CELLOPHANE

CELLOPHANE was our first show in Philly and our first production as jenny&john and boy was it a doozy! Our production traced our American political discourse over the past 100 years and examined how cultural conversations, and the American language itself, have been vastly warped and mutated by the major media paradigms of the 20th century. In four movements, the play followed a group of seven brave citizens participating in the American “experiment” of a true and honest democracy. They discovered the irrevocable impact of media on their grand experiment: the universal but limited scope of radio, the visually-consuming and option-heavy era of live television, and the pure bedlam that ensues with the advent of the internet.

We took this text and launched it into the 21st century with live media mixing and mind melting visual stimulation, and that’s where I came in. With MAX/MSP I created a live video mixing system which created a gigantic number of images in realtime and piped them out to 3 different televisions and one enormous plastic screen. It was incredibly challenging but also obviously very rewarding. Below you can see all the content I created for the show as well as the promotional trailers, production still and some lovely press we received.

Production Stills

Press

“The warped—yet ghoulishly resonant—reality that Wellman creates is brought to life by Philadelphia’s own jenny&john, a dynamic creative duo that uses strong visual components to foster a sense of play, much the way Wellman does in his use of language. These whacky (yet poetic), distinct (yet symbiotic) elements of the play combine to create an experience that keeps its viewers on their toes and, as director Jenny Kessler herself explains, questioning the stability of language and constantly thinking…Thanks to visuals from John Bezark, we are literally brought face-to-face with the vast Digital Age to consider the implications it has on our cultural conversation”
Phindie

“I watch the promotional trailer for Cellophane… A mechanized voice reads lines from the the play over a shifting digital landscape… I feel a strange emotion, a combination of nostalgia, loss, and wonder, a familiar Wellmanian cocktail.”
Thinking DANCE

“…{Jenny Kessler} made the story so clear in this production. Character was revealed in the spaces between the dialogue, and these moments were sharp, hilarious, and a genuine pleasure to watch.”
Bonaly

“Cellophane created a holistic and unique world that left me contemplating my relationship with the many screens in my life. I am excited to see what jenny&john do next.”
DC METRO NEWS