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STRANGE JOY (2016-2018)





Directed and written by Erika Latta in collaboration with the cast and crew.

In Development:

STRANGE JOY is a new cross-media theater work exploring the theme of human desire. Set on an indoor film set, the story follows the director and his crew in the process of making a film. Taking the audience through the landscape of the movie set, we glimpse into the spectrum of desires, following the crew both on and off the screen. In the search of perfection, take after take, the team becomes oblivious to the outside world. The director becomes increasingly deranged as the days go by in his search for perfection, while the crew desperately tries to find their way out of the obsessive loop. But, the need to be preserved and remembered drives the team to continue in extreme circumstances in order to finish the film they set out to make.

Blurring the lines between installation, film and theater and taking inspiration from Day for Night / Le Nuit American by Francois Truffaut and the documentaries of film set environments of legendary directors such as Stanley Kubrick, and Alfred Hitchcock, among others. STRANGE JOY aims to question and explore how physical confinement and group dynamics affect the creative process. Researching conditions reported from making theater and film, such as the notorious “Confession Booth” created on the set for the performers to cope with the filming of Dogville by Lars Von Trier and the ongoing Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS 4) experiment which tests moral and the effects of a prolonged voyage to Mars, this collaboration questions our need to make, record, capture, and conquer what we desire.





STRANGE JOY Workshop November 9-16th, 2016 New York, NY / Art New York Space Grant / Network of Ensemble Theaters Exchange Grant: One week invitation with performers and hand2mouth theater company from Portland, Oregon in New York City to develop and discuss ideas for STRANGE JOY as part of the Network of Ensemble Theaters Exchange Grant “to build on and deepen existing relationships through shared activity and peer-to-peer learning” with WaxFactory and hand2mouth Theater.

Workshop participants included: Carmel Amit, Ben Thys, April Sweeney, Jun Kim, Jordan Stanley, Melody Bates , Ean Sheehy, Carlo Marks, Kestrel Leah, Raymond Brahmi, Michael Sugarman, Marla Phalen, Lucky Gretzinger, Reneé Gerardo, Cat DeAngelis Olson, Jon Burklund, Gillian Chadsey, Gabriella Hiatt and Natalie Thomas.
Dramaturg: Jess Drake (hand2mouth)
Advisors/Collaborators: Ivan Talijancic (Artistic co-Director of WaxFactory), Jonathan Walters (Artistic Director of hand2mouth)

STRANGE JOY was given a week long residency at WELD in Stokhom, Sweden under the Artistic Direction of Anna Koch in February 2010 to develop initial ideas with the design team.

Erika Latta received a Bogliasco Fellowship in the performing arts to develop initial ideas for STRANGE JOY at the  Luguria Center For Arts and Humanities in Bogliasco, Italy  in April and May of 2010.