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About Lola B.

Baltimore City - Station North A&E District

Lola B. Pierson's picture
Lola B. Pierson is  a highly collaborative artist  who was born and raised in Baltimore City. She is a playwright, writer, and director. Her work challenges theatrical form, incorporating elements of social media, performance art, visual art,  switcheroos, and boredom. Other words she has used to describe her work in bios include: presence, explore, dynamic, and representation. A graduate of Baltimore School for the Arts, Bard College, and Towson University, she is passionate... more

The First Thing That Happens

Ironically, one of the last things to happen before the pandemic was The First Thing That Happens, a weird new opera with music by the band Horse Lords. Combining the ability of both groups (Acme and Horse Lords) to produce incomprehensible and beautiful work, this piece explored the human tendency towards recognition and comprehension, despite the near impossibility of accurately conveying thought and emotion. The opera was constructed in front of the audience as it was being performed where language, visual elements, and sound operated interchangeably. The work questioned what we exchange in order to connect with other humans, and the painful process of making art.

The Institute for Counterfeit Memory

A piece made during and about the pandemic The Institute for Counterfeit Memory is a play in a box that gets sent to audience members at their homes. The piece chronicles the creation of false worlds using an mp3 player, diagrams, and small props. The audio track asks the audience to imagine what we would have happened if the pandemic hadn't, and to turn our attention to and be present with what happened instead.

The New York Times hailed The Institute for Counterfeit Memory as "bloodless," but The Washington Post said, "The Institute for Counterfeit Memory cannily employs the devices it provides to bring you back to the feeling of being in a room with other spectators, even as it reminds you that you are alone. Its ministrations so impressed me that when I turned over the final cue card instructing me to applaud, I actually did."

Follow No Strangers To The Fun Places

Written, co-directed, and designed by Lola B. Pierson.
Premiered in May 2018.

Follow No Strangers To The Fun Places explores the attempts of the artists creating it to manufacture beauty and meaning. One of the directors said this description is rather "workman-like," but even though the other director (who is also the playwright) is sick, the first director wouldn't take on the simple task of writing a one-sentence description of this show.

Later they came up with this description: Follow No Strangers To The Fun Places is loosely inspired by the structure of Italo Calvino’s 1979 postmodern novel, If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler. However, admirers of Calvino will most likely be keenly disappointed, since the play bears little similarity to the book. Instead of focusing (like Calvino’s novel) on the act reading, The Acme Corporation’s piece deconstructs the audience’s experience of watching theatre. Follow No Strangers To the Fun Places lovingly follows two characters’ repeated—and constantly interrupted—attempts at making a piece of theatre. Through constant breaks, disruptions and disconnections, the show breaks down theatrical narrative; explores the relation of fiction to real life; and ultimately tries to answer the question of why anyone would want to make art in the first place.

Follow No Strangers To The Fun Places was exactly 68 minutes long and was named Best Play of 2018 by Baltimore Magazine.

Putin on Ice (that isn't the real title of this show)

by Lola B. Pierson

Directed by Yury Urnov
Premiered September 2018.

Everything that happens on stage is a lie. This spectacle is a fantastical new portrait of Vladimir Putin. This ostentatious piece blends counterfeit ancient texts, falsified scientific data, and manipulated video evidence to create something entirely new and thrillingly strange. Putin is elevated from man to myth, stretching through time to become more deity than dictator. You are free to leave at any time.

Help

A collaborative project created, directed, and produced by Lola B. Pierson and Cricket Arrison, Help premiered on Adult Swim's Live Stream on October 26, 2018.

Help follows a woman through terrifying scenes into everyday situations. No matter what the scenario she can only say one word: Help.

Thr3e Zisters

Lola B. Pierson's Thr3e Zisters is an amalgamation of a modern adaption of Chekhov's Three Sisters, a literal translation of the original Russian text, dramatic criticism of Chekhov's work, and some "sick of this shit" feminist anger. The piece explores the innate conflict between performing classic texts and the changing roles of gender and performance in contemporary culture. Oh, and the sisters are zombies.

