A Star Has Burnt My Eye is a multimedia theatrical meditation on the life and music of polymath Elizabeth “Connie” Converse (1924 – ?), who some have taken to calling “the first singer songwriter.” A prototype of the DIY artist, Converse wrote and self-recorded an extraordinary collection of songs in the early 1950’s before deliberately vanishing years later in despair of ever finding her audience. The show features a group of New York musicians, led by playwright and composer Howard Fishman, who perform her songs, read from her letters, and make the case for Converse’s particular genius, and her belated status as a great lost American artist.
A version of A Star Has Burnt My Eye had its world premiere at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) in November 2016, and was a New York Times Critics Pick. The production is directed by award-winning dance/theater artist Paul Lazar of Big Dance Theater, and coincides with Howard Fishman’s residency on Converse this semester at Skidmore.
Presented with support from the Skidmore College: President’s Discretionary Funds, Dean of Faculty’s Office, Tang Museum, Theater Dept., English Dept., Gender Studies, Art Dept., and Music Dept.