The Picher Project

Bridesmaids:

A Dance Narrative

            Bridesmaids: A Dance Narrative is a show that follows a bride and her five bridesmaids as they face the joys and cruelties of life and love. While preparing the bride for her wedding, each bridesmaid flashes back to a love that once was. Be it forbidden love, love that was lost, fear of falling in love or abuse disguised as love, each woman has to navigate through her experience to discover her self-love. Deception, temptation, friendship and self-discovery combine in this breath-taking dance narrative featuring the dynamic choreography of the show's creator, Steven Blandino.

            In August of 2019, the show had a sold out weekend of performances at Dixon Place in which Lauren was the live singer/narrator. On February 11th, 2020, Bridesmaids will come to life again on the Symphony Space stage now featuring original songs by Lauren as well as original arrangements of covers that we all know and love.

            The Picher Project is a new musical that explores the rise and destruction of the now-abandoned mining town of Picher, Oklahoma. The town that once was the largest producer of lead and zinc in the world became the EPA’s #1 Superfund site, deeming Picher the most toxic place in America. In 2008, a devastating tornado destroyed most of what was left and, as a result, Picher was officially dissolved in 2013- making it a ghost town. The Picher Project, based on interviews and stories from former citizens, covers the town’s 100 year history- through town politics, involvement with the native Quapaw tribe, environmentally caused illnesses, and, eventually, the earth crumbling from under their feet.

            In March of 2019, the Picher Project team had the opportunity to travel to Picher to get a first-hand understating of their plight. Their trip was beautifully curated by the Tar Creekkeeper herself, Rebecca Jim, an advocate of the land and people of Picher from the very beginning- no matter how harsh the resistance. She set up interviews for the team with former Picher citizens, leaders of the the Quapaw Nation and many more. No wonder she is a leading role in the show!

            In 2018, Quentin Madia, Alex Knezevic and Lauren Pelaia joined forces and began researching this extraordinary and unusual town. Lauren is humbled to get to bring this story to life through song as half of the Music and Lyrics team. Since 2018, the Picher Project team has devoted so much of themselves to creating a show that represents the truth of Picher: the pride, the love and the determination of a town left in toxic ruins.

            In April of 2019, The Picher Project premiered a 30 minute segment at a sold out new works showing at Dixon Place. After many re-writes, presentations and a residency with BarnArts Collective in Maine, The Picher Project presented a concert version of their show at Feinstein's/54 Below on October 23rd, 2019.

© 2020 by Lauren Pelaia