Family Secrets


Chamber Opera by composer Daniel Thomas Davis
Produced by North Carolina Opera at Burning Coal, February 2018
With Andrea Edith Moore, Soprano, and Jane Holding, Narrator.
Review: click here

Wants Upon a Time Is a Commedia Dell’arte Interrogation of What Happily Ever After Really Means

Francesca Talenti’s theater work is performed on the Hillsborough Riverwalk on the last Friday of each month through September.

Source: Wants Upon a Time Is a Commedia Dell’arte Interrogation of What Happily Ever After Really Means

Sixteenth-century Italy probably isn’t the first place you’d think to look for experimental filmmaker and futuristic multimedia artist Francesca Talenti. Nor might you have imagined the piquant postmodern playwright, who we last saw programming a thespian robot for her 2013 drama The Uncanny Valley, to choose environmental theater for a follow-up, placing her new work, a one-act for children called Wants Upon a Time, in and around Patrick Dougherty’s biodegradable sculpture “A Sight to Behold” on the Hillsborough Riverwalk.

The fantastical two-story castle of woven branches and sticks, situated a stone’s throw from Weaver Street Market, hosts this playful, punny commedia dell’arte take on the fairy tale of Rapunzel. Talenti has chosen her collaborators with care. Former Red Clay Rambler Jack Herrick and scripter Michael Malone have contributed winsome original songs. Though her troupe of performers swaps roles between shows, stage veteran Jeffrey Blair Cornell anchored a performance featuring talented actors from the local improv comedy scene in the company’s July dates.

In broad comic performances, Deborah Aronin’s winning Rapunzel languishes in her tower prison but fumes when Kit FitzSimons’s narcissistic Prince Vainglorious tries to take all the credit for her rescue. Talenti’s text interrogates exactly what “happily ever after” actually means, and for whom, when Cornell’s socially inept ogre demands his due.

In a script with enough contemporary in-jokes to keep adults amused, no dashing knight or wonderful witch winds up the real hero. You’ll be surprised when you learn who is.

-Byron Woods, Indyweek

Wants Upon a Time

Performed at Patrick Dougherty’s Stick Work Castle
Review: click here

Deborah Aronin
Bryce Bowden
Jeffrey Blair Cornell
Drina Dunlap
Sharon Eisner
Kit FitzSimons

Composer: Jack Herrick
Lyricist: Michael Malone
Ukelele Player: Rollie Olin

Designer: Deirdre Shipman

Partially funded by:
The Orange County Arts Commission
The Hillsborough Tourism Board
Jeffrey Blair Cornell


Lighting and Projection Design for Carole McCurdy’s Waver.

Performed September 15 – 23, 2017 at Defibrillator Gallery, Chicago.

With Geoff Guy, Irene Hsiao, Carole McCurdy, Harlan Rosen, Pamela Strateman, M Wu
Live Vocal + Time Bundle | Eli Halpern
Revolution | Mina Büker
Technical Direction | Jon Satrom
Sound Design | Gray Castle Studios
Costume Design | Carole McCurdy
Shoecraft | Chad Hagedorn
Tango Instruction | Pamela Strateman
Stage Management | Aurora Tabar


Video design for Shakespeare’s Pericles, at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Folger, and The Guthrie.

Directed by Joseph Haj. Lighting Design by Rui Rita. Set Design by Jan Chambers. Costume Design by Raquel Barreto. Photos by Jenny Graham.

A Bride For All Seasons

This is an installation, projected on a white door. The video is silent, and is designed to loop. But here it plays to the third movement of Thomas Oboe Lee’s Piano Concerto “Mozartiana.”

Spring/Air – Summer/Water – Fall/Fire – Winter/Earth

Special thanks to Cameron Ayres, Spencer Brisson, and Jesse Moorefield

Wave Tank

3 Waves from the Wave Tank at UNC’s Fluid Dynamics Lab
Here is a making-of video

This project also exists as an interactive installation: a touch-screen monitor enables you to enlarge any one section of the wave.

Music by Alexei Stanchinsky
Special thanks to Roberto Camassa, Richard McLaughlin, Jesse Moorefield, and my excellent students.

Phases of the Moon

Phases of the Moon uses two windows on the corner of Hargett and Fayetteville Streets in Raleigh, NC.
Up from August 4 to September 26, 2011, 8PM to 2AM every night.

Murphy’s Chang

Music Video for Peter Lamb and The Wolves

My first foray into the world of 3D animation *and* my first music video – I had a blast!
Special thanks to Robert Gongora and Ian Wallace, master green-screeners.


Thalia was made specifically for Thalian Hall, a Wilmington NC theater built in 1858. The installation was up on November 13 and 14, 2010. This is a 4:30 minute documentation of the piece.

Thalia is the muse of comedy, but she is wistful today, reflecting on some the people who have come and gone upon her stage since 1858. Perhaps a little bit of their essence still lingers, and mixes with the viewer’s own…

The people who have appeared in Thalian Hall and in this video are:

Frederick Douglass, Lecture, 8/2/1872
William Frederick Cody, Combination Show, 10/25/1875
Oscar Wilde, Lecture, 1/7/1897
Loie Fuller, Dance Performance, 2/18/1897
Maxine Elliott, The Gilded Fool, 4/14/1898
Joseph Jefferson, Jr., Rip Van Winkle, 3/8/1905
Lillian Russell, The First Night, 1/6/1910
Booker T. Washington, Lecture, 11/3/1910
Anna Held, Variety Show, 9/24/1913
Lillian Gish, Birth of a Nation Screening, 3/1-15/1916
Marian Anderson, Vocal Concert, 4/27/1925

Anna Moffo sings Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise
Graham Hamilton performs an excerpt from Hamlet.