The Kennedy Center


Triptych (Eyes of One on Another) based on works of Robert Mapplethorpe (part of DIRECT CURRENT)

Saturday, April 6, 2019 8:00 PM


Witness the first theatrical performance granted permission to explore and integrate work of Robert Mapplethorpe. Reflecting deeply on the continued impact of the late visual artist's photography, this theater piece by librettist Korde Arrington Tuttle and composer Bryce Dessner brings together choral ensemble Roomful of Teeth, the poetry of Patti Smith and Essex Hemphill, and projections of Mapplethorpe’s breathtaking images.

Please note that this program contains explicit imagery that is suitable for ages 18 and up.

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Triptych (Eyes of One on Another)
Music and Original Concept by Bryce Dessner
Libretto by Korde Arrington Tuttle
Featuring Words by Essex Hemphill & Patti Smith
Directed by Kaneza Schaal
Featuring Roomful of Teeth
with Alicia Hall Moran and Isaiah Robinson
Music Direction & Conducting by Brad Wells
Contributing Choreographer & Performer Martell Ruffin
Produced by ArKtype / Thomas O. Kriegsmann
in Cooperation with The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation
Set & Costume Design by Carlos Soto
Lighting Design by Yuki Nakase
Video by Simon Harding
Sound Design by Damon Lange /
Associate Director Lilleth Glimcher
Associate Music Director William Brittelle
Dramaturgy by Talvin Wilks & Christopher Myers
Production Stage Manager Ryan Gohsman
Assistant Stage Manager Heather Englander
Production Assistant Victoria Nassif
Session Copyist & Score Manager Dominic Mekky

Thirty years after the untimely death of photographer and visual artist Robert Mapplethorpe, his work remains emotionally complex, influential, and compelling. DIRECT CURRENT is thrilled to present the D.C. premiere of a Kennedy Center co-commission that pairs his photography with music and poetry in a theater piece exploring the impact of his art on the lives and careers of librettist Korde Arrington Tuttle and composer Bryce Dessner, best-known as a member of the Grammy Award®–winning band The National. The work, directed by Kaneza Schaal, combining music from the Grammy Award®–winning choral ensemble Roomful of Teeth, poetry by Essex Hemphill and Patti Smith, and dynamic projections of Mapplethorpe’s images,

Part of the Kennedy Center’s DIRECT CURRENT celebration of contemporary culture

Photo Credit: Self Portrait, 1988 © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for performance as part of DIRECT CURRENT 2019; Produced in Residency with and Commissioned by University Musical Society, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Co-produced by Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel Music and Artistic Director. Co-commissioned by BAM; Luminato Festival, Toronto, Canada; Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Athens, Greece; Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati, OH; Cal Performances, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA; Stanford Live, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; Adelaide Festival, Australia; John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for performance as part of DIRECT CURRENT 2019; ArtsEmerson: World on Stage, Emerson College, Boston, MA; Texas Performing Arts, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX; Barbican Centre, London; Holland Festival; Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

Triptych received a workshop through “Opera Fusion: New Works,” a joint venture between Cincinnati Opera and the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, and made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as well as a residency development through MassMOCA, North Adams, MA.