The Austin Chronicle's Top Ten Theatre Riches of 2015: #1
Austin Critics' Table Winner 2014/2015 "Best Production, Comedy"

  • Gesture

    The three sisters are taught gesture.
  • After the feast

    The three sisters relax after the zombie attack.
  • Preparation

    The three sisters get prepared for their performance.
  • Irina rebels

    Jenny Larson as Irina turning into a Zombie.
  • Script of The Thr3e Zisters

    "Olga: To-day thou all shinest, thou-seemest extraordinarily pretty. And Masha also is-pretty. Andre would be good, only he filled-out very, this to him not goes. And I grew-old, grew-thin strongly, from-that, it-must be, that am-cross in college, on girls. There to-day, I-am free, I at-home, and by me not aches head, I feel myself younger than yesterday. To-me twenty eight years only...All well, all from God, but to-me seems, if-I-should-go-out for-husband, and whole day sat at home, then this would be better."

    PDF icon Script of The Thr3e Zisters
  • Show poster

    Designed by Salvage Vanguard
  • Thr3e Zisters

    The three sisters, Andrei, and Vershinin pose for the audience.

The Determination of Azimuth

"Determination of Azimuth" is a math-space operetta that tells the story of Katherine Johnson, one of the true, but hidden heroes of the Space Age. Katherine was a human computer who rose above the limitations of color and gender to become one of the most trusted mathematicians in the space program and an essential part of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Directed by Lola B. Pierson with music originally by Andrew Bernstein as part of the BROS Six Pack in 2015. Remounted at Arena Players in 2018 with music by Zack Branch. Written by NASA employee Heather Graham and Eric Church.

Kaspar

Winner of Baltimore City Paper's Best of Baltimore "Best Use of Video In a Play"
Baltimore City Paper's Top Ten Stage Productions 2014

Directed with portions of the video production by Lola B. Pierson, the Acme Corporation's Kaspar was a contemporary version of Peter Handke's play from 1967. Using video, internet, and the audience members' own cell phones the show explored the idea that language and society simultaneously make us more connected, but less ourselves. Using over 60 local Baltimore artists the show parodied various shows and genres using the text of the original play. Included amongst them were Law & Order, exercise videos, the Eastern Motors commercial that plays on 92Q, movie trailers, soft core pornography, and unboxing videos.

Play

Co directed with set design by Lola B Pierson. This show was a combination of theatre and performance art. It was performed on loop for 24 hours continuously by the same actors.Considered one of Beckett’s seminal texts, Play presents three characters trapped in a Purgatory-like situation.

Winner of Baltimore City Paper's Best of Baltimore for "Best Production of 2013"

Office Ladies

Written and directed by Lola B Pierson, Office Ladies featured music composed and performed by Alex Scally. The show explores obsession, ants, the atomic bomb, and how we use art to construct meaning for ourselves.

  • Foumi's Ant Dance

    Sophie Hinderberger as Foumi dances about ants.
  • Self

    Jenna Rossman as Self talks to Rosie (Deirdre MacAllister) about holidays.
  • Midori makes it rain

    Caitlin Weaver as Midori sprinkles the lower level with rain made out of punched paper holes.
  • Script of Office Ladies

    "ROSIE: Hey, how is your ant infestation?

    FOUMI:Oh, you know what? I finally just decided to let them in the house. I mean if they want it that badly then as far as I’m concerned they can just come on in. It was easier than fighting them.

    ROSIE: I know exactly what you mean. We’re planning Christmas with my husband’s family right now and it’s just a complete nightmare."

    PDF icon Script of Office Ladies
  • Show Poster

    Designed by Jennifer Strunge
  • All six ladies

    Each of the ladies working at her desk.

Lola B.'s Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.