The George Project: A Liberation Through Hearing

An Audio Play
Inspired by and adapted from Emilio Cruz’s
"When This War Is Over, You’re Going to Get It George"
Directed by Juli Crockett
Composed by Michael Feldman
“Art should alarm to awaken, causing us to ponder through bewildering exaltation.”

—Emilio Cruz

In a seven-part audio play, director Juli Crockett adapts Emilio Cruz’s 1975 anti-war, Artaud-inspired text When This War Is Over, You’re Going to Get It George into an immersive sonic experience. Through a not-quite old-fashioned radio drama, listeners undergo a guided vision quest in which sound is both a tool for healing and a weapon of war. 

Crockett and her collaborator Michael Feldman place Cruz’s text in an enveloping, spatialized soundscape that conjures a mythic battlefield of mind and body. Veering from ASMR stimulations and soothing sound baths, to echoes of sonic brainwashing and low-frequency attacks, this week-long series offers a ritualized meditation on the brutal logic of war, and on humankind’s capacity to endure, or exploit, the most depraved and hopeless of circumstances.

Audiences are encouraged to use headphones for the optimal sonic experience, and set aside some time to immerse themselves in the radical art of listening. 

Produced by CalArts Center for New Performance.

The George Project encompasses a series of digital and live explorations of Emilio Cruz’s When This War Is Over, You’re Going to Get It George, ©1975 Patricia Cruz / Estate of Emilio Cruz. Residency and early-stage development produced in association with Loose Change Productions. Special thanks to Carey Lovelace, John Breen, and Pat Cruz. 

A special preview of The George Project was heard as part of  Sequesterfest Vol. 8: Emilio Cruz & Dick Higgins, presented by Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago.

About the Artists

Emilio Cruz (1938-2004) was born in New York City where he lived for most of his life. An African-American born of Cuban descent, his continued deliberation on the mythic dimensions of human experience and expression carried through his multiple identities and activities as a visual artist, poet, playwright and musician. For many years this veteran artist worked on paintings that involved large themes alluding to archetypes from a transcultural web of belief systems and traditions. Cruz was convinced that in order to produce any art of significance, one must have a clear commitment to humanity and its universal moral imperatives. He said “…integrity is formulated by acknowledging those things that we find inform us about the nature of the human spirit. The word inspired means ‘in the spirit’. (Being) in the spirit is always avant garde. For this reason Palaeolithic art always seems new, because it defines the moment of inspiration, through certainty of truth.”

Cruz exhibited nationally and internationally and is represented in numerous museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; the National Museum of American Art and the Hirshhorn Museum of Art, Washington D.C.; the Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo, New York; and the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut. The artist received many honors, including a John Jay Whitney Fellowship and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

Juli Crockett is an Alabama-born, bona fide Renaissance woman: singer, songwriter, playwright, theater director, retired (undefeated) professional boxer, and amateur champion, ordained minister, Doctor of Philosophy, and leader of the alt-country/Americana genre-defying band The Evangenitals.

As a playwright/director, Crockett is best known for her adaptations of classic works of literature and philosophy. Published works include [or, the whale] (Delere Press) and Void Creation: Theater and the Faith of Signifying Nothing (Atropos Press). Her work has been presented at the REDCAT, Shakespeare Center, 24th Street Theatre, Bootleg Theater, and Hollywood Fringe (Los Angeles), Edinburgh Fringe (Scotland), Red Room (New York) and produced by TENT group (Portland, Maine), Portland Experimental Theater Ensemble (PETE), (Portland, OR), imaginary beasts (Boston, MA), and Padua Playwrights (Los Angeles, CA). 

Crockett has collaborated with composer Michael Feldman on multiple projects, including Double Double (Shakespeare Center), Jack Benny (Padua Playwrights), Cattywampus (South Coast Rep), Circle Jerk (REDCAT), the Evangenitals (band), and the making of a child.

Michael Feldman is a pianist, composer, theater sound designer, sound synthesist, and audio engineer.  Born and raised in Saratoga Springs NY, he began improvising on the piano at a very young age, later studying equal parts classical piano, jazz piano, and audio production.  Moving to LA in 2004, he began a career in audio post production.  He is known for his mixing work on The First Purge (Universal Pictures), Horse Girl (Netflix), Onyx Equinox (Crunchyroll Studios), Scream: The TV Series (MTV) and is currently mixing animated shows in Dolby Atmos® for AppleTV.  

Feldman is interested in the meditative and psychological possibilities of sound, keeping up his piano chops while pushing the envelope of new synthesis techniques and immersive audio technologies.  

Juli Crockett and Michael Feldman have collaborated on multiple projects, including Double Double (Shakespeare Center), Jack Benny (Padua Playwrights), Cattywampus (South Coast Rep), Circle Jerk (REDCAT), The Evangenitals (band), and the making of a child.

Creative Team

Director, Juli Crockett
Composer, Michael Feldman
Performer, Isabella Boose
Performer, Shaughn Buchholz
Performer, Hakan Cosar
Performer, Vidushi Chadha
Performer, Danesh Naghibzad
Performer, Grace Protzmann
Stage Manager, Irene Dong-hee Lee