THE INSTITUTE OF MEMORY at On the Boards, April 20-23

Posted on April 19, 2017, 5:33 pm
2 mins


Father’s Day is two months away, but it’s never too early to start shopping. After all, many people complain how impossible it is to shop for dear old, enigmatic dad. In THE INSTITUTE OF MEMORY, L.A.-based Early Morning Opera and its Artistic Director Lars Jan dive directly into the brain of Jan’s own father.

From On the Boards:

An eerily glowing kinetic sculpture and a hacked ’50’s era typewriter create a fuzzy portrait of a Cold War operative, privacy-obsessed misanthrope, and real-life father of director Lars Jan. Archival wiretap transcriptions and missives from communist spies intertwine with MRI brain scans and the NSA, prompting questions about the nature of memory, privacy, and the possibility of ever truly knowing your dad.

The dramatized journey of Jan pulls from real documents (e.g. brains scans and wiretapped phone calls). Meanwhile, the sound and set design of TIMe are just disorienting enough to transport the audience into something…elsewhere.

Antonin Artaud lauded theatre because it wasn’t just metaphor for consciousness. It actually mimicked consciousness. TIMe takes advantage of this quite literally, and thus interrogates one’s individual freedom at the most existential level. Jan’s father remains estranged as a character, but the audience might even feel estranged from themselves by the end. It’s great.

Early Morning Opera and Lars Jan: THE INSTITUTE OF MEMORY

When: April 20-23

Where: On the Boards (100 Roy St)

Run time: Approximately 80 minutes (no intermissions).

$25 general admission. Get tickets online.

Featured photo by Lars Jan, courtesy of On the Boards

T.s. Flock is a writer and arts critic based in Seattle and co-founder of Vanguard Seattle.