Loosely inspired by the lives of Paul Lynde, Charles Nelson Reilly, Barclay Shaw and Wayland Flowers, The All Stars of Non Violet Communication takes its cues from the moment in a stand up routine when the comedian turns against the audience, heaping savagery upon them in an attempt to defend the comic's role as container and messenger of a society's unacknowledged debts and burdens. The All Stars... is a compact exploration of the brutality of language, the grief from which comedy emerges, and the ways in which language empties out into the passage from life to death. Although brief, the work is written in a dense amalgam of poetic speech, one-liners, movement and sound with plenty of bite and aftertaste.

My God (men pose, elbows up) my home
was an ugly cunt
The rats and roaches, the limping hounds
I tell ya it was
(Men pose with legs bent fists down)
The old men who hid in their rooms
I hated them
You know the kind
”Don’t want no trouble here
Ma’s neck in the heat, damp,
Reaching across the TV set
To change the channel
Yells, “Tell that faggot to keep it down!”
(Pose with long bent leg)
Theatrical, she was, and the poor man
Had to close his crossword, his magazine
And sit there by his lonesome
To the dim dim (Men fan down on these
Trailer of the afternoon;
Curs-ed, (Men look up) I was.

Written and directed by Asher Hartman

The Cast
Franc Baliton, The spirit of Wayland Flowers
Patrick Kennelly, The spirit of Barclay Shaw
Michael Morrissey, The spirit of Paul Lynde
Joe Seely, The spirit of Charles Nelson Reilly

The Creative Team
Score created and performed by Jasmine Orpilla as "Lenny"
Highways show score played by Corey Fogel
Costume: Curt LeMieux
Photography: Takahiro Yamamoto
Videography: Haruko Tanaka and Seema Kapur
Graphic Design: Haruko Tanaka

The All Stars of Non-Violet Communication was presented at LACE as part of the performance series  "So Funny It Hurts," curated by Brian Getnick on April 7, 2011. It was subsequently presented at Human Resources on April 30, 2011 and at Highways Performance Space on September 24, 2011.

The All Stars of Non Violet Communication in the Press

"Native Strategies - Brian Getnick helps us look at Performance Art in LA."
Written by Geoff Tuck for notes on looking, March 20, 2011