Monday or Tuesday
Monday or Tuesday is a meditation on the life and work of the celebrated English author Virginia Woolf. The piece’s central inspiration comes from a prose poem of the same name that was published in 1921 in a volume of short stories also called Monday or Tuesday. The book was largely overlooked, and is a small blip on what was a tremendously powerful literary career. However, Woolf sites it as a major stylistic turning point for her- through it’s creation she happened upon her trademark stream of consciousness writing style. Written in an early, highly poetic version of that style, the poem weaves together imagery and color into a distinctly modern Cezanne-like tapestry. Assembled in sharp angles, vivid snapshots, reds, blues, and blacks- the short story becomes a portrait of the writer awash in a tumultuous contemporary society, set in sharp contrast to a more serene natural world.
Our Monday or Tuesday gets both its form and visual style from Woolf’s Monday or Tuesday, but the character we follow throughout is Woolf herself. The piece also draws inspiration from what was a tumultuous and tremendous life full of literary achievement, powerful relationships, English countrysides, and London smokestacks, and darkly lit bouts with manic depression.
‘I attain a different kind of beauty, achieve a symmetry by means of infinite discords, showing all the traces of the mind’s passage through the world; and achieve in the end, some kind of whole made of shimmering fragments.’
Commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW program.
Monday or Tuesday premiered at the Harris Theatre October 10, 2016 as part of the EarTaxi Festival.
Original Concept and Score by Kyle Vegter
Devised by Lizi Breit, Julia Miller and Kyle Vegter
Directed by Julia Miller
Puppets Designed by Lizi Breit and Julia Miller
Puppetry Performed by Alexis Atwill, Lizi Breit, Dan Kerr-Hobert and
Diane Mair (Virginia Woolf)
Music Conducted by Cliff Colnut
Musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Cello – Katinka Kleijn
Clarinet – Daniel Won
Percussion – Cynthia Yeh
Piano – Kuang-Hao Huang
“the writer’s psychological center . . . was beautifully evoked by the spare melancholy of Manual Cinema’s visuals”
Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review October, 2016