The Source for Media Coverage of The Arts in Miami.
Articles, reviews, previews and features on dance and music performances and events.
Sign Up
No one logged in. Log in

Artburst Portal

The stage is a fixed space. It is the axis around which story, conflict, and character revolve. When that fixed space shifts, new possibilities emerge. Starting Wednesday, April 23, a shifting site for theater emerges at Deering Estate, a 444-acre environmental, archeological, and historical preserve along the edge of Biscayne Bay in Palmetto Bay. Four local playwrights have collaborated ..

Nearly two years ago, Miami’s Zoetic Stage took its first trip into the world of Harold Pinter with an intense, superbly acted production of the Nobel laureate’s 1978 hit “Betrayal” in the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater. Now Zoetic is delving further back into the Pinter canon with a riveting production of “The Caretaker.” This 1960 work is, like “Betrayal,” a three-character ..

Imagine animation created live on stage, with mini backdrops, puppets, and low-tech props. Channel it through multiple cameras and mix it live into a projected film. Add a string quartet and a DJ. This is the structure of “Nufonia Must Fall,” an upcoming project presented by MDC Live Arts. The show is slated for appearances around the world, from Asia and the Middle East to Europe and..

That Actors’ Playhouse opened its production of Robert Schenkkan’s “All the Way” on the same day that the American Health Care Act was pulled from a vote by the House of Representatives is ironic and more than a little instructive. The much-touted replacement for Obamacare didn’t have enough sure votes to ensure passage, as Speaker Paul Ryan told President Donald Trump, so the “replac..

The take-no-prisoners world of high finance and ruthless business deals has long been a tantalizing subject for artists. From filmmaker Oliver Stone’s 1987 “Wall Street,” with its antihero Gordon Gekko spouting “greed is good,” to Damien Lewis’ slick hedge fund mogul Bobby Axelrod in the Showtime series “Billions,” movies and television allow those of us in the 99 percent a glimpse at wha..

Miami’s venerable M Ensemble is a company that sometimes dips into its rich history to mount fresh productions of past shows. For its second production in its versatile new home at the Sandrell Rivers Theater in Liberty City, the troupe is revisiting Darren Canady’s “Brothers of the Dust.” Winner of the 2012 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award from the American Theatre Critics Association, the ..

“El cuento de Rene,” actor and director Larry Villanueva’s adaptation of Cuban writer Rene Ariza’s short stories into a work of theater, is more than an homage. It’s a statement on oppression. Ariza was sentenced to eight years in prison for trying to send manuscripts abroad. He was banned from creating theater in Cuba and condemned as “counter-revolutionary.” Ariza served five years of h..

Those who attend film festivals aren't looking for the mainstream, Cineplex offerings. That isn't the goal. Amid the indie films, the foreign entries, documentaries, and the world premieres, there's another reason to canvass the program for something you might not see anywhere else. Given the Miami Film Festival is the only major film festival to be produced by a college or university..

{This interview was conducted before the film making team went on to amazing Oscar success.} Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney and filmmaker Barry Jenkins are nine miles away from the Liberty City housing projects where they both grew up, but they are worlds away. They are at the picturesque Standard Hotel to talk about the new movie "Moonlight," with a screenplay by Jenkins base..

First things first. Actor-playwright Elena María García does explain the meaning of “¡FUÁCATA!” somewhere deep into the 90-minute running time of Zoetic Stage’s “García Or a Latina’s Guide to Surviving the Universe.” The familiar Cuban term, she confides from her perch on Michael McKeever’s Mondrian-evocative set, suggests the sound of a slap. As in, “¡Fuácata! You really stepped in i..

Rude Mechs: Gaming, Evolution and Performance in the 'Now'


Photo:
Written by: Elizabeth Hanly
Article Rating

Treasure hunts offered to an audience as an integral part of a theater performance? An interactive immersive event inspired by evolutionary biology and the Brontës?

Yep. All that and more as maverick theater collective Rude Mechs comes to the Lightbox at Goldman Warehouse presenting Now Now Oh Now, with several performances every weekend night starting Friday (limited to 30 audience participants for each) and running through March 1.

The group, founded in 1995 in Austin, Tex., describes itself as a “genre-defying cocktail of big ideas, cheap laughs and dizzying spectacle.” And it has a track record to prove it. Back in 2013, MDC Live Arts -- a co-sponsor of this series -- introduced the Rude Mechs to Miami with a performance where the ensemble reduced A Street Car Named Desire to the lines of secondary actors in a clever play on method acting. Small wonder Rude Mechs won the award for the best new play by an ensemble, at what is among the world’s most innovative arts gatherings, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

We talked with company member Shawn Sides, who describes herself as the one dressed as Stevie Nicks at the performances.

