Mike Billings is a New York City-based designer and has most recently designed The West End production of “The Prince of Egypt,” in addition to designing dozens of productions for Bay Street Theater. 

You might have seen some of Brian C. Staton’s other projection designs of The R&J Project, My Witch, or The Great Gatsby at Bay Street Theater. Brian currently works at Bay Street Theater as the Associate Production Manager and Lighting Supervisor.

Week four brings Brittany Bland’s “Smile,” which uses live projection and audio interviews to put the audience at the center of a Harlem-born photographer’s family archive.

Ms. Bland is a storyteller who has dedicated her life to the proliferation of empathy. As a projection designer for the stage, she has designed for theater, dance, and opera. Her work as a video artist often explores the ideas of legacy and memory. 

Ms. Bland is interested in how media and technology can elevate those concepts and experiences. 

Performances will be held live and in-person, for a standing audience of just 20 individuals (those with disabilities or anyone requiring seating may call the Box Office to arrange accommodation). 

Tickets are $20 and are available through Bay Street’s Box Office by calling 631.725.9500 on Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 24/7 at boxoffice@baystreet.org

Performances are dependent on the weather and will not be rescheduled.

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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