"We tell ourselves stories in order to live." Joan Didion, The White Album
Lars Jan is a Los Angeles-based director, writer, visual artist and a former CAP UCLA Artist-in-Residence. His work has been commissioned by the Whitney Museum and presented at the BAM Next Wave Festival, Under the Radar, Sundance Film Festival, the Hammer Museum, the Kirk Douglas Theater and the PICA TBA Festival. His newest piece, The White Album is a multimedia performance that uses Joan Didion’s seminal essay to apply a uniquely inventive approach to the intersection between observation, storytelling, audience participation, choreography and architecture. Obie Award-winning actress Mia Barron delivers the essay in its entirety, while behind her a parallel performance unfolds. Separated, two audiences —one, large and seated; the other, small and mobile — experience different but resonant works simultaneously as they confront one another across generational and racial divides and varied perspectives, visually demonstrating stark similarities in the cultural dynamics of 1968 and now. The essay’s legendary first line — We tell ourselves stories in order to live — provokes the project’s double-edged embarkation, challenging us to look critically at the past and to define new paths forward.
Photo Credit: Lars Jan
The White Album is developed in association with Center Theatre Group with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in partnership with Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Additional commissioning support came from the Wexner Center for the Arts and CalArts Center for New Performance. With thanks to Joan Didion and ICM Partners.
Funds for this production provided by Deborah Irmas and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation multi-year grant for Collaborative Intersections in the Visual and Performing Arts. A component of the creative development of The White Album provided through CAP UCLA’s annual artist residency partnership with the Ucross Foundation.