Past Performing Arts | Theater

Lars Jan/Early Morning Opera

Joan Didion’s “The White Album”

parallax image

This multimedia, theatrical adaptation of Joan Didion’s groundbreaking essay explores the eerie similarities between the cultural unrest of the late 1960s and America’s turmoil today.

Created by director and visual artist Lars Jan, Joan Didion’s “The White Album” uses a modern-day house party as a visual score to Didion’s seminal essay that witnesses the end of 1960s’ countercultural dream—hijacked by violence and chaos just as the Beatles’ so-called White Album (1968) was appropriated by Charles Manson and his murderous “family.”

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live."
—Joan Didion, “The White Album” (1968–78)

Obie Award–winning performer Mia Barron delivers the highly personal essay in its entirety while behind her the party unfolds in this uniquely inventive mix of storytelling, audience participation, choreography, and architecture. The work’s provocative, parallel visual and dramatic texts challenge us to look critically at the past in order to forge new paths ahead. As we recognize echoes of the Black Panthers in Black Lives Matter, the sit-ins of San Francisco State students in Occupy Wall Street, The White Album urges us to consider how continued racism, inequality, and violence square with our own 21st-century narratives of social progress.

The Wexner Center for the Arts is a co-commissioner of Lars Jan’s The White Album and hosted a three-week developmental residency for the work in the summer of 2018.

Wexner Center members at the Patron ($250) level or above are eligible for two free tickets to The White Album while supplies last. To reserve your tickets, call (614) 292-3535 or stop by the Patron Services Desk at the Wex by Monday, November 12. Please have your member card or number handy. Not a member? Join now

Please note: this performance uses strobelike effects, theatrical haze, and simulated gun violence.

Lars Jan, The White Album image

Lars Jan, The White Album, image courtesy of the artist.

Image from Lars Jan, The White Album

Lars Jan, The White Album, image courtesy of the artist.

Image from Lars Jan, The White Album

Lars Jan, The White Album, image courtesy of the artist.

Image from Lars Jan, The White Album

Lars Jan, The White Album, image courtesy of the artist.

About the Artist(s)

Director, visual artist, and writer Lars Jan is the founder of Early Morning Opera, a performance and art lab whose works explore emerging technologies and unclassifiable experiences. Jan’s Holoscenes (2014–present), The Institute of Memory (TIMe) (2015), and Abacus (2010/12) have been presented by the Whitney Museum of American Art, BAM’s Next Wave Festival, Under the Radar Festival, and The Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston, among other venues. His Slow-Moving Luminaries, an immersive kinetic pavilion on an acre of waterfront, was showcased at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2017.

MAJOR SEASON SUPPORT FOR PERFORMING ARTS

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

 

ACCOMMODATIONS

The Blackwell Inn

 

GENERAL OPERATING SUPPORT FOR THE WEXNER CENTER

Greater Columbus Arts Council

Ohio Arts Council

The Columbus Foundation

Nationwide Foundation

close

Past Performing Arts

Lars Jan/Early Morning Opera