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December 2012 Archives

December 1, 2012

La MaMa La Galleria to Exhibit "From the Edge: Performance Design in the Divided States of America"

Bold, daring works from a United States national exposition of theatrical designs assembled for the 2011 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space will be exhibited at the La MaMa La Galleria in New York City. An opening reception is slated for 7 p.m. Thursday, December 6, 2012, with many of the artists and designers exhibited in attendance.

FROM THE EDGE: PERFORMANCE DESIGN IN THE DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA is a one-of-a-kind installation of photographs and work processes from 37 politically compelling productions from across the country. Sponsored by USITT, "From the Edge" represented the United States at last year's Prague Quadrennial, the world celebration of performance design and architecture held every four years in Prague since 1967. This showing in New York will highlight USITT's continuing efforts to document and foreground performance design in America, and introduce this exhibit to a new audience. By presenting this installation in an East Village gallery space, "From the Edge" assumes a cross-disciplinary mode by bridging the yawning abyss between the white box (museums, galleries) and the black box (traditional theater spaces) so that design processes and objects can be seen and appreciated, much like visual art, on a pedestal of aesthetic contemplation.

"From the Edge," which is presented with additional support from Carnegie-Mellon University, spotlights the country's edgiest performance-makers, breakthrough productions and provocative theater companies, all of whom are largely new to the world stage. The installation richly exemplifies the visceral blurring of performance, theater, cinema, dance and other art modes. Rock musicals, live-art events, irreverent performance art, devised theater, digital theater, immersive environments, site-determined works and genre-defying works have stretched traditional definitions and pushed the limits of performance design as imagined in the U.S.

These innovative productions were selected from 360 submissions by artistic director Susan Tsu and curators Chris Barreca, Linda Cho, Don Tindall, and Allen Hahn. Randy Gener, co-producer of the La MaMa La Galleria exhibit, acted as curatorial adviser during the selection process. Tsu conceived of the socio-political theme in order to identify theater companies tackling the issues consuming Americans today including war, ecology, political polarities, race, gender, and religion.

The period in consideration, 2007 to 2011, was a deeply troubling environment for U.S. artists, who responded in complex ways to societal issues and political concerns. "From the Edge" documents how U.S. theatremakers wrestled with core American values during the intense unraveling of the Aught Decade, a period that coincided with a painful economic recession and a dramatic presidential transition in the White House.

Among the featured works are Tony-award winning designer Kevin Adams' ground-breaking lighting and Christine Jones's arresting scenery for the Broadway show "American Idiot," the Goodman Theatre of Chicago's Broadway production of "Desire Under the Elms," Paul Chan's "Waiting for Godot" set in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, and scenes from "Hell House," a New York take on the Evangelical Christian "haunted houses" that aim to scare teens with depictions of pregnant cheerleaders and gay men dying of AIDS. Also on view are director/designer Nancy Keystone's fantasia on rocket history "Apollo" and her arresting production of Suzan-Lori Parks's "The America Play," Rob Roth's "Screen Test," Neil Patel's set for "This Beautiful City" by The Civilians, Brian Sidney Bembridge's wrestling stage for "The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity," and Basil Twist's "Arias with a Twist."

Special recognition is given to companies considered to be founders of innovative and political theatre. Tribute is also given to American theater greats August Wilson and Ellen Stewart.

Originally displayed in an environmental design of a garage designed by William Bloodgood of Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the U.S. pavilion reflected the workspace of seminal performance groups such as the Wooster Group and La MaMa E.T.C. The outer walls were defaced with graffiti, while the interior was furnished with sawhorses and makeshift furniture, and splashed with paint in the frenzy of creativity. Jutting out on the roof's edge was a fanged dinosaur-type monster engorging the figure of Uncle Sam, a playful inflatable structure by performance artist Pat Oleszko entitled "WarUSaurus." A model will represent the exhibit structure.

The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) has organized and sponsored the American participation in the PQ since the USA began participating in 1975. "From the Edge" is the 10th exhibit representing America in this singular world event dedicated to design for performance.

Founded in 1984, La MaMa La Galleria is a nonprofit gallery committed to nurturing artistic experimentation. As an extension of the internationally acclaimed La Mama E.T.C., La Galleria encourages an active dialogue between the visual arts, new media, performance, curatorial, literary and educational projects.

The La Galleria exhibit, located at 6 East 1st Street, between Bowery and Second Avenue, will be on display Wednesday through Sunday between 1 and 7:30 p.m. from December 6 to December 16, 2012.

Media Contacts:
Barbara E.R. Lucas, Director of Communications, USITT, 800-938-7488, ext 101, Barbara@usitt.org
Matt Nasser, Director of LaMaMa La Galleria, lamamagalleria@gmail.com

December 14, 2012


Broadway Revealed is an exhibition showcasing the photographs of local artist Stephen Joseph. Over the past decade, Joseph has been documenting the behind-the-scenes magic of acclaimed Broadway productions, now the Bedford Gallery is offering a glimpse into the fantastical and weird backstage world of world class theater. Be sure to join us on December 6th, 6-8pm for our opening reception.

December 6-February 17, 2013
[Opening Reception: December 6th, 6-8PM]

Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts
1601 Civic Drive
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Admission: General $5.00; Students (with student I.D.) $3.00;
Children 12 and under free
Ticket holders to events in the Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts, free on ticketed date. ?

Bedford Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. The gallery is also open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings 6:00-8:00 p.m. and other evenings 6:00-8:00 p.m. when there are theater performances in the Regional Center. Call 925/295-1417 for information about specific evenings. The gallery is closed all Mondays.

Bedford Gallery is located in the Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts at 1601 Civic Drive, four blocks south of the Walnut Creek BART station. For general information, call 925/295-1417 or reichert@bedfordGallery.org. Bedford Gallery is a program of the City of Walnut Creek and also receives support from Diablo Regional Arts Association.

BROADWAY REVEALED is sponsored by Diablo Regional Arts Association, Lesher Foundation, and the Contra Costa TIMES

About December 2012

This page contains all entries posted to QUE PASA in December 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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