The Plaintext Players
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Demotic 2004/2006
The Roman Forum Project 2003
Virtual Live 2002
The Roman Forum 2000
Birth of the Christ Child 1999
Still Lies Quiet Truth 1998
Silent Orpheus 1997
Orpheus 1997
The White Whale 1997
The Candide Campaign 1996
Gutter City 1995
LittleHamlet 1995
The Cake of the Desert 1996
I Object 1995
Christmas 1994

"Silent Orpheus" (1997) was the second of two performances in the Plaintext Players' Orpheus series (the other is "Orpheus: sono la musica"). It took place on Dec. 1, 1997, on the occasion of the international Day Without Art. This special one-time event retold the story of Orpheus, legendary singer and poet, focusing on the bleak time when he went down to Hell to bring his love, Eurydice, back from the dead. During Orpheus's absence, music and poetry vanished from Earth, replaced by babble.

The performance took place on IDMOO, hosted by the School of Visual Arts, NY, and was seen by by simultaneous projection at the Video Wall at 55 Broad St., New York, and at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry, Santa Monica. After the performance there was an open online discussion with the Plaintext Players about the performance.

Silent Orpheus was a part of Creative Time's DWA Web Action, which is annually coordinated to facilitate the coming together of individuals as well as organizations to defy geographical boundaries and publicly unite around the grave impact of the AIDS pandemic. For more information about the 1997 Web Action, visit Creative Time's Web Action site.

The Plaintext Players would like to thank Grahame Weinbren and Harvard University for inviting them to perform; Carol Stakenas and Creative Time for presenting this event; Kathy Brew and Thundergulch for making the Video Wall projections possible; the Institute of Cultural Inquiry for remote-hosting the event; Jason Largever for technical assistance; and Robert Allen for MOO programming.

[ complete performance transcript ]

[ cast and performance ]

Orpheus sings.

--What did I think would happen?

--I'd get back Eurydice's shade

--Like a wind in my sails, crying, Orpheus?

--I'd drag her body stinking from the grave?

Orpheus buries his head in his hands.

--The body is a tomb.

--I, Orpheus, long dead, bring back a corpse: my own.

[from Silent Orpheus]