Initial performance March 29th, 2020 at NYC's The Tank.
Created and performed by Lukas Papenfusscline with Julia Duray
Lighting Design and Technical Direction by Jack Scaletta
LedaLeda is a funeral oration, an enacted eulogy, for the artist’s late sister, Leda Papenfusscline. By repeating and altering this short play four times, it becomes a ritual that explores loss, grief, and imagined realities that stem from could-have-beens. Despite initial attempts to use storytelling to make clearer sense of suffering, this play ultimately posits that the power of narrative is limited in the face of complicated, muddied realities. Julia Duray and Lukas Papenfusscline, who both devised and perform the piece, draw on their experience with familial death and interweave it with story and memory, working through ancient myth, pop culture, personal experience, and spiritualism.
In fusing, and then cutting out, story and memory with reality, we aim to make art that goes beyond “therapy theatre” to provide a modern contemplation on mourning that is accessible to a wide audience. LedaLeda empowers the idea that death lacks remedy: there is nothing to learn. No story can simplify and explain away grief. Humans have desperately mythologized their experience for centuries in order to avoid realizing there may be no sense at all in the cycles of violence that surround us.