You On The Moors Now
Written by Jaclyn Backhaus
Conceived and directed by John Kurzynowski
February 13th - 28th, 2015 at HERE Arts Center
published by Dramatists play service
You on the Moors Now is a sprawling theatrical examination of four well-known literary heroines of the 19th-century and their shocking rejection of the men who so ardently loved them. What results is a confluence of love, anger, grief, haunting, bloody battles and single tears shed by an ensemble of actors struggling to reconcile the romantic confines of the past with their own contemporary ideas of courtship. You on the Moors Now takes everything you’ve ever learned about love, gleaned from the pages of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Little Women, and puts it somewhere in the tall grasses, hidden from view, where only the truly brave will ever traverse to earn it.
You on the Moors Now was presented February 13th - 28th, 2015 at HERE Arts Center. Created and produced by Theater Reconstruction Ensemble. Written by Jaclyn Backhaus. Conceived and directed by John Kurzynowski. Performed by Harlan Alford, Michael Barringer, Nathaniel Basch-Gould, Sam Corbin, Eben Hoffer, Lena Hudson, Emily Marro, Preston Martin, Anastasia Olowin, Jon Riddleberger, Kelly Rogers, Claire Rothrock, Patrick Scorese, and Lauren Swan-Potras. Designed by Alex Hawthorn, Marika Kent, and Joseph Wolfslau. Photos by Suzi Sadler. Video by Michael Barringer.
You on the Moors Now was developed over the course of two years, and received two work-in-progress presentations before making its world premiere in 2015. The first presentation took place in April 2014 at The Brick. The second presentation took place in July 2014 at HERE Arts Center. The creative team remained consistent with the premiere production, with the addition of performer Nick Smerkanich.
Work-in-progress video samples and production photos
"The cast begins tearing up the floor boards of the stage. Underneath, there are pages of their stories scattered everywhere, poking up through the cracks in the floor. They do it because these characters and tropes are deeply ingrained into our culture. These battles for feminism and equality are colored by them. Until the foundation is torn up and the toxicity revealed for the world to see, men and women will continue to be held back. There needs to be a chance for another ending to be written, one where Elizabeth Bennett got an Alzheimer’s research grant, Jo is a war correspondent, and Jane Eyre is an astronaut. That is an ending worth fighting for, and a show and message worth celebrating."
Ludus NYC Response
"You on the Moors Now is a wild send up of classic literature and an examination of women’s rights in a time that was sorely lacking in that category. Theater Reconstruction Ensemble develops their work over long periods of time and You on the Moors Now is the culmination of two years of development. Their efforts have paid off with a hit."