The Good-for-Nothing Lover

The Good-for-Nothing Lover is a unique blend of shadow theatre, poetry reading, movement theatre and live music, inspired by a folk love song cycle of the same title from the Ming Dynasty (16th century China) translated in the late fifties by the Bay Area beat poets C. H. Kwock and Vincent McHugh. Driven by the dual origin of these poems, the project will pay homage to both the Beat era and the Ming Dynasty incorporating a stand up bass and a guqin (traditional Chinese 7-string fretless zither), low-tech shadow theatre technique and high-tech video projection as well as singing and spoken words in Chinese and English. The Good-for-Nothing Lover will examine states of love and human relations, which are as true today as when the words were first written centuries ago.

The Good-for-Nothing Lover has gathered border-crossing experimentalists, rebels and risk-takers from around the nation and the world; shadow master Larry Reed, who is constantly challenging the conventions of film and theatre; a NY downtown theatre giant, Karen Kandel, who continues to explore the possibilities of her body and voice as organic parts of storytelling; guqin player from Beijing, Wu Na, a fastidious keeper of the tradition who has unquenchable thirst for avant-garde, jazz, and other styles of music; Shanghai jazz singer, Coco Zhao, often called "Boy Billie Holiday," whose distinct style mixes Mandarin vocals with contemporary jazz sounds as well as the SF Bay Area's own, Wan-Chao Chang, Lydia K. Greer, Caryl Kientz (performers), Safa Shokrai (bassist), Gregory T. Kuhn (sound), ZeJie Zheng (calligraphy) and Mark Palmer (video projection).

The Good-for-Nothing Lover: a concert reading with shadows is made possible by the funds from: National Endowment for the Arts; Kenneth Rainin Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel and Tax Fund; Zellerbach Family Foundation; and generous individual supporters of ShadowLight Productions. 

Performers/Collaborators: Larry Reed, Karen Kandel, Wu Na, Coco Zhao, Safa Shokrai, Caryl Kientz, Lydia Greer, Wan-Chao Chang, Gregory T. Kuhn, Mark Palmer, and ZeJie Zheng.