In Acquanetta, the spirit of 1940s horror movies is turned inside out in a bravura, one-act deconstruction of the genre that explores how vision relates to identity. Characters include the mad scientist Doctor, the insistent Ape, the reluctant Brainy Woman, the visionary Director and the beautiful Acquanetta, aka Mildred Davenport, an actress who disguised her identity. Acquanetta examines the ways the movie camera manipulates how we see and are seen. In soaring, sometimes comic and always indelible songs that capture the heightened drama of horror films, these vivid characters reveal their inner longings and emotional shadows in what is ultimately a haunting meditation on the meaning of identity, transformation, stereotypes and typecasting, set in the heyday of Hollywood gloss.
Produced by Beth Morrison Projects in association with Bang on a Can and Trinity Church Wall Street. The world premiere chamber version of Acquanetta was commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects with lead commissioning support by Linda & Stuart Nelson. Acquanetta originally premiered in a Grand Opera format in 2006 in Aachen, Germany.
Acquanetta is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by public funds from The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Photos by Maria Baranova.
Acquanetta Mikaela Bennett
Brainy Woman Amelia Watkins
Ape Eliza Bagg
Director Matt Boehler
Chorus Members of The Choir of Trinity Wall Street