From the humble starting point of an artist’s flat and recording studio, Philippe Quesne and Vivarium Studio create a multi-tiered whimsical revue about flying and falling. Using mythological sources as diverse as Phaedrus and Superman, readings, sound recordings, simulated flight suits, and make-shift rocket chairs, human ambition is both celebrated and playfully dissected. Quesne is one of the foremost experimenters in contemporary French theatre and is particularly celebrated for his inventive staging. The Itching of the Wings updates the Dada aesthetic deploying whispers and birdsong, symbolic gestures and rubber chickens, charming filmed interviews, and a visit from a punk rock band. The result is a polyphonic collision of poetry and humor, the transcendant and the absurd.

Philippe Quesnes was born in 1970 and studied graphic design at the Ecole Estienne and set design at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Since 1992 he has designed for opera, concerts, theatre performances, and contemporary art exhibitions. In 2003 he created Vivarium Studio in Paris, a laboratory for theatrical innovation. The Itching of the Wings was included in New York’s Act French Festival in November 2005 as an example of the most significant French theatre being performed today. His latest piece, D’aprés Nature, references camping, farming, French provincial landscape painting, space exploration, and the end of the world.

In English with filmed sequences in French with English subtitles.

PICA’s presentation of The Itching of the Wings is supported by étant donnés: The French American Fund for the Performing Arts.