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PASSION is a new performance that explores the space that our desire and longing inhabit while rehearsing perseverance.
120 backers pledged $10,002 to help bring this project to life.

About

PASSION // by Rachel Jendrzejewski + Zoe Aja Moore project video thumbnail
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$10,002

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WE LOVE MATCHING GIFTS!! 

We're now in our final hours, and have received another offer for a matching gift! We're so very grateful to all who have supported so far, and hope you'll be able to watch us cross the finish line tonight. 

Another gorgeous anonymous backer has offered a $500 matching gift toward our project, but we need to unlock it first! Help us reach $8,000, and our campaign will leap forward to $8,500! In other words, every dollar you pledge means two dollars toward this project. 

WE’RE MAKING SOMETHING NEW FOR YOU

PASSION is a new performance created by Zoe Aja Moore and Rachel Jendrzejewski that extracts the close-ups from the iconic silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc to question the fraught relationship between feminism, emotion, and felt action.

The work is scheduled to premiere at The Theater at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles in Fall 2019. 

early rehearsals featuring Brighid Gallager, Gabriella Rhodeen, Jessica Emmanuel, and Mireya Lucio
early rehearsals featuring Brighid Gallager, Gabriella Rhodeen, Jessica Emmanuel, and Mireya Lucio

Our ensemble work--which to date has included collaborations with Mireya Lucio, Dorothy Dubrule, Gabriella Rhodeen, Brighid Gallagher, Jessica Emmanuel, and Jenny Greer--has been centered in amplifying a multiplicity of individual experiences. Text is being informed by the sharing of personal memories, associations, and experiences (for example, being sent to Camp Jeanne d’Arc, a summer camp for girls), as well as through embodied research on the framing of emotion and the gendered politics of emotion. We recall where we were when we heard Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, noting the singular moment when her voice cracked. We research the microscopic differences in the many types of tears cried. We consider the many associations with ‘passion,’ from sufferings of Christ to sexual desire. 

The structure that holds this material comes from The Passion of Joan of Arc, the landmark 1927 silent film by Carl Theodor Dreyer. We are studying, dissecting, and reconstructing Dreyer’s 534 iconic close-ups of Renée Falconetti (who plays Joan), building a “micro memoir” in which Joan/Falconetti is pulled out of Dreyer’s gaze and into a new map for a highly intimate performance. In the spirit of silent film tradition, the piece also includes recorded excerpts of a live score by Julia Holter for Dreyer's film, performed by Julia, Corey Fogel, Devin Hoff, Dina Maccabee, and Tashi Wada. 

PERSPECTIVE MATTERS

We have come together through our shared interests in socially-minded contemporary performance, an investigation of feminist aesthetics and processes, disrupting habitual modes of meaning-making, and non-traditional treatments of space. 

For PASSION, we share a commitment to creating space for feminine modes of thought and performance-making. We understand words like “female,” “feminine,” and “feminist” to be fluid and expansive, not limited to a single definition, and we’re interested in exploring new ways to crack open how we engage these ideas and their histories. Specifically, we are exploring feminist approaches to narrative and strategies for decision-making as we collaborate. We also are responding to other contemporary interpretations of Joan of Arc that continue the tradition of male-directed framing of feminine emotion. PASSION reclaims the framing of these felt experiences away from the male gaze and toward our own empowerment. 

Our PASSION is decentralized, embodied, and cavernous. Ours embraces the mundane daily work of reclamation passion in our lives, as in the range from suffering to sexual,  We are considering the value of rehearsing perseverance, of embracing the immensity of felt experience and the embodied work of change--and of inviting audiences to feel something in their bones, to put something in their muscle memory that informs how they move through the world after they leave the theater.  

RESEARCH & CONTEXT MATTER

Using The Passion of Joan of Arc as an initial score for this work, we are questioning the fraught relationship between feminism and emotion, including the long history of women and girls being punished as “witches” or “hysterics,” language that we hear resurfacing on the political stage today. We are curious about how movements for social change are shifting away from the expectation of a single charismatic leader and instead embracing the uncertainties of decentralized, collaborative processes. We are examining the unglamorous, durational, slow daily work of real change--often carried out by women--and how an artistic invitation to empathize with or participate in this work might require a departure from traditional dramatic structure. 

We draw from the many references of Joan of Arc as feminist icon in politics and popular culture over time, and how she resonates today. Our touchpoints range from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 concession speech, which was described as “a political death, live on television… Joan of Arc in a gray and purple suit of armor” (Huffington Post) to March for Our Lives co-organizer Emma González being widely compared to Joan, perhaps most notably in Rebecca Mead’s “Joan of Arc and the Passion of Emma González” (The New Yorker) to 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has been compared to Joan of Arc frequently as she leads the “school strike for climate” movement. 

