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A tale of two Maries.
One ruled wax; the other ruled France.
Before Madame Marie Tussaud achieved wax museum fame, she was a sculptor, nearly guillotined during the French Revolution. She survived the Reign of Terror by using her artistic talents and went on to not only preserve history but to become it, notably by documenting the death of Queen Marie Antoinette.
Inspired by primary sources, along with outrageously unreliable legends and claims, Tussaud/Antoinette re-imagines the Sapphic fantasy of Marie’s Marie- a story of ambition, obsession, longing, and terror, set against the backdrop of a dangerously divided nation. 50 min, performed in English.
PRESS for Tussaud/Antoinette
I find Christopherson's neo-Gothic sensibility to die for (pun intended) . . . in Tussaud/Antoinette, she mixes fact and fiction together like vinegar and baking soda and gives it a good shake. Step by step she takes us through the minefield of the Terror, a time when real life became more gruesome than her own chamber of horrors. Tussaud/Antoinette will put you in a Halloween spirit…but it may (and should) make you contemplate with disquiet the seething, the roiling fabric of our country right now, with both right and left seemingly liable to break out into violence in the near future to an extent that will make the previous few years look paltry. That is the lesson of history.- Trav SD, Travalanche
As Tussaud, Christopherson encompasses the conflict, conviction, and fear of all who live through turbulent times. Occupying polar worlds but unable to speak freely of either, she casts herself as witness and historian, but can never fully shed the subjectivity–and danger–of her role as an artist. Milburn’s haunting sound elements literally speak to this dichotomy, the Antoinette voiceovers echoing Tussaud’s guilt and complicity and revealing the queen’s parallel status as both outsider and fetish figure in her own nation.
..... slyly captures the class divisions, mass-cultural homogeneity, and love-hate views of celebrity that still hold sway over the stories we tell.
As Tussaud/Antoinette points out, to be an artist, or merely a perceptive human, is to have an opinion–and, in a damaged world, this precocity can just as easily make us doomed prophets or ruthless profiteers. As such, the piece confronts us with both our capacity for creation and push for survival, and challenges us to apply our skills toward serving the better parts of human nature. Though we, like both Maries, may be products of our time, we must remember that we can ultimately choose, and even change, our fate.- Emily Cordes, The Theater Times
Presented by The Obscura Factory
Written, Directed, and Performed by Jody Christopherson
Assistant Direction by Kodi Lynn Milburn
Dramaturgy and French Language Coaching by Amelia Parenteau
Sound Design & Composition by Kodi Lynn Milburn
Lighting and Projection Design by K8 August
Set Design by Jody Christopherson and K8 August
Costume and Prop Design Jody Christopherson
Stage Management Kristine Schlachter
Photography Documentation of Tussaud/Antionette by Kacey Anisa and Hunter Canning
Video Documentation of Tussaud/ Antionette by Justin Woo
Marie Antoinette is a rotating role in each prodution and has been developed in various iterations by actors
Jocelyn Kuritsky, Kodi Lynn Milburn, Anne Stott and Jody Christopherson
Marie Tussaud has been developed in various iterations by actors
Jody Christopherson And Kodi Lynn Milburn
Tussaud/Antoinette has been made possible by the generous support of: Adele Niederman, Hillary Cohen & Jason Marin, Kori Rushton, and IRT Theater's 3B Development Series Artist Residency and Materials for the Arts
Core Team Bios
JODY CHRISTOPHERSON (she/her) (Performer, Writer/ Director) is a New York based, Nebraska-born, generative artist. Her mediums include; performance, writing, conceptual design, direction, music/foley, photography, film, and curation. Reviewers have called her a “visionary in the theater world and legendary storyteller”, who is “a talent to watch, not to mention a pleasure to hear”. Her works have been performed in 28 cities in 6 countries, including Canada, Detroit MI, New Orleans, Key West FL, Miami, Amsterdam, Germany, Lithuania, Australia, New York. She has been producing and co-producing her work since 2004 in America and abroad. Her productions have been nominated for a Drama League Award and 6 Innovative Theater Awards. Ms. Christopherson is the recipient of an Indie Theater Fund Emergency Grant, a New York Society Library Grant for emerging female writers underwritten by Alexander Sanger, the All for One So-Co Residency, and The LIT Fund Grant. Generative works include; Greencard Wedding, AMP: The Electrifying Story of Mary Shelley, St Kilda, Necessary Exposure, and Excavation. https://linktr.ee/JodyChristopherson
K8 AUGUST (they/them) (Lighting Design) has hidden out in downtown theater spaces, turning things on and off for the past decade. When not turning lights on and off, they’re often found in tech closets muttering. Past Lighting projects include but are not limited to Devil in a Box, a sex thing (or, a bunch of liberals getting uptight about the sociopolitical implications of their desires), Basil Twist’s Puppet Parlor. They have a profound enjoyment of french toast.
AMELIA PARENTEAU (she/her) (Dramaturgy) is a writer, French-English translator, and theater maker with a passion for social justice, based in New Orleans. An alumna of Sarah Lawrence College, she has worked with 600 HIGHWAYMEN, Ping Chong + Company, The Civilians, the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), The Lark, the New York International Fringe Festival, the Park Avenue Armory, and Theatre Communications Group in New York City, as well as Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI, People’s Light in Malvern, PA, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT, the Théâtre du Soleil in Paris, France, and Intramural Theater and No Dream Deferred in New Orleans, LA. Her writing and translations have been published in numerous outlets including American Theatre Magazine, Asymptote, Contemporary Theatre Review, and HowlRound. www.amelia-parenteau.com
KODI LYNN MILBURN (she/her) (Sound Designer/ Composer) is a mixed-indigenous American performer, writer, and designer from Nebraska, based in Brooklyn. Cross discipline credits include: Sylvia Milo’s The Other Mozart (Hong Kong, Players Theatre NYC, U.S. Tour), Jody Christopherson’s AMP (HERE arts center), My Onliness (The New Ohio), Chess (American Theater for Actors), Uta Hagen Centennial Salon (Lincoln Center Library), I am the utterance of my name (Baryshnikov Arts Center), Sparkle Spa (Jill Santopolo, BMI World Trade Center), Obsessions (Brooklyn Arts Exchange), Ewalt & Walker (54 Below), Mary & Max (Bobby Cronin & Crystal Skillman), Jean Brassard’s Voyage en Chanson (National Sawdust), Till Soon, Anne, Of Trains and Heroes (NYU Casa Italiano), L’autre Mozart (Fringe North, Halifax Fringe), Joni, Je L’aime a Mourir (Dir. Patrick Karambizi), The Resurrection of (original piece, Plains Theater), The Making of Madeline Moore, Anne of Green Gables, Urinetown (under D.W. Costumes), Seeking Alice (Best musical NOVA film fest ’17), Chrysalis (original piece, 100 Bogart st.), Could you dance in my shoes? (Dir. Deidre Goodwin), 4 women, Oddville, Requiem for a Butterfly (The Delancey, Bar Nine), Midnight Ramblings, Morning Revelations, Modern Renaissance, and Pine now available on Spotify & iTunes. kodilynnmilburn.com
THE OBSCURA FACTORY, LLC is an independent Theater Production Company dedicated to producing lo-fi, high concept, multidisciplinary works, festivals, and experiences in New York and on tour. Founded by performer/producer Jody Christopherson in Jan 2019. Credits include: Necessary Exposure, the so-fi festival, AMP, St Kilda, Tussaud/Antoinette.
IRT Theater (Artistic Director Kori Rushton), New York Oct 2021