The Plague Project Programme

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Programme for the Plague Project – a Zoom experience! August 15, 2020
A series of explorations and reflections upon Camus’ book, The Plague
—with wide latitude for choice of inspiration!
The actors, dancers, puppeteers, poets, and musicians give of their time and their generous talent freely. If you are able to give a donation to the Dragon’s Egg to help us support this work, the information regarding how to do so can be found on your invitation, or by emailing Marya at
Marya will be announcing each work in turn.

“The Echo of a Loud Noise”
Created and performed by: Kym Bernazky, Jamie Graham, Ellie Jackson, Ira Joan Macner, Sydney Maresca, Jessie Winograd

Bio: We explore how lived experience filters through the body in different historical and social contexts by weaving together our varied experience in dance, theater, writing, comedy, design, crafts, and fringe healthcare-adjacent modalities. Our previous collaboration, Chapter 1, Section 1 of The Dancing Mania, based on the Strasbourg dancing plague of 1518, premiered last summer at HERE’s SummerSublet: Coop.

“A Bible Story”
A poem composed and read by Sara Ingram
Sara Ingram is a choreographer, teacher and poet who has worked in the performing arts field for many years. SOUNDS OF HOUSE AND WOOD, her book of poems describing life on a snowy hill in Deep River, is available at Studio 33, Bank Street. This is Sara’s third Narrative Project. Praise be to Marya and Dan for their work and dedication to the arts as they keep it alive in our challenging time.

“Elegy for a Fallen Empire.”
Music composed and performed by Melanie Greenhouse

Melanie greenhous
Melanie Greenhouse is a poet & playwright who directed the Arts Cafe Mystic through its 1st decade.  After moving to Columbia,CT her muse has led her back to her piano where she finds solace in these dystopian times. This short piece is tentatively titled, “Elegy for a Fallen Empire.” But it could just as well be “Plague Elegy.”

“The Plague”
A cranky adapted from Camus’s novel of the same name
By Derron Wood and Flock Theatre
Flock Theatre is a professional theatre company based in New London, CT. Whether working with the timeless words of Shakespeare, modern classics such as Eugene O’Neill, puppet pieces, teaching in schools, or conducting their annual Burning of Benedict Arnold Festival, Flock Theatre is dedicated to creating original, collaborative, and educational theatre.

Performance: Cecilia Fontanesi and Funda Gul
Video: Kurt Brungardt
Music: Nina Simone “Mississippi Goddam” (Live at Carnegie Hall, New York, 1964)
ABOUT THE PIECE: When Camus wrote “everyone has inside it himself this plague, because no one in the world, no one, can ever be immune,” he was not writing about one plague in particular. In face of the impossibility to be immune to the pain created and perpetuated in our society, Nina Simone sings “Can’t you see it, can’t you feel it, it’s all in the air.” We take a tragi-comic perspective on this matter, playing with the edges of a slack line.

Ceci funda 1

Kurt Brungardt is a writer and director and filmmaker. He has written over a dozen books, ranging from: The Complete Book of Core Training (Random House) to Lesbian Sex Secrets for Men (Penguin). He also writes for Vanity Fair and is the creator of the documentary series Undrafted, now in its seventh year. Brungardt has directed and devised plays and performances in New York, Los Angeles, and regional theaters. Most recently, My Father’s a Cop, co-written with Jerry Dean, premiered in New York City (2018) and opened in Los Angeles in in 2019. As a filmmaker and photographer, Kurt’s passion is capturing the moving body in sports, performance, and on the street.

Funda Gul is a Native of Ankara, Turkey. Funda has studied various movement disciplines beginning with Aikido in 2005 eventually earning her Black Belt. She then continued her movement journey and earned instructor certifications in Systema and Yoga. Funda teaches Contact Improvisation at Movement Research and continues her movement studies in House Dance, Parkour, Parcon, Authentic Movement, Tai-Chi, Qi Gong, Capoeira Angola, and Archery. Funda applies her martial arts skills into her movement teaching, in particular to Contact Improvisation. Her training in Yoga allows her to easily individualize the practice at hand according to students’ needs and abilities. This approach helps Funda create an all-inclusive space for practicing movement. Also, her main inspiration for movement follows the idea of “Function creates the form,” the idea that she has discovered during her martial arts and yoga training. In addition to being a talented mover, Funda also holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Stevens Institute of Technology.

