The Lost Conversation:
Interviews with an Enduring Avant-Garde

by Sara Farrington

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THE LOST CONVERSATION: Interviews with an Enduring Avant-Garde
by Sara Farrington
April 2022
$16
324 pages
5x7 inches
paper/perfect bound
ISBN: 978-1732545281


BUY NOW DIRECT FROM 53rd STATE PRESS

In this collection of interviews conducted between 2019-2021 with New York theater artists who have spent their lives working in and inventing the avant-garde, playwright Sara Farrington brings to light a series of "lost conversations" about class, race, difficulty, endurance, and privilege in the New York avant-garde of the past fifty years, as well as conversations about the ephemerality, the always-about-to-be-lostness of the medium itself. Featuring conversations with Joanne Akalaitis, Anne Bogart, Lee Breuer + Maude Mitchell, Ping Chong, Richard Foreman, André Gregory, Jessica Hagedorn, Deborah Hay, David Henry Hwang, Bill T. Jones, Jeffrey M. Jones, Karen Kandel, Adrienne Kennedy, Eduardo Machado, Gloria Miguel, Nicky Paraiso, Lola Pashalinksi + Linda Chapman, Black-Eyed Susan, David Van Tieghem, Jennifer Tipton, Ching Valdes-Aran, Kate Valk, Mac Wellman, and Robert Wilson, The Lost Conversation is also a record both of the avant-garde's past and of its urgent present.

Read selected interviews originally published at The Brooklyn Rail with Richard Foreman and Mac Wellman.


CONTRIBUTORS

Sara Farrington is an NYC- & NJ-based playwright, theater artist, screenwriter, and co-founder of Foxy Films, her theater company with Reid Farrington. Sara’s plays have been nominated for two Drama Desk Awards and critically acclaimed by the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, American Theatre Magazine, the Village Voice, Lighting & Sound in America and more. Recent plays include: CasablancaBox, BrandoCapote, Mendacity, Leisure Labor Lust, The Return, Honduras, Near Vicksburg, Mickey & Sage (Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.), The Rise & Fall of Miles & Milo, Cosmicomics, and more. Sara wrote the feature film Mendacity, directed by Reid Farrington and featuring her company, Foxy Films. Sara studied playwriting with Mac Wellman at Brooklyn College, performance at Connecticut College and the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, interned at the Wooster Group and was an acting company member at the late Jean Cocteau Repertory. Sara is lives in Maplewood, NJ with husband Reid and sons Jack and Levi.

Kate Kremer is a playwright and publisher. Her plays have been produced/developed at JACK, the Bushwick Starr, Dixon Place, SFX Fest, the Figge Art Museum, the Public Theater Weasel Festival, and Brooklyn College, among others. She has been a Princess Grace finalist, a Dennis and Victoria Ross Foundation finalist, and a semifinalist for SPACE on Ryder Farm and the Clubbed Thumb Biennial commission. In 2017, Kate took over the editorship of 53rd State Press from founding editor Karinne Keithley Syers. She received her MFA in playwriting from Brooklyn College, where she studied with Mac Wellman and Erin Courtney. She currently teaches playwriting at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.

PRESS, REVIEWS, FEATURES

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"The Lost Conversation should be required reading for any young artist working in performance today." Meghan Finn, director & AD @ The Tank, NYC

"I love this book. I'm consuming it. It's just exactly what I needed. Thanks for writing it during COVID. I am finding it to be an incredible way to reconnect to theatre." Michole Biancosino, Co-Founding Artistic Director @ Project Y Theater & asst. professor of theater @ Middlebury College

"Did I tell you how much I liked your book?" Andre Gregory, director, writer, actor

 

"The Lost Conversation is such an important work. I treasure Sara's in-depth conversations with all my heroes of the avant-garde. In a time when doing experimental work seems to be harder than ever, highlighting the ideas and insights of these luminaries is so inspiring." Rob Melrose, AD Alley Theatre, Houston, TX

"Lady Farrington: Your book is a marvel." Mac Wellman, playwright

"What an important, inspiring and quite moving collection of stories of luminous artists of the 20th century! I am so honored to be a part of the book!  Thank you for your passion, dedication to the ‘work’ of the artist and to your own intrinsic talents." Ching Valdes-Aran, actor

"I am loving this book." Adam Szymkowicz, playwright

 

"I loved it. So inspiring. Thank you, Sara." Jose Zayas, director


"Just got my copy and it’s fantastic, Sara! Thank you!" Luis Moreno, actor, stagehand

"Highly recommend for all of my downtown/storefront experimental theatre lovers and makers. A quick page turner of a read. Especially great if you are having a why do I do this/what’s next for me sort of moment." Jaclyn Biskup, director & creative producer @ The New Ohio

"I swear to God this book is like the I Ching. Today I opened to Adrienne Kennedy, playwright. Exactly what I needed to read in that moment." Joanne Hudson, director @ Ridgefield Independent Film Festival

"Literally just set it down 5 min ago. So compelling. I think I read 75 pages without moving; in my younger days I've had read it in a sitting. Delicious." Justin Maxwell, playwright

"A must-own for anyone interested in the pushing of theatrical boundaries, past, present, and future." Nat Cassidy, novelist, playwright, actor

PUBLIC APPEARANCES

Time Passes: Ping Chong & Fiji Theater Company Then & Now
Sunday, October 9, following 4pm performance of Lazarus 1972–2022

Following the performance of Lazarus 1972-2022, Sunday, October 9 at 4pm, Chong reunited with late 1970s and 1980s members of his company, then called the Fiji Theater Company, for a discussion of the evolution of his work and the changing climate in the downtown performing arts scene. They shared personal memories of their time creating work and touring work together.

 

Moderated by Sara Farrington, editor of The Lost Conversation: Interviews with an Enduring Avant-Garde, the event featured Ping Chong, John Fleming, Brian Hallas, Louise Smith, and Jeannie Hutchins. Smith and Hutchins both won Bessie Awards for their work with Chong.




 

Brooklyn Book Festival: September 27th-Oct 3rd, 2022

TCG Author Signings at Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn, NY

Oct 3rd, 2022
Featuring: Sarah Ruhl, Erin Courtney, Haruna Lee, Sara Farrington, Taylor Mac & Daniel Alexander Jones

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BOMB Magazine Small Press Flea // August 20th, 2022 // Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, NY