"Stone Marmalade" by Leslie Scalapino and Kevin Killian

Small Press Traffic presents a tribute to poet Leslie Scalapino
December 4, 2010, 7:30–9:30 pm

Timken Lecture Hall, San Francisco Campus
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1111 Eighth Street

General admission: $8–15
SPT members: Free

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Directed by Kevin Killian
Visuals by Wayne Smith, with a cast including Lindsey Boldt, Karla Milosevich, Brent Cunningham, Taylor Brady, Laurie Reid, Erin Morrill, Tom Comitta, Craig Goodman, Jocelyn Saidenberg, David Brazil, and others

Stone Marmalade retells the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, as seen through the theoretical writings of Giorgio Agamben. Leslie Scalapino and Kevin Killian attended Agamben's lectures at UC Berkeley 15 years ago and misunderstood the philosopher's thick Italian accent so thoroughly that they got quite a lot wrong in their script.

When the Nazis inducted prisoners into the death camps, they first took away their passports and stripped them of their former nationality. Agamben said that doing so reduced the prisoners to "mere birth-life," but we thought he was saying "bird-life," and so a lot of our play is bird oriented. It takes place in Hell, where Eurydice, the Queen of Hell, operates a duty-free shop (another Agamben notion about the extra-juridical status shared by duty-free shops and by the death camps) assisted by an easy-going personal assistant, Kathy. Read the full description.

Leslie Scalapino passed away on May 28, 2010, in Berkeley. She was born in Santa Barbara in 1944 and raised in Berkeley. After Berkeley High School, she attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and received her BA in literature in 1966. She received her MA in English from the University of California at Berkeley in 1969, after which she began to focus on writing poetry. Leslie Scalapino lived with Tom White, her husband and friend of 35 years, in Oakland.