Cecilia Fontanesi is a dancer, aerialist, contact improviser, movement analyst, dance/movement therapist and neuroscientist. She graduated from the Laban / Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS, New York) where she currently teaches as Core Faculty. In 2015, she co-founded the collective of dancers Parcon NYC, dedicated to exploring the relationship with the environment through movement and social reflection. Since 2016, she works as a dance/movement therapist with people with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementias. In 2017, she started serving as Artistic Director Associate for the IDACO (Italian DAnce COnnection) festival in NYC. Cecilia is also currently completing a Ph.D. in Neuroscience on Dance for Parkinson’s at the Graduate Center (CUNY, New York).

“Plague Dream”
Monologue conceived and performed by Jason Rabin

Jason Rabin is a Boston-based writer, arts activist, and performer whose mind commonly dances around dreams, mythology, rhetoric, and social justice. A vocalist, songwriter, and blues harmonica player, he fronts the roots-rock band, The Ways & Means Committee (WAMC).

“House Rules”
Written and performed by Claire Porter, and maybe a cat or two
—a script about new rules around the house for me and the cats.
Reference to Camus’ The Plague: the powerlessness of the individual to affect his life (as seen in cats running the household).

Claire Porter / PORTABLES,, are a series of comedic movement and language pieces (solo and group work), that investigate everyday subjects. These subjects include muscles (Namely, Muscles), grammar (Grammar Glamour), weather (Slipping into Weather), job interviewing (Interview), raising money (Fund Raiser), how we got here (Happen Chance), corporate greed (See you Around) and more. Porter’s Green Dress Circle was presented in Mikhail Baryshnikov’s GALA and she has been in residence at his center in NYC. Her piece Pronoun Emergency will be set to music by Toby Twining this year with support from NewMusicUSA. Porter is a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow.

Choreographer: Leslie Satin
Original Observer/Narrator: Jerri Hurlbutt
Performance Narrator today: Julie Malnig
Video Support: Lucas Rainey
Technical Support: Dean Rainey


Leslie Satin is a dancer, choreographer, and writer, and teaches at NYU’s Gallatin School. Her dances and workshops have been presented in NYC, elsewhere in the US, Europe/UK, Israel, and South America. Satin has often collaborated with visual artists, composers, and writers, and has performed with Meredith Monk, Jeremy Nelson/Luis Lara, David Botana, Sally Gross, Marjorie Gamso, Yoshiko Chuma, Einat Amir, and others. Her performance texts and critical essays on dance appear in many journals and edited collections. Her recent/current scholarly and choreographic work focuses on dance, space, and OuLiPian Georges Perec.
Jerri Hurlbutt is a writer and editor based in St. Paul, MN. Raised on a farm, educated in the city (NYU), and trained by life, she has written and published numerous essays, as well as poetry. Her interests range from the language of love and movement to tracking dementia’s loss of language. Jerri has danced with choreographer Li Chiao-Ping, most recently at the Chazen Museum in Madison, WI.
Julie Malnig is a dance and theater historian who teaches at New York University’s Gallatin School. She is the editor of Ballroom, Boogie, Shimmy Sham, Shake: A Social and Popular Dance Reader. She is currently writing about popular dance in the 1950s.

“Poison in the Veins”
Created and performed by: Clare Byrne
With a possible appearance by dancer/musician/comedienne Amy Larimer, of the Raving Jaynes.

Nick s House Party May 2019 Clare Points at Hiro
Byrne is a dancer-and-choreographer-turned-singer-songwriter who has lived, performed and taught in New York City, and Burlington, VT.  She now calls Guilford, CT home. Her debut double LP Celestials was released in 2019: She is currently working on a live album project, and is also beginning a Masters in Religion and Music at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. More info can be found at:

“Pied Piper”
Based on the Fairy Tale “The Pied Piper of Hamelin”. Puppets created by Peter Yackovetsky. Song used is “Bourée” by Jethro Tull.
Performed and conceived by Peter Yackovetsky.


