“In Annunciation, Mary says "no" to Gabriel, catalyzing a crisis of faith for the angel. He retires his wings and takes up a sales job hawking vacuum cleaners. There's an imaginary Mary and an embodied one. God Mama appears in tap shoes, along with Darwin and dozens of dancers who serve as a Greek movement chorus. Violinist Chip Epsten, performing an original score, threads through the action on stage. Miller performs a series of monologues that merge esoteric ideas with mythical tales and personal history. These dynamic and skillfully developed scenes anchor the work and highlight Miller’s strengths: her grounded voice, easy presence, and sense of humor. She has a knack for organically extending the life of her storytelling through gesture. Her graceful and provocative narratives elicit Mary’s dimensionality: She is at once a frightened girl, an apparition, an expectation, and a dashboard novelty.””

- Blake Beckham, Creative Loafing Atlanta

Celeste Miller with a cast of over thirty performers including dancers, actors, musicians, a fifth grade science class and their teacher, and other members of the local Atlanta community, “The Annunciation” presented a different outlook on what might have happened if the world's most beloved religious mother, Mary, had said "NO". A combination of dance, live music, spoken text, and video, and draws its content from the Gospel of Luke and Charles Darwin's Origin of Species. Gabriel time travels to meet Charles Darwin while Joseph meets a bdelliod rodifer, a species that has been reproducing without sex for over 85 million years, and who convinces Joseph that virgin reproduction is absolutely possible.  Meanwhile, Mary decides she wants to be a scientist and sets off to meet Charles Darwin, while the disappointed Angel Gabriel enrolls in a door-to-door vacuum salesman course to hone his skills to get people to say “yes’.

Premiere of the duet performed at the American Dance Festival, before being developed into a full length work with a cast of 30 for 7 Stages Theatre, Atlanta.


Music by Chip Epsten

Lighting Design: Jessica Coale


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