By Cicero A. Estrella
Ghosts. Seances. And some raucous music.
Heather Christian lays to rest the souls that haunt her in the original film of the acclaimed musical seance “Animal Wisdom,” as presented by San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater and the Woolly Mammoth Theatre. The film will be released on Broadway on Demand and will be available to stream starting May 15.
Creator-singer-songwriter-soothsayer Christian shapeshifts between rockstar, folklorist and high priestess as she conjures a constellation of souls in an effort to confront her family’s mythologies.
Christian and her fellow cast members perform ferocious music that fuses blues, gospel and folk. The film was adopted from the acclaimed stage production at the Bushwick Starr, the Obie Award-winning nonprofit theater. “Animal Wisdom” was filmed at Washington, D.C.’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre in March 2021.
Vogue called the production, “Dazzlingly original! A combination requiem mass, seance, revival meeting, metaphysical lecture, rock concert.”
The New York Times praised it as “Heather Christian’s truly one-of-a-kind opus.”
Christian (who plays Ella, Doris and Heather) is joined by Sasha Brown, Eric Farber, B.E. Farrow and Maya Sharpe. Amber McGinnis (“International Falls”) directed the film, with stage direction by Emilyn Kowaleski (“Delicious Filth”).
Tickets are now on sale at animalwisdomfilm.com for three pay-what-you-wish prices of $19, $29 and $49. The film will be available for streaming through June 13.
For information on the A.C.T., log onto act-sf.org.
Photos courtesy of A.C.T.