an opera by Bethany Ides

June 25th & 26th, Performances at 7 pm & 9 pm

w/Flo Buddenbaum, Devin Lucid, Morgan A. Ritter, David Weinberg

Music by Ryan Sullivan

Performance photos by Jeffrey T. Baker

Children Get Stuck Places Underground is an opera by poet, performance and installation artist, Bethany Ides, modeled in the vein of those composed by the late Mister Rogers.

When memory is rendered make-believe, specters take shape. A dark hole’s hollow form animates as snake; its ability to shed its skin becomes infectious. Processed traumas wend a trail through one creature’s digestive track into another, moving from mouth to mouth. Four guises (played by Ides along with David Weinberg, Morgan A. Ritter and Devin Lucid) represent the four Greek humors, figured within the two sides of a single, shadowy figure: O/Doe, whose perispirit inhabits other well known children who’ve spent time singing to themselves below the surface.

The narrative of Baby Jessica McClure, epically rescued from a backyard well shaft in 1987, is woven together with those of Pauline Réage’s transgressive non-character, O, to effect a chronicle of possession, transformation and fortitude. Countless children (count among them Alice, Tikki Tikki Tembo and the Old Testament’s Joseph) have emerged from such holes wholly altered. This work celebrates their veracity and ingenuity.