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residencies

Murder, Love and Insanity: Stanford White and the Gilded Age

The Clocktower Gallery and ARTonAIR.org presented Peter McCabe’s Murder, Love and Insanity: Stanford White and the Gilded Age, a radio play retracing the trial of Harry Thaw, the wealthy playboy best known for murdering the American architect Stanford White in a jealous rage over the young Evelyn Nesbit.

The play was performed and streamcast live from the Clocktower Gallery (a McKim, Mead & White building!) on October 6th and 7th, 2011.

Written and directed to emulate the style of classic 1930’s radio drama, and performed in a lush installation in the Clocktower’s Performance Gallery, Murder, Love and Insanity’s four episodes each reveal an important clue to the true story behind this murderous love triangle. Recounted on the witness stand and from behind the scenes, interpretations of fact in this story frequently conflict and countermand each other. Was White a libertine or an upstanding artist wrestling with the hypocrisy of the era? Was Harry Thaw a hero defending the honor of his young wife or a stark raving mad sadist? Evelyn Nesbit: Innocent? Coquette? Or co-conspirator? Through these figures and their personal stories, both real and fabricated, Murder, Love and Insanity explores the ambiguity of history and the fetishism of beauty.

Murder, Love and Insanity was produced by artist, director, and playwright Peter McCabe over the course of a residency in the Clocktower studios. The production’s collaborators include director and designer Damien Gray, composer Alexander McCabe, actors Chuck Montgomery and Nina Hellman, and foley master Matt Tennie.

Writer, actor, and producer Peter McCabe is the author of over 20 plays, including The Violinist, The Queen is Dead, The Emperor and the Queen (now a book for an Opera Buffo). He is currently the Dramaturg in Residence at the HERE Arts Center where he is producing In the Company of Trees.

Damien Gray, Director, has worked world wide as a director and show creator for some of the biggest entertainments companies and theaters in the world. He's collaborated numerous times with Pete McCabe, and is happy to be back in NYC making some radio.

Composer Alexander McCabe has written music in many styles, including music heard in the popular television shows Bored to Death, Damages and Skins. He wrote for and performed with the ska band Mephiskapheles and as a saxophonist he was a featured soloist with the Ray Charles Orchestra. He has played and recorded with many well know artists.