Closed 1h 30m
The Ephemera Trilogy
East Village
84

The Ephemera Trilogy NYC Reviews and Tickets

84%
(32 Reviews)
Positive
97%
Mixed
3%
Negative
0%
Members say
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Clever, Ambitious

About the Show

The Tank presents a trio of sand drawing and shadow performances that examine memory, home, and transcultural identity. Created and performed by Japanese-American artist Kimi Maeda.

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Member Reviews (32)

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70
Ambitious, Lyrical, Imaginative, Unusual, Slow

See it if you enjoy performance art that creates great visual images. The storytelling is engaging, but slow, repetitive, and sometimes muddled.

Don't see it if you are frustrated by muddy narration. The voiceover can be hard to decipher. And the autobio story, weaving 2 tales, is hard to follow. Read more

87
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great staging, Resonant, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy unique theatrical forms like storytelling & performance art. Act 1 is charming while Act 2 is fascinating. Sit in the front row!

Don't see it if you prefer well made plays. The stories have characters, plots and themes but are not presented in the traditional way.

Critic Reviews (8)

February 27th, 2017

"In 'Bend,' the third and longest part of 'The Ephemera Trilogy, Kimi Maeda turns her complicated, and not entirely happy, family history into an elegant piece of performance art...The first part, which is much shorter, consists of two pieces...Neither is particularly interesting, and the visuals are less than compelling...In any case, the first half passes quickly and one is soon immersed in the many-layered meditation that is 'Bend.'"
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February 28th, 2017

“'The Ephemera Trilogy' is a deeply personal and solitary piece. The narrations alone are written in a tone that is personable and poetic; it might have come out of an episode of 'This American Life.' Coupled with materials that are of quintessentially ephemeral nature, the storytelling becomes exponentially intriguing…Witnessing all that the ephemera trilogy has to offer is a truly rewarding experience. There is layer upon layer of love in this performance of solitude and discipline.”
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February 27th, 2017

"That the tales are so compelling with so few dramatic flourishes is a testament to the power these stories hold, though the piece sometimes gets muddled by the massive themes it’s trying to convey. What truly drives the piece, however, are Maeda’s artistic visuals, which transform her straightforward stories into masterful works of art...By relying not only on sand art but on the fleeting form of theatre itself, 'The Ephemera Trilogy' asserts its purpose in its actions as much as its words."
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March 1st, 2017

“The first two segments are graceful but gentle inquiries that on their own leave an indistinct impression. But the final piece proves the densest, strongest, and most visually provocative…Maeda calls upon a remarkable visual craft, but the trilogy could use some narrative tightening to make the themes she raises in each part resonate collectively...Given a more focused approach to how the stories are told, we could better appreciate Maeda's complex ideas regarding borders, memory, and history."
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February 28th, 2017

"This work will stay with me forever…It is exceptional…Maeda has been able to transcend the traditional form on about seven thousand levels and each new discovery is even more deeply satisfying than the one before…This is more than a great text, performance, artwork—it’s something else—it’s a portal to instantaneous self-reflection...I think Maeda may be the light worker of our time, taking us into the next step in our much needed evolution...It’s a sacred experience.”
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W
March 1st, 2017

“‘Bend’ alone is worth the price of admission, making the first two visually stunning, strikingly creative pieces gifts of light and beauty. The recommendation is to make 'The Ephemera Trilogy' a priority; it is breathtaking, both for the bold and open approach to its subject and the subtle beauty of its expression…The whole performance is mesmerizing...'Bend' commands us to look at one of our country’s most shameful moments and learn from that generation’s mistakes."
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February 27th, 2017

“A visually stunning piece of theater. It combines puppetry, shadow art and sand work to create a very unique experience…The first act is certainly the strongest; the stories are intriguing, universal, and well told…The second act, however, leaves something to be desired…Unless you have an established interest in her family, it is difficult to really engage with the piece…Overall, Maeda combines many different aspects to create a cohesive whole which is ambitious, unique and effective.”
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April 24th, 2016
For a previous production

"It’s difficult to leave a performance of Kimi Maeda’s 'Ephemera Trilogy' without your head buzzing with questions...Each section of 'Ephemera,' which was developed over a period of six years, employs a different stunning and innovative method of telling a story, each of which foregrounds its storytelling artifice while at the same time reaching for something that feels true, that feels real, in the process...A rich, nuanced, and simply extraordinary piece of artwork."
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