Photos by Rich Clark
 

Ceremony

(2013) Director and Dramaturg

At 35 years of age, Michael Kass lost himself. And instead of looking for answers at the bottom of a glass or from the comfort of a therapist’s couch, he quits his job, hops a flight to Peru, and searches for a shaman who can prepare a renowned tea that promises to make him see his worst fears. Awesome! How far will one man go to find himself? And will he be able to find his way back?

This hilarious and spellbinding true tale of love, fear, and ayahuasca is performed on a bare stage by Kass with the aid of eight colorful buckets and a vibrant and immersive sound design, taking audiences from downtown Los Angeles to the Sacred Valley in Peru and back. At turns self-deprecatingly funny and unsparingly frank, Kass’s intensely personal story grapples with universal themes of isolation, self-doubt, and coming of age in the context of a shamanic medicine ceremony.

 

Presentations

Debuted June 2013; has been performed more than 100 times at venues across the United States!

Chicago Fringe Festival

August 30-September 1, 2014

 

San Francisco Fringe Festival

September 9-18, 2014 

 

Los Angeles’ Bootleg Theater

September 26-28, 2014

 

Awards

 

Winner, Best of Fringe

San Francisco Fringe Festival, 2014

 

Winner, Outstanding Solo Show

San Diego International Fringe Festival, 2014

Winner, Duende Distinction for Playwriting

Winner, Best of Fringe Extension

Nominee, Best Solo Show

Hollywood Fringe Festival, 2013

 

Press

 

"GO! ... Leads you on a voyage of self-discovery. There's nothing more difficult than conveying a transcendental experience, but Kass approaches it with a feisty, bumptious charm and considerable narrative skill … deftly shaped by director Diana Wyenn" —LA Weekly, Pick of the Week

 

"Personal, funny and spellbinding." —San Diego Reader, Critic's Pick

"Director Diana Wyenn, an active young veteran of the L.A. theater scene, does a masterful job pacing and visually structuring Kass's tale with only a stack of multi-colored buckets as props and a few perfectly-timed sound and light cues ... A worthy lineal descendant of Spalding Gray's Swimming to Cambodia, this Ceremony is an occasion to savor and certainly not to miss." —LAist

 

"Wyenn's knack for less-is-more enhances Ceremony's accessibility … It's likely more than a couple left the theater with a heightened sense of oneness." —theatretimes.org

 

"Directed by Diana Wyenn, Ceremony is a funny, gratifying, and incredibly genuine look into the sense of belonging, community, and purpose that we seek throughout our lives." —Neon Tommy

Credits

Michael Kass, writer and performer

Diana Wyenn, director and dramaturg

Martin Carillo, sound designer

Tony Shayne, lighting designer

Diana Wyenn, production designer

 

Additional Links​

Ceremony Website