Winner of the 2007 STAGE Script Competition for new plays about science and technology, Elyse Singer's Frequency Hopping is based on the remarkable true story of the collaboration in 1940 between Hollywood icon Hedy Lamarr and "bad boy" composer George Antheil on a patent for a military communications device now recognized as one of the models for wireless communication. It is a darkly comic work about the rhythms of human connection, and the relationships between beauty and intelligence, science and art, celebrity and identity. The piece will expand the definitions of a traditional dramatic narrative through its integration of live performance with 3-dimensional projection, MIDI-controlled acoustic music and digital animation.
The world premiere production of Elyse Singer's Frequency Hopping features a full-length score composed by Joshua Fried and performed by the fully automated Ballet Mécanique Orchestra. The 25-piece orchestra was originally created by Eric Singer and the League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots (LEMUR) for the 2006 Dada Exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Multimedia artist Elaine J. McCarthy (projection designer for Broadway's Wicked and Spamalot) creates Frequency Hopping's production design, including 3-D projections. Eight Disklavier player pianos have been donated by YAMAHA for the length of the run. On June 7th, as a fundraiser for the project, Hourglass presents the NYC premiere of LEMUR's Ballet mecanique.