July 23 @ 6pm
Heather Fisch is a Berkshires-based musician and performer. Inspired by the early days of vaudeville, she seeks to recreate a performing arts culture that existed in America before the advent of the motion picture. Fisch’s intention is to reviving this tradition deepen ties between communities and their local performance venues. Her new piece will be workshopped and presented at the MLA before its premiere in August 2015.
A blend of physical theater, chance operation, audience participation, multimedia and live music, Tarot Show works like a Rubik’s cube of twenty-two distinct vignettes, each one representing one of the trump cards from the tarot deck: The Magician, The Fool, The High Priestess, etc. A reading of seven tarot cards executed at the beginning of each performance dictates both the story arch and characters appearing for the evening. The resulting “choose-your-own-adventure” performance combines structure and chaos, synchronicity and entropy.
“We are using the tarot cards as a language for the show because their rich imagery has a nice combination of both ambiguity and deep meaning,”— explains Fisch. “It is our theory that this show will allow us to see some kind meaning in the random events of the evening, and that thing that will create our meaning will be the Unifying Principle, before our very eyes.”
Tarot Show features members of Fisch’s new company The National Theater of Opera Nouveau, whose mission is to build a theatrical structure that will function like a living organism.
Photo: Lisa Vollmer
A producer, director, teacher, actor and musician Heather Fisch is the founding and artistic director of The National Theater of Opera Nouveau, a performing company dedicated to revitalizing live theater performance culture in the United States. It is part of the company's mission to make ticket prices affordable and accessible to everyone. So far, Fisch has produced three evening-length shows with the NTON: The Circuit Show, Blue Venice, and La Belle Epoque. She is currently developing the fourth one, Tarot Show, as a MLA/15 Artist-in-residence.
Deeply inspired by the days of American vaudeville, when most small towns had theaters patronized by the locals, Fisch is dedicated to deepening ties between communities and their local performance venues, inspiring younger and more diverse audiences to attend performances and challenging ideas about what people want to see and where they want to see it, spearheading a cultural movement that is using technology to bring people together in real space and time.
A Berkshires native, Fisch studied theater and music at BARD College at Simon's Rock. Her experiments with clowning during a hitchhiking trip across Canada as a youth eventually led her to the streets of Europe, where she was a street performer in Amsterdam, Prague, Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow, Stockholm, Granada and Barcelona. She eventually enrolled in a physical theater academy in Barcelona, Teatro Estudi Victor Hernando, where she completed her studies in dramaturgy, direction, physical theater, clowning and the fine art of sauce making. Since her return from Europe in 2006, Fisch has been inspiring audiences with her original works for the stage and has produced hundreds of live music events at her numerous speakeasy venues in Western MA.
This project is funded with generous support from Stephen Berenson, Louise Barzilay, and Abby Rockafeller.