Sibyl Kempson: THE SECURELY CONFERRED, VOUCHSAFED KEEPSAKES OF MAERY S.
Co-Presented with The Chocolate Factory Theater
By combining literary and dramatic narrative with eye-witness accounts of Sasquatch encounters culled from the internet, THE SECURELY CONFERRED, VOUCHSAFED KEEPSAKES OF MAERY S. reinvents as many versions of the Frankenstein author Mary Shelley as there are definitions of the word “Gothic.” In this work, a string of financial, maternal, and familial misfortunes causes Shelley—referred to in this production as Maery S.—to spawn a monstrous creative expression, which takes on its own life and violent history. Maery cannot help but fall in love with her Monster, only to see it “collected” and imprisoned by charitable funding at a mandatory artists’ residency.
MAERY S. will begin as a 4-part episodic radio play. All 4 episodes will be available for streaming from January 25 to May 15, 2021.
On a Spring 2021 date to be announced, MAERY S. will continue as series of video works. Ticket holders will be sent the video works once they are available for viewing.
Written and Directed by Sibyl Kempson
Music and Songs Composed by Graham Reynolds
Sound Design, Original Scoring, Musical Direction and Sonic Staging by Chris Giarmo
Co-directed by Brian Mendes
Stage Manager Olivia O’Brien
Produced by Amanda Davis
Dee Dorcas Beasnael
With special guests: Lindsay Hockaday, Oceana James, Maurina Lioce, Adrienne Truscott, Jess Barbagallo
Sibyl Kempson began creating performance art at Little Theater and Dixon Place in the year 2000. Her plays are published by 53rd State Press, PAJ, and PLAY: Journal of Plays. She launched the 7 Daughters of Eve Thtr. & Perf. Co. in 2015 at the Martin E. Segal Center at CUNY. Their first production, Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag, premiered at Abrons in May of 2015. Kempson earned an MFA from Brooklyn College, and a BA from Bennington College, and is a member of the class of 2017 at New Dramatists,a 2014 USA Artists Rockefeller Fellow, and a MacDowell Fellow. She currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, the VCA at University of Melbourne, and through 7 Daughters. www.7daughtersofeve.com.
The Chocolate Factory Theater exists to encourage and support artists in their process of inquiry. We engage specifically with a community of artists who challenge themselves and, in doing so, challenge us. We believe that by supporting the labor of these artists, we contribute to elevating New York City as a thriving and more equitable wellspring of ideas. The Chocolate Factory embraces artistic practice as an integral part of the artist’s whole life, an essential component of the life of our community and a key element of a larger national and international artistic dialogue. As such, we host artists as our equal partners with shared autonomy, trust and appreciation. While we seek to make big ideas and extended relationships possible, we commit to working at a small, intimate and personal scale, with few artistic compromises or boundaries. We achieve all of this by creating a vessel for artistic experimentation through a residency package serving the whole artist – salary, space, responsive and flexible support for the development of new work from inspiration to presentation. Works commissioned and presented by The Chocolate Factory have received Bessie and Obie Awards and have toured nationally and internationally.
THE SECURELY CONFERRED, VOUCHSAFED KEEPSAKES OF MAERY S. is a co-commission by Abrons Arts Center and the Chocolate Factory Theater, and was developed with the support of the Baryshnikov Arts Center, New Dramatists, the Playwrights Center, with funding from the Jerome Foundation, NYSCA, the McKnight National Residency and Commission, patrons of 7 Daughters of Eve on Patreon, and participants in the 2020 7 Daughters course offerings, mentorship, and creative consultations.
The 2020-2021 Season at Abrons Arts Center is supported, in part, by generous grants from the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the Harkness Foundation for Dance, the Jerome Foundation, the Scherman Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, the Jerome Robbins Foundation, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, and other generous Henry Street Settlement funders. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Image credit: Courtesy of Sibyl Kempson