Peter Yackovetsky first started acting at the age of 10, in a children’s production of Aesop’s Fables. Later that same year, he played Captain Hook for the same director, and realized he wanted to be an actor. A graduate of DeSales University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Acting/Directing, he was a member of the Shakespeare Tour, an ensemble production showcasing scenes and sonnets from Shakespeare for elementary schools. In addition to this, Peter was active in several student projects, both film and stage, including the senior children’s show, The Princess King. Peter has participated in ensemble productions at The Dragon’s Egg before, in their productions of Animal Farm and The Odyssey. Peter is also a contributing artist on the website, where he teaches puppet-making for children.

“If I Get Frozen, You Keep Going”
Created and performed by Ara Fitzgerald (Boston) and Martha Moore (Paris).
Assembled found texts and excerpts from La Peste by Albert Camus
Music: Trumpet Fanfare Funny, by SFX-FX
Tired Trumpets by Flipps Music Team
Taps Military Trumpet Bugle by Audio Monkey
Zoom performance filmed by Peter Cunningham
Special Thanks: A deep bow to Marya Urisn for her inspiration and for bringing us together virtually.

Ara Fitzgerald creates dance/theatre as a choreographer, writer, improviser and performer.
Current projects: Tree Hugger, Love Letters to Minkie (1917) and links to two books, Scripts for Solo Performer and Don’t Sit Down, Reflections on Life and Work by Martha Myers can be found on her website

Martha Moore is a choreographer, performer, collaborative artist living in Europe.
Current projects: Livingroom Dancing, Vaguely Furious, and the ever evolving performance series, john & jane installations, co -signed with the visual artist Perrotin.

Prompter and Assembler of the Narrative Events: Marya Ursin
Marya Ursin is a dancer/mime/yogi/writer. She studied dance with Merce Cunningham (and taught 8 years at his studio), mime with Marcel Marceau, and continues to take ballet barre and Cunningham classes. She is on faculty for the National Theatre Institute at the Eugene O’Neill and is adjunct at Conn. College. Marya danced for various companies, and currently is co-Artistic Director, with founder Dan Potter, for the Mystic Paper Beasts, for which she has written some 60 plays. She has performed in ~1000 venues, including DTW, BAM, Whitney, Yale, Naropa, Walker Arts Center, Edinburgh (Scotland), Glastonbury (GB), dozens of museums etc. She is Executive Director for the Dragon’s Egg dance/theatre retreat center. She has written, and co illustrated (with her artist husband, Dan Potter), two story books, and is working on a third. She produces a dance/theatre concert in the fall in NYC, and “assembles/directs” theatrical extravaganzas based on classical and contemporary texts every spring and summer. She has an MA in Integrative Health, is a 500 RYT yoga teacher, and is a licensed and registered MsT.
She is blessed by her family, and by this fierce creative circle of friends and artists, for whom she is widely and wildly grateful.

Chicken frog

Daniel Potter (creator of the Plague Doctor puppet) began creating sculpture and puppeting at the tender age of eight, and continued with these and with theatre while at the Putney School, Harvard College (AB, 1968), l’Ecole des Beaux Arts, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design (M. Architecture 1973). In 1976, he co-founded the Mystic Paper Beasts Theatre Company. Currently, Dan is Producer of the Company, for which he builds and paints masks, and performs in them in the pieces designed, written, and directed by Marya Ursin. They have been commissioned to create new theatrical works for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Yale Art Gallery, the RISD Museum of Art, the Yale Museum of British Art, the Cambridge River Festival, NYC Downtown Halloween Parade, and the Mystic Aquarium, among others. Dan’s primary area of artistic creation is welded or plasma cut metal sculpture, and painting. He has an upcoming (fall 2021) one man show at the Hoxie Gallery in RI. Dan is also a potter; his pottery, painted by Marya or by him, is shown and sold in Ct. and NY. In addition, Dan and Marya enjoy three shared daughters, Giselle Potter. Chloe Potter, and Ana (Tiwathia) Tiwathia, and five amazing grands.

Thank you for being in the Audience. We perform for you, for the skies and seas, for one another, for all and no time, here and now.
May you be at peace. May all beings be at peace. Breathe.

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