Austin, Texas — The Contemporary Austin presents Susurrus, a play without actors and without a stage, June 14-28 at Laguna Gloria. Susurrus is part radio play, part musical recital, part lesson in bird dissection, and part stroll in the park. This internationally acclaimed headphone audio drama is written and directed by David Leddy, a "theatrical maverick" with a "propensity for fearless experiment" (Financial Times). A unique and complex site-based drama, Susurrus has received overwhelming critical acclaim and sell-out audiences around the world and now comes to The Contemporary Austin for a limited engagement.
Adapted for Laguna Gloria, a vibrant, ecologically diverse art-in-nature site that includes waterfront, meadows, and forest, Susurrus will take audiences along picturesque gardens and verdant paths. Participants will listen on headphones to scenes in locations specifically chosen by Leddy's theater company for a "perfect melding of location and text" that creates a "theatre experience in which there are no actors and only one member in the audience: you" (The Guardian). Hear snippets about opera, memorial benches, and botany, all of which fit together into a mournful and poignant story of love and loss based on themes taken from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and loosely inspired by Benjamin Britten's 1960 opera of the same name. The choreographed walking tour leads listeners throughout Laguna Gloria, including gardens and environmentally sensitive trails. Visitors are encouraged to wear closed-toe shoes and long pants for this walking play lasting approximately twenty-five minutes.
Susurrus (pronounced sus-yoo-rus, it refers to the rustling sound of wind in trees) was first presented at Glasgow's Botanic Gardens in 2007. It has been rewritten and re-created in a new version performed by Paul Thomas Hickey, Wendy Seager, Stewart Ennis, and Karen Ramsay. The wayfinding audience maps are specially commissioned artworks from acclaimed Scottish visual artist Laura Molloy, whose work has graced everything from cutting-edge zines to Belle & Sebastian album covers. Taking visual cues from the railings, benches, and paving at Laguna Gloria, Molloy and Leddy have collaborated to transform these patterns into drawn borders and backgrounds for the route map.
David Leddy is a multi-award-winning playwright and theater director based in Glasgow. He is artistic director of his company Fire Exit, which aims to make theater that innovates, illuminates, and invigorates. Outside Scotland, his work has been shown all over the world, from Boston to Buenos Aires, Delhi to Milan, São Paulo to Santiago. Recent prizes include the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Award, two Herald Angel Awards, and a Fringe First. Leddy's work combines the intellectual stimulation of performance art and the dynamism of new digital technologies with the emotional drive of dramatic new writing. In his introduction to the published script of Susurrus, Leddy writes, "The first play I ever saw was A Midsummer Night's Dream, when I was eight years old. I remember nothing about it at all, but have often been told by my mother that, despite being an inherently fidgety child, I sat in mesmerised stillness from beginning to end as if a spell had been cast on me." More information at www.davidleddy.com.
Susurrus is available at Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th Street, from June 14-28. Audio players and maps are available from Visitor Services at the Driscoll Villa Reception Desk during Laguna Gloria gallery hours. $10/$5 members. Suitable for audiences 16 years and older.
ABOUT THE CONTEMPORARY AUSTIN
The Contemporary Austin reflects the spectrum of contemporary art through exhibitions, commissions, education, and the collection. The museum consists of two primary locations, the downtown Jones Center at 700 Congress Avenue, and Laguna Gloria, a twelve-acre site on Lake Austin at 3809 W. 35th Street, which is home to the Driscoll Villa, the Art School, and the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria.
For additional information and to request media images, please contact:
Director of Public Programs
512 453 5312 x 101