Blue Sky Transmission: A Tibetan Book of the Dead   Leave a comment

The Tibetan Book of the Dead is a sacred text traditionally read aloud at the time of a Tibetan Buddhist’s death. It is believed that the words guide the deceased through the dangerous transitional realm, or bardo, where the soul must seek enlightenment or return once again to the cycle of rebirth.

In this collaboration between Cleveland Public Theatre and Wishhounds, the remarkable Tibetan art of dying leaps to life as an ecstatic visual and choral epic for the 21st century. Blue Sky Transmission tells the story of Alison, a dedicated lawyer and mother, whose overwhelming to-do list will never be be completed due to the unscheduled interruption of her own death. Unwilling to accept this fact she continues in her worldly ways, demanding hearings with otherworldly beings—frightening and sublime, caustic and comical. Each appears to be expecting her, with a message she’d rather not hear. Guided by a luminous escort she concedes to seek the path that will lead her out of these deliberations. At every step she must confront her habitual reactions of anger, fear, and desire which cloud the hidden radiance of her true life.

Blue Sky Transmission premiered at CPT on September 13, 2002 and moved to the LaMaMa Annex in New York in December. The production was reviewed in American Theatre Magazine (December 2002) and featured in Theatre Forum (TF23 Summer/Fall 2003).


Conceived and directed by Raymond Bobgan with original music by Halim El-Dabh

Assistant Director: Deirdre Lauer

Music Director: Karin Randoja

Performed by Lisa Black, Tracy Broyles, Kishiko Hasegawa, Holly Holsinger, Brett Keyser, Amy Kristina, Karin Randoja, Sophia Skiles, Rebecca Spencer, and Chi-wang Yang

Dramaturg: Lisa Wolford Wylam; Documenting Dramaturg: Kara Reilly

Contributing Playwrights: Mike Geither, Patricia Harusame Leebove, and Ray McNiece

Lighting Design: Trad A Burns; ALD: Chris Lesko

Set Design: Michael Guy-James; ASD: Tracy Broyles

Costume Design: Karen Young; ACD: Dana Romeo; Intern: Katherine Jernejec

Sound Design: Jordan Davis and Joel Jacobson

Graphic Design: Brett Keyser

Stage Manager: Maura Haas; ASM: Joan Burke


Executive Director James Levin

Artistic Director Randy Rollison

General Manager Deirdre Lauer

Associate Producer Denis Griesmer


The Rockefeller MAP Fund, The National Endowment for the Arts, Theatre Communications Group with the Pew Charitable Trusts, The Kulas Foundation, The Ohio Arts Council, The Ohio Humanities Council, The Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, Community Shares, Northern Ohio Live, The Cleveland Free Times,, WCPN-WVIZ

Posted February 27, 2011 by nightjarapothecary in Performance

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