JENNIE RICHEE, (2001-2004)

A multi-media theater work inspired by the life and art of Henry Darger

2001 OBIE Awards for Direction and Collaborative Design
2002 Bessie Awards for Collaborative Design

Written by Mac Wellman
Directed by Bob McGrath
Music by Julia Wolfe
Songs written by Cynthia Hopkins
Featuring Daniel Zippi as Henry Darger
Storm Sequence choreography by David Parsons
Visual Design by Laurie Olinder
Film by Bill Morrison
Set by Fred Tietz
Costumes by Pilar Limosner
Lighting by Howard Thies
Sound by Tim Schellenbaum
Special effects by Ruth Pongstaphone
Musical Direction by Matt Tierney
Production Stage Manager, Judy Tucker

January 2004; Tanz Theater, Darmstadt Germany, (International premiere)
January 2003; St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn
April 2001; The Kitchen, New York
January 2001; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, (World premiere)

“Jennie Richee—or Eating Jalooka Fruit Before It's Ripe” is a multi-media theater work concerning the life and art of self-taught artist and writer Henry Darger who served as a menial laborer in Chicago Catholic hospitals for over fifty years creating his works in off hours. "Jennie Richee" The work delves into the wildly fantastic world created by Darger in a 15,000 page narrative entitled, “The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion”, in over three hundred large radiant water color paintings, in numerous collages, drawings and studies.

“Exquisite, precisionist direction by Bob McGrath…(Darger is) played to perfection by Daniel Zippi...acid, aching and both entirely mad and wholly lucid...Alternately cataclysmic and radiant with a candy colored light, this otherworldly theatrical excursion is the inside of an artist's mind exposed to the sunlight. Odd, oddly beautiful, and disturbing.” —Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun Times

“Technically impressive, with its intricate film and slide projections...staged with a fine feeling for theatrical space by Director Bob McGrath...he has conjured up a dreamlike world, in which the actors seem to float.”
—Richard Christiansen, Chicago Tribune

Click for:
New York Times Article (PDF)
Juxtapoz Magazine

Go back to History Page


Jennie Richee

Jennie Richee

Jennie Richee

site by fusionlab