Four poets, four actors, four trombones, and a sting quartet breathe life into and around T.S. Eliot's inimitable text, with vocal recitation, variation, improvisation, and instrumental music.
"Four Quartets: Variations," revolving around T. S. Eliot's inimitable sequence Four Quartets, is a theatrical, musical and poetic tour de force. Moored by the performances of four vocalizing actors and four poets interacting with excerpted and remixed text of Eliot’s Four Quartets, the project also features byways into performance sets by the Bryant Park Quartet (string quartet) and The Guidonian Hand (trombone quartet) which expand the musical reaches and correspondences of the poem. Emphasizing the profundity and structural revelations of Eliot's book-length text, the actors and musicians surround the poets' recitations with extended techniques of all varieties, from improbable instrumental sounds to extremes of vocal and improvisatory production, letting the text re-echo in time past, time present, and time future.
The quartet of actors are Marya Lowry, Phil Timberlake, Corianna Moffatt, and Nate Speare, while participating poets include Thalia Field, R. Dwayne Betts, Jon Woodward, and Oni Buchanan.