The Theatre at Ace Hotel
The Theatre at Ace Hotel

SITE MATTERS

PASSION will premiere in the grandeur of the former United Artists Theater, now The Theatre at the Ace Hotel, in Los Angeles, and presented as part of the seventh edition of the LAX Festival. This 3-story, 1600-seat space is vast and decadent. We are interested in embracing the immensity of the space while creating an intensely intimate performance for only 100 audience members at a time, seated exclusively in the balcony. 

In its heyday, silent film often was seen as a congregation – a gathering of an audience for a nonverbal event that led to a spiritual experience. PASSION gathers a congregation in a former silent movie palace, but with no film and no iconography, leaving those gathered to face each other and themselves. PASSION explores the space that our desire and longing inhabit while rehearsing perseverance.

YOUR SUPPORT MATTERS

Your backing on Kickstarter is critical in bringing this project to life! Our overall budget is around $75,000. We’re depending on support from our community for at least 10% of the overall cost. Your support will directly benefit our ability to offer fair and equitable compensation to the female-identifying artists involved in the project. 

We can't wait to share this work with you, as well as updates along our journey this summer! 

Risks and challenges

The scale at which we are dreaming of this project is far beyond the resources we currently have available to us. Your support will help us meet our baselines of artist compensation. We're raising additional funds to help cover the production costs in the theater, costumes, and sound design.

The largest challenge we face is that of producing adventurous new work in Los Angeles. This challenge means we are putting everything we have into the project, without being fully funded or having major institutional support. This is of course risky, but it's a risk we're willing to take. Thank you for being along for the ride, and helping us in this critical moment!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    thank you thank you

    Thank you for joining our community of backers. We’ll thank you graciously in the land of social media, and will keep you updated on the project’s developments!

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    Pledge US$ 12 or more About US$ 12

    paper mail

    We’ll hope to warm your heart with a PASSION note card expressing our thanks, plus a blank card so you can send paper mail of your own. Plus above.

    Includes:
    • PASSION note card(s)
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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    a piece of us

    You’ll receive one of 534 prints of the closeups of Renée Jeanne Falconetti that were used in our development process, complete with our hand-written performance instructions on the back. Plus above.

    Includes:
    • PASSION note card(s)
    • Falconetti print
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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    see it first

    You will receive a VIP ticket to the opening weekend (date of your choice) of our PASSION at the Theatre at Ace Hotel. Plus all above.

    Includes:
    • PASSION note card(s)
    • Falconetti print
    • VIP performance ticket
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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    our pure emotion

    We’ll collect one of our tears for you, sent as a droplet on paper, and created during the development process of this performance. This includes everything above, plus a certificate of authenticity.

    Includes:
    • PASSION note card(s)
    • Falconetti print
    • VIP performance ticket
    • our tear on paper
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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    your pure emotion

    When you attend the performance, we’ll take you aside to collect one of your tears before the show. We’ll save the droplet on paper for you to have as a companion to our tears. Everything above is also included.

    Includes:
    • PASSION note card(s)
    • Falconetti print
    • VIP performance ticket
    • our tear on paper
    • your tear on paper
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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    your closeup

    When you attend the performance, we’ll take you aside for a bespoke portrait opportunity. You’ll then receive a gorgeous close-up of yourself, ala Falconetti, two weeks later. VIP ticket and Falconetti print included.

    Includes:
    • Falconetti print
    • VIP performance ticket
    • Custom portrait
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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    patron (saint) status

    Receive acknowledgment as one of our patrons in all print and online materials going forward, along with a VIP ticket to opening weekend and hand-selected Falconetti print.
    Tax-deductible through our 501(c)3.

    Includes:
    • VIP performance ticket
    • Falconetti print
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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    director's circle

    Receive credit as part of the Director’s Circle in all print and online materials going forward. We will also reserve 4 tickets for you and your guests at a performance date of your choice, along with a hand-selected Falconetti print.
    Tax-deductible through our 501(c)3.

    Includes:
    • VIP performance ticket
    • Falconetti print
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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    producer's circle

    Receive credit as part of the Producer’s Circle in all print and online materials going forward. We will also reserve 10 tickets for you and your guests at a performance date of your choice, along with a hand-selected Falconetti print.
    Tax-deductible through our 501(c)3.

    Includes:
    • 10× VIP performance ticket
    • Falconetti print
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    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    commissioning partner

    Receive prominent acknowledgement as a commissioner of this new work in all print and online materials going forward, plus a VIP post-show toast with the full creative team. We will also reserve 10 tickets for you and your guests at a performance date of your choice, along with a hand-selected Falconetti print (and let us know if you’d like any of the additional rewards above, of course).
    Tax-deductible through our 501(c)3.

    Includes:
    • 10× VIP performance ticket
    • Falconetti print
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Funding period

- (26 days)