Welcome to the virtual half-life of Nightjar Apothecary.
NIGHTJAR APOTHECARY produces theatrical works that are forays into the cluttered back alleys of the history and philosophy of western science, where ricocheting facts are captured, wrapped in subtle fictions, and delivered efficiently by quirky narrator-guides who carry audiences along for a stimulating ride. They are artful inquiries into what makes us tick (as well as what might make us sick, and the attending belief that whatever it may be we’ll find a cure in time).
Nightjar Apothecary holds the age-old mirror up to nature, allowing audiences an opportunity to reflect upon fundamental practices and modes of thinking that underlie everyday life in the 21st century. This particular mirror—salvaged from a shuttered seaside fun-house—shows as well a parallel world of what might have been, or what yet could be. Through the unsilvered cracks the small circle of spectators witnesses a performer tangling with the roots of theatre, attempting to tap its potential as a regenerative social act.
N is for NIGHTJAR
“But about the nightjar; though ugly, he does a lot of good work with that big mouth of his by flying about in the dark catching flies… A naturalist has made a very careful study of him… In one bird, for instance, he found…
15 June chafers.
67 Swift moths.
40 Turning Dart moths.
8 Great Yellow Underwing moths.
Some meal that! How many? 130, isn’t it?”
Caprimulgus minor Americanus (Caprimulgus vociferus)
The Indians say these Birds were never known ‘till a great massacre was made of their countryfolks by the English, and that they are the Souls or departed Spirits of the massacred Indians. Abundance of people here look upon them as Birds of ill omen, and are very melancholy if one of them happens to light upon their house, or near their door, and set up his cry (as they will sometimes upon the very threshold) for they verily believe one of the family will die very soon after.
—Mark Catesby (1683-1749), The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands: containing the figures of birds, beasts, fishes, serpents, insects, and plants. Vol I. (1754)