HOW WE MAKE IT:
WHAT IS THE WORK?
Little Lord bridges mainstream, narrative-driven theater with formally-challenging performance art. Combining avant-garde techniques with ransacked camp traditions, Little Lord experiments with form and content to see where it can be stretched, exaggerated, and challenged.
We call our shows “junk spectaculars”, forged using layers upon layers of found text, pop culture detritus, upended performance conventions, and curated thrift store treasures. There is no one set technique or methodology for Little Lord’s process. We are most interested in the overlap of text and meaning, and as such, our scripts are part collage, part adaptation, part new writing, and part ensemble devised, and always a result of intensive research into a wide variety of source materials.
We are particularly interested in the intersection of self-taught outsider art, ritual and religious pageantry, and the beauty and awkward sincerity of amateur theatrics: how are these larger than life stories told? What substitute materials are used to create this work? What are the workarounds for lack of skills or resources? How is the result almost more honest than a professional interpretation?
The research and gathering of source material is a huge part of how Little Lord begins to think about a new piece and ultimately what materials are collaged or used as inspiration for new writing. To view some of our thinking behind individual pieces, please visit The Work.
“The strange, talented minds at Little Lord have a knack for seeing patterns and creating some sort of order from chaos.”
“Little Lord’s play-making process is time and research intensive. As I understand it, they gather an ungodly amount of material, cut it all up into pieces, put those pieces through a blender/juicer/waffle iron, and then take the digested material (now tissue-paper thin) and layer it, carefully, tissue-paper layer on tissue-paper layer on tissue-paper layer on tissue-paper layer, until they’ve built a cohesive, deep, intellectually and emotionally gratifying palimpsest/collage/Cornell box of a play." — Culturebot
Little Lord is well known for building interactive and idiosyncratic worlds to house our productions, redefining radical hospitality and transforming the public spaces where art and its forms are created, subverted, and devoured.
For BAMBIF*CKER/ KAFFEEHAUS at The Brick, Little Lord installed a pop-up Americanized Viennese café with a self-serve buffet menu of pop tarts, cup o’noodles, and coffee specialties — all purchased with Little Lord currency. The Bushwick Starr was converted into an an unapologetically garish roadside attraction-cum-museum filled with over 150 “artifacts” of problematic patriotism for Pocahontas, and/or AMERICA, complete with unlimited popcorn and cornbread. More recently, NOW IS THE TIME. NOW IS THE BEST TIME. NOW IS THE BEST TIME OF YOUR LIFE recast Abrons Arts Center’s Underground Theater as the decaying remains of a once-legendary Borscht Belt resort full of ghosts, regret, pickles and coleslaw for this epic piece on time, history, loss, and Rip van Winkle.
Transforming space in this way complements and completes the Little Lord aesthetic — an inescapable experience that subverts, challenges and delights audiences with the possibilities of the theatrical form. Fans have called the work “eerie and dangerous,” “a beautiful, uncomfortable, hallucinogenic ride,” “disorienting and fun,” and “some of the most compelling visuals and surprises I've seen in the theater.”
“Little Lord makes collage theater with snacks. Seemingly disparate ideas get put through the creative team’s blender, and the result is something satisfying but wholly unexpected...it's emotional, playful, and often very funny.” — Village Voice