Sign of The Times - at Rhinofest 2015
SIGN OF THE TIMES is a "postmodern verse play" by Jeff Helgeson with music composed by Clayton Horath. Originally presented as a staged-reading for a "Chicago Calling" performance series during Chicago Artists Month, Sign of The Times has subsequently been performed at the Side Project Theatre in Chicago for National Poetry Month and as part of The Variations Theatre Avant Guard Festival in New York City.
Sign of The Times "updates William Butler Yeats' poem 'The Second Coming' for our current age of diminishing expectations." The Chicago Reader
Sign of The Times offers "a universal message packed with thoughts and reflections."
Kambuika Kamunga Lawndale News
"Jeff Helgeson's dedication to experiment, surprise, twisted absurdities, and language
reflect and refract in Sign of The Times."
Poetry Slam Founder
"From the Prologue of this verse play by Jeff Helgeson, from the beginning, or even before the beginning, from what anticipates and thus exceeds the beginning, one thing is clear: this is a play that raises many issues, and yet, paradoxically, is about nothing. Not, it should be noted, about absolute nothing, or absolutely nothing as though something, such as a beginning, could come from absolutely nothing but rather about nothing as it permeates and surrounds every something, first enabling the present moment . . . opening the expectant possibility of a future . . . "
author of The Time of Life: Heidegger and Ethos and The Glance of The Eye: Heidegger, Aristotle, and the Ends of Theory
The music that has been composed by Clayton Horath for Sign of The Times was designed as a chamber piece for fourteen musicians. Like the play itself, the music seeks to explore the issue of the use of allusion in an era when everything is derivative and yet nothing is thought to be referential. Sections of the composition are: "Future Shock," "The Question Why?" "The Vicious Circle as God", "The Seduction of Unreason," and "Now-morrow Dawns."
The text for Sign of The Times is available from Puddin'head Press at: www.puddinheadpress.com
Jeff Helgeson is the author of fifteen plays that have been produced in Chicago, Milwaukee, St Louis, and New York. Since 2007, his plays W.M.D., Self-Portrait, Sins of The Father, From A Different Place, and In The Moment have each been produced in Mid-Town Manhattan. His novel, Thresholds, was published by Puddin'head Press in 1999 and was described in Book Magazine as offering "a solid fictional study of one monumental day." An administrator and instructor at Roosevelt University, he has also taught at Columbia College, The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, and The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. He has also been a regular contributor to the newspaper of The Chicago Artists Coalition. (www.jeffhelgeson.info)
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