My Barbarian wanted to take Miami on a boat ride. “We wanted to interact and be out in the public,” Alex Segade reveals over the phone from Los Angeles, where he just got out of rehearsal for My Barbarian’s first Miami show, coming up this Saturday at the Miami Light Project, as part of Miami-Dade College’s Museum of Art and Design’s “Living Together” performance series this season. ..
The time seems right for Karen Finley to be visiting Miami, to be performing in the black box space of the Miami Light Project at the Goldman Warehouse, and to present her latest performance-art manifesto about the current political landscape, “Unicorn Gratitude Mystery.” In the show, which she began developing as a response to the U.S. presidential election in 2016, Finley plays a unicor..
Getting into a true holiday spirit can be tough in South Florida, where palm trees, expansive beaches and balmy skies signal perpetual summer. Ever-earlier store décor and the incessant push to buy presents – more about commercialism than celebration – can make many of us feel more anxious than festive. Not to worry. Just squeeze in a trip to Miami’s Arsht Center, where City Theatre h..
One of the centerpieces of this year’s Art Week is not a static art work, and it is also one of the most sensuous and disorienting. Lebanese performance artist Tania El Khoury is producing her “Gardens Speak” for the week, courtesy of MDC Live Arts, a piece that has been applauded in cultural capitals throughout Europe and the United States. “It is a work,” she says, “that can only co..
Since its founding in 1996, City Theatre has been an important part of South Florida’s theatrical landscape, though the company’s visibility has always been highest in the month of June. That’s when its popular Summer Shorts festival takes place; for more than a decade, its high-profile venue has been the Carnival Studio Theater at Miami’s Arsht Center. Though the company founded by S..
If you were to predict who might become a nationally famous – OK, world-famous – multiplatform sex therapist, Dr. Ruth Westheimer would probably not be your first choice. Born in Germany in 1928 as Karola Ruth Siegel, the 4’7” Dr. Ruth seems more like the doting Jewish grandmother she is than a woman who used her nationally syndicated radio show, TV shows and 40-some books to help hun..
Actors’ Playhouse has been a musical powerhouse for much of its history. Launching its 30th anniversary season at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables, the company is revisiting some of that history with a new production of a made-for-South Florida favorite: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s “Evita.” As it did in 2000 when recent Tony Award winner Rachel Bay Jones starred as Eva Duart..
Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks won the Pulitzer Prize for “Topdog/Underdog” in 2002. But as Zoetic Stage’s superb new production of the play at Miami’s Arsht Center demonstrates, her funny, shocking tale of two brothers struggling to survive is as potent today as it was 15 years ago. Maybe more so, given the country’s deepening divide. Parks’ harrowing drama examines the complex relation..
We are born. We live, have families, grow old. We die, leaving those who loved us to mourn. Playwright Thornton Wilder brilliantly captured the eternal verities of our journey through life in “Our Town,” his 1938 Pulitzer Prize-winning play about life, love and death in a small New Hampshire town at the turn of the 20th century. If you’re at all drawn to theater, you’ve probably ..
“Miami Motel Stories: Little Havana” written by Juan C. Sanchez, directed by Tamilla Woodard, and produced by Juggerknot Theatre Company, is a site-specific, immersive theater experience that interweaves narrative, performance, history and architecture. Nine short plays take place in nine hotel rooms on the second floor of the Tower Hotel, right off Calle Ocho on Seventh Street. Sanchez, ..
As programs like the recent Dance USA conference continue to shine a spotlight on Miami’s flourishing dance community, choreographers are constantly looking for new ways to finance and get their work seen. Programs like Miami Light Project’s pioneering Here & Now commissioning series and Miami Theater Center’s Sand Box Series have proven that directly supporting generative artists is a key way for an artistic community to thrive. Stepping in as a new source of support for dance in Miami is Grass Stains, a commissioning and mentorship program developed by choreographer Pioneer Winter, expressly for artists looking to create site-specific dance.
With support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Grass Stains is launching its inaugural program with commissions to six Miami-based dance artists: Jenny Larsen, Agustina Woodgate, Marissa Nick, Hattie Mae Williams, Niurca Marquez, and Ana Mendez.
In addition to a $5,000 commission fee, commissioned artists will work one-on-one with a mentor, who in this first year is Guggenheim Fellow and Bessie Award-winning artist Stephan Koplowitz, dean of The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. Koplowitz will work with artists not only on the artistic development of their work, but on how to manage the careful balancing act of producer and artist.
It’s a program that Winter feels will deeply invest on the creative community of South Florida. “It’s a capital building project,” he says emphatically. “It’s not just like here is $5,000; it’s here is $5,000, AND here is a mentor to help you make strong work now, so you can continue making strong work in the future.”
Commissioned artists will spend the fall studying with Koplowitz remotely, before engaging in an in-person intensive in January 2016. It will be around this time that artists will start identifying the sites they will develop their work on. The final performances will begin premiering in June 2016.
Another interesting facet to the program -- each of the commissioned artists commits to assist in one another’s work. “Whether it’s ushering or it’s helping out with sound or something until you do realize that this isn’t just fixing the digital artists, this is a cohort … It’s like a fellowship almost, “ explains Winter.
It was this holistic investment approach to supporting both the artists and their work that was what attracted commissioned artist Ana Mendez to apply. “I like investigating how I make work. I’m looking forward to working with this group who will support me and give feedback, and I’ll give feedback,” she says.
By focusing on site-specific work, Winter also sees a way to further develop and marry the audiences for both performance and art in Miami. “I think site-specific performance is one of the best ways to blend in different genres of art and performance together, so I also see in the future more blending in of our audiences, which are for the most part pretty segregated.”
“I’m most excited about the lasting impact it will have, that this is not a one-shot thing, this is something that will continue, this is a link that the artist will now have to -- a really great mentor and artist.”
For her part, Mendez is eager to explore unique locations and get to work imbuing then with her creative work. “I want to charge a place with energy -- take an empty place and infuse it with magic, make a place not so special, special. I love that we have a mentor to do this.”
For more information, go to pioneerwinter.com/grass-stains/
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