BORNEO ODYSSEY a representation of A Brief Report of a Journey up the Rejang River August 23 and September 13, 2014, Harrison Auditorium
Borneo Odyssey is an artist-in-residence project created from the Archives of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The performance is based on the 1896-1898 expeditions to Borneo made by William H. Furness, Alfred C. Harrison, and Hiram M. Hiller. Hiller’s “A Brief Report of a Journey up the Rejang River in Borneo” is recounted on stage by a talking Orangutan, the main character, inspired by the story of Furness raising chimpanzees and orangutans, and his experiments teaching them basic human speech. Contemporary use of historical sources follows a creative approach “re-imagine”, to re-envisage concept of time, identity, history, and memory.
Skowmon Hastanan: Artist in Residence, Penn Museum, and producer
Joel Holub: Orangutan, Scriptwriter, and stage directions
Theodore Kersten: Principal composer
Jeffrey Steven Gottesfeld: Furness
Katia Berg: Video, sound engineer and editor
Leesa Abahuni: Composer, video and sound editor
Stephen Gauci: Musician
Karen Ostrom: Video and sound engineer
Eric Schnittke: Lantern projectionist
Collection makers: Marti Cormand, Celeste Fichter, Toma Fichter
Helpers-performers: Carmen Guzman, Nina Simoneaux, Kate, Minou, and Shapoor Pourshariati
This work could not have been undertaken without the support of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, PECO, Penn Museum, the Provost’s Interdisciplinary Seminar Fund and the Penn Art and Culture Initiative.