The Harpers’ Press Kit for The Girl from Bare Cove
An original folk opera for an ensemble of actor-musicians, The Girl From Bare Cove follows a family in crisis as they face the revelation of one daughter’s decade-long history of sexual abuse and the present-day consequences of her traumatic past. With songs inspired by the folk sounds of New England, this modern-day fable invites us to explore the communities we share and the worlds we build for ourselves.
ABOUT THE HARPERS
The Harpers make music theater at the intersection of fine and folk art. With a do-it-yourself ethic rooted in the intimacy of oral tradition, we tell stories in active conversation with our audience and with the world around us. We believe that theater is a fundamentally empathic art form, uniquely capable of helping us to better understand ourselves and each other. We will always strive to center marginalized perspectives; to destigmatize mental illness, visible and invisible disability, and survival after sexual violence; to celebrate the spectrums of gender and sexuality; and to serve the New Haven community.
Our work has been presented as part of the New York International Fringe Festival, theFringe Encore Series Off-Broadway at Soho Playhouse, and the Portland Fringe Festival. Our summer 2018 production of Cabaret ran to rave reviews at Lyric Hall in New Haven.
ABOUT THE GIRL FROM BARE COVE
Written by Harpers’ Co-Artistic Director Jay Eddy (New York Foundation for the Arts’ Playwriting/Screenwriting Fellow; MA Music Theatre from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama), Bare Cove is a fairy-tale reimagining of Eddy’s own experience as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and as an adult living with PTSD. Bare Cove has received two workshop productions in New York and developmental residencies with both The Barn Arts Collective and The Dragon’s Egg; Bare Cove was also a semi-finalist for The National Music Theater Conference. Harpers’ Co-Artistic Director Sam Plattus (alumnus of The National Theater Institute; New Haven born and bred) will direct.
The Girl from Bare Cove runs approximately 100 minutes; a concert presentation of the score alone runs approximately 60 minutes.
PRAISE FOR THE HARPERS
“Bracingly original, astonishingly resourceful, and daringly theatrical. These are phrases I often associate with artists like John Doyle, Ivo Van Hoe, or Michael Arden, directors who reinvent and reinvigorate everything they touch. These aren’t phrases, however, I often associate with the local theater scene...Yet bracingly original, astonishingly resourceful and daringly theatrical is exactly how I’d describe the sublime and innovative production of 'Cabaret' offered by the new New Haven-based troupe The Harpers...Staged with unlimited inventiveness by Sam Plattus...It’s one of the smartest and most beguiling shows I’ve seen in a long time...you can’t help but feel a twinge of nausea and, at the same time, realize exactly why this specific production of this specific play is of vital importance in 2018. There are moments of genius here that make me very excited that a group like this has landed in New Haven. I’ll be eagerly awaiting whatever comes next.” - OnStage
“In this Harpers’ production, Cabaret has been stripped down to brutal and brilliant effect…Eight [sic.] performers play 20 parts in a staging that virtuosically shifts from night club burlesque to transnational train car to boarding house bedroom with all the dynamism of The 39 Steps." - New Haven Independent
"It’s a rasping hoot of a show, deconstructing sacred musical theater values and crassly dramatizing the breakdown of society and government...The result can be coarse, abrasive and a little bit brilliant...Though some of the treasured Kander/Ebb songs are sung fairly straight, most are meted out in an unmelodious manner that might best be appreciated by fans of Tom Waits, Nick Cave or James Chance...The Harpers’ Cabaret is a coarse, caterwauling social satire about a deteriorating society. I hope it finds the up-for-anything audience it deserves." - Hartford Courant
“Under Sam Plattus’ direction, the theater provides an intimately affecting laboratory for wry epidemiological research.” - Cryptome
“Following in the vein of A Thousand Acres or Ran, Holler makes a fleet and strong argument for Shakespeare’s enduring relevance…Holler compels us to pay attention—to the past and the present.” - New Haven Independent
“[Holler is] a joy to listen to…beautifully arranged and performed by talented players. The string work is diverse and works together well to set a scaffold over which vocals and less prominent instruments fill out a beautiful tapestry of sound…You’re in for a delight.” - Ear to the Ground Music
PRAISE FOR THE GIRL FROM BARE COVE
“The lyrics are some of the cleverest and best written I have heard in a long time…The music is deeply interesting…[Eddy's] voice also has great range doing all the styles perfectly and hitting all the emotional notes just right, most notably in songs like, ‘You Don’t Know the Night.’” - Marc Gunn's Celtic Music Magazine
“Written by the somewhat startlingly talented [Jay] Eddy…[She] takes over the sonic volume of the space with her huge voice. Her all-too-real cries for help are as unsettling as they should be, not just because of Eddy’s personal history with sexual violence. When the other performers join her in the more uplifting moments…you cannot help but be carried along on the waves of their support. It’s a powerful reminder of the dynamic range possible with an ensemble of voices utterly unlike the vast majority of pre-packaged pop.” - Medium