Mon May 17 - Sun June 13, 2021

Animal Wisdom

Do you believe in ghosts? Take a virtual front row seat for this original film of the acclaimed musical séance, Animal Wisdom, where singer-songwriter-soothsayer Heather Christian lays to rest the souls that haunt her. Christian shapeshifts between rock star, folklorist and high priestess as she conjures a constellation of souls in an effort to confront her family's mythologies.

With their raucous, ferocious music that fuses blues, gospel and folk, Heather Christian invites you to raise a glass to the unseen forces that shape our lives. Adapted from the stage production that had a sold-out and acclaimed run at The Bushwick Starr, Animal Wisdom offers a transporting experience where a concert becomes a mass, and a mass becomes a séance, all in your living room.

"At its heart, Animal Wisdom is an admission and ritualization of grief, and an acknowledgement that we carry those that we lose with us every day. It's about the reconsecration of spaces as much as it is about the reconsecration of feelings that we all have and bury in order to get us from one day to the next," said Heather Christian. "This has been a year of immense loss and turmoil. More than ever, I am being asked to confront those things in my day-to-day life, and I think after this year, that's a pretty universal experience. I am excited beyond measure that this piece has new utility on a much wider scale. I have reimagined Animal Wisdom as a ritual to sanctify and consecrate the spaces that we are currently stuck in: our homes, and sing out the gnarly painful bits that we have lost. We will be consecrating a theater that had remained dark for a year, and we will be consecrating your living rooms across the country in hopes that a little light can come on back in."

"I am thrilled that A.C.T. is able to partner with Woolly Mammoth and Bushwick Starr to create a ritual for us all," said Pam MacKinnon, Artistic Director of American Conservatory Theater. "Heather Christian is the artist to take us through these times--to mourn, to heal, to touch where we come from, so we can move forward. I cannot wait to share this film."

"Seeing Animal Wisdom at the Bushwick Starr changed me, and the music still haunts me in the most beautiful ways," said María Manuela Goyanes, Artistic Director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. "Woolly is leaning into musicals this year, especially those breaking the boundaries of the form, like this one. This film adaptation of Animal Wisdom aims to conjure the divine of the original, and a way to honor all those we have lost."

"When Animal Wisdom was at the Starr I watched nightly as audiences were profoundly changed by the journey Heather guided them through," said Noel Allain, Co-Founder/Artistic Director of the Bushwick Starr. "I'm so excited to share this experience with a much wider audience through this unique film that Heather, Amber, and Emylin are making, supported by this special partnership with Woolly Mammoth and A.C.T. Heather's unique vision will bring this intimate experience out of the theater and into people's homes so anyone can share in this healing ritual that feels so needed right now."

Amber McGinnis (International Falls) will direct the film with stage direction by Emilyn Kowaleski (Delicious Filth). Production design is by Christopher Bowser (The Undertow), with costume design by Heather McDevitt Barton (Folk Wandering) and percussion design by Eric Farber.

The cast of Animal Wisdom features Heather Christian (as "Ella," "Doris," "Heather"), Sasha Brown (as "Victor," "Doris," "Sasha"), Eric Farber (as "Myles," "Doris," "Eric"), B.E. Farrow (as "Doris," "B.E."), and Maya Sharpe (as "Heloise," "Johanna," "Doris," "Maya").

Animal Wisdom was made in collaboration with and features orchestrations by Heather Christian, Sasha Brown, Fred Epstein, Eric Farber & Maya Sharpe. The film will feature Piano & Vocals by Christian; Guitar, Cello & Vocals by Brown; Bass and Vocals by Epstein; Percussion & Vocals by Farber; Bass & Vocals by B.E. Farrow; and Violin & Vocals by Sharpe.
Do you believe in ghosts? Take a virtual front row seat for this original film of the acclaimed musical séance, Animal Wisdom, where singer-songwriter-soothsayer Heather Christian lays to rest the souls that haunt her. Christian shapeshifts between rock star, folklorist and high priestess as she conjures a constellation of souls in an effort to confront her family's mythologies.

With their raucous, ferocious music that fuses blues, gospel and folk, Heather Christian invites you to raise a glass to the unseen forces that shape our lives. Adapted from the stage production that had a sold-out and acclaimed run at The Bushwick Starr, Animal Wisdom offers a transporting experience where a concert becomes a mass, and a mass becomes a séance, all in your living room.

"At its heart, Animal Wisdom is an admission and ritualization of grief, and an acknowledgement that we carry those that we lose with us every day. It's about the reconsecration of spaces as much as it is about the reconsecration of feelings that we all have and bury in order to get us from one day to the next," said Heather Christian. "This has been a year of immense loss and turmoil. More than ever, I am being asked to confront those things in my day-to-day life, and I think after this year, that's a pretty universal experience. I am excited beyond measure that this piece has new utility on a much wider scale. I have reimagined Animal Wisdom as a ritual to sanctify and consecrate the spaces that we are currently stuck in: our homes, and sing out the gnarly painful bits that we have lost. We will be consecrating a theater that had remained dark for a year, and we will be consecrating your living rooms across the country in hopes that a little light can come on back in."

"I am thrilled that A.C.T. is able to partner with Woolly Mammoth and Bushwick Starr to create a ritual for us all," said Pam MacKinnon, Artistic Director of American Conservatory Theater. "Heather Christian is the artist to take us through these times--to mourn, to heal, to touch where we come from, so we can move forward. I cannot wait to share this film."

"Seeing Animal Wisdom at the Bushwick Starr changed me, and the music still haunts me in the most beautiful ways," said María Manuela Goyanes, Artistic Director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. "Woolly is leaning into musicals this year, especially those breaking the boundaries of the form, like this one. This film adaptation of Animal Wisdom aims to conjure the divine of the original, and a way to honor all those we have lost."

"When Animal Wisdom was at the Starr I watched nightly as audiences were profoundly changed by the journey Heather guided them through," said Noel Allain, Co-Founder/Artistic Director of the Bushwick Starr. "I'm so excited to share this experience with a much wider audience through this unique film that Heather, Amber, and Emylin are making, supported by this special partnership with Woolly Mammoth and A.C.T. Heather's unique vision will bring this intimate experience out of the theater and into people's homes so anyone can share in this healing ritual that feels so needed right now."

Amber McGinnis (International Falls) will direct the film with stage direction by Emilyn Kowaleski (Delicious Filth). Production design is by Christopher Bowser (The Undertow), with costume design by Heather McDevitt Barton (Folk Wandering) and percussion design by Eric Farber.

The cast of Animal Wisdom features Heather Christian (as "Ella," "Doris," "Heather"), Sasha Brown (as "Victor," "Doris," "Sasha"), Eric Farber (as "Myles," "Doris," "Eric"), B.E. Farrow (as "Doris," "B.E."), and Maya Sharpe (as "Heloise," "Johanna," "Doris," "Maya").

Animal Wisdom was made in collaboration with and features orchestrations by Heather Christian, Sasha Brown, Fred Epstein, Eric Farber & Maya Sharpe. The film will feature Piano & Vocals by Christian; Guitar, Cello & Vocals by Brown; Bass and Vocals by Epstein; Percussion & Vocals by Farber; Bass & Vocals by B.E. Farrow; and Violin & Vocals by Sharpe.
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Date/Times:
  • Mon May 17 (on demand)
  • Tue May 18 (on demand)
  • Wed May 19 (on demand)
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