So what is all this about a treasure hunt at the Lightbox?

SS: Rude Mechs has discovered that our audiences are happiest, and we are happiest, when the audience is actively participating in a work, not just watching. It’s then that a tremendous amount of heat is generated, and theater becomes alive. But I’m not talking about pulling some poor soul up to a mike or pushing somebody suddenly in the spotlight. So yes, there will be a treasure hunt.

Our audiences at each performance will be small, 30 people. And during the second act our audience will find themselves becoming members of a clan that must follow clues and solve a puzzle to reach the third act.

Does anybody stay lost in the second act?

No, no. We couldn’t have that. But I don’t want to say too much more. It would spoil the fun. But know this, a different puzzle will be used at each of our performances.

Then would you tell us how Rude Mechs worked with audiences in one of your previous plays?

One of our audience favorites was Get Your War On. The play played with themes of carnivals and the myth of The Western [movie genre]. The play’s mechanics revolved around when the audience would watch carnival antics and when they would participate.

So, we presented our audience a carnival with booths where they could learn how to tie rope or have a Margarita or talk into a video camera about all the ways their parents messed them up. We also had various foods fried in the shapes of famous Westerns. A great time was had by all.

Your Miami presentation Now Now Oh Now is billed as “Darwin meets Dungeons & Dragons,” science meets gaming and science fiction. Can you tell us anything about the ideas that are at play here?

I’ll say this. Perhaps “survival of the fittest” cannot explain why one bird loves one particular song.

Yep, the treasure hunt is on.

MDC Live Arts & Miami Light Project present Rude Mechs: Now Now Oh Now, Friday and Saturday: 6:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m.; Sunday: 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 6: p.m. through March 1 at The Lightbox at Goldman Warehouse, 404 N.W. 26th St., Miami; tickets $25, $10 for MDC students; 305-237-3010, or mdclivearts.org; 305-358-5885, or miamilightproject.com.

Leave a comment...
Must be Logged in
No one logged in. Log in
Leave a comment...
Was this helpful?
No Very

Captcha Image

About The writer

This year’s TransAtlantic Festival features local dance music stars, a Malian guitarist known as “the Hendrix of the Sahara,” and something unique: a Haitian rara band comprised entirely of women...

If the political movement that saw its birth after the November elections is in the market for a composer to set the score for its many marches, Frederic Rzewski might be a strong contender f..

In a combo that promises to be both sublime and rip-roaring, three generations of Cuban and Cuban diaspora musicians come together this Saturday at The Miami-Dade County Auditorium to celebra..

Despite an end to the “wet foot, dry foot” policy and other changes in the Florida-Cuba dynamic, Global Cuba Fest 2017 will continue to satiate the souls of South Floridians with a month-long..

Guitarist, composer and producer Josemi Carmona embodies the spirit of Nuevo Flamenco. Rooted firmly in tradition, he has proven a restless, curious artist, ignoring the boundaries of genres ..

Following an intense National YoungArts Week, the signature program held annually in Miami, YoungArts is proud to announce their 2017 regional programs that will expand the offerings from New..

Seduced by the jazz in his dad’s music collection, a kid from Perth, Western Australia, takes up the saxophone at age 13. He grows up, moves to the United States and becomes a star. Dreams do..

Half way through his set at the North Beach Bandshell, singerDavid Crosby (http://www.davidcrosby.com/), 75, who has been to a festival or two in his illustrious career, paused between songs..

Florida in February has its own magic: gorgeous light, cooler temperatures, clear skies and soft sea breezes. Now, imagine those breezes carrying the moaning strains of Esperanza Spalding’s b..

No hay que viajar a otro país para disfrutar en vivo de la música cubana del momento, la más innovadora, la que le da la vuelta al mundo. Basta con asistir a Global Cuba Fest, aquí mismo, en ..

Nadie como el bailarín y coreógrafo español Antonio Gades para describir el arte que lo hizo internacionalmente famoso cuando vivía: “Un extracto de fuego y de veneno, eso es el flamenco”. ..

Desde Las troyanas de Eurípides hasta “Guernica” de Picasso, o de la canción “Blowing in the Wind” de Bob Dylan al diseño de las gorras rosadas que llevaron miles de mujeres en las protestas ..

En un discurso de 1977, el escritor argentino Jorge Luis Borges desmintió la idea de que la ceguera fuera un mundo de oscuridad cuando describió su propia “modesta ceguera”. Hablaba de ciert..

En su discurso de recibimiento del Premio Nobel, el poeta chileno Pablo Neruda afirmó que el poeta no es un "pequeño dios." De hecho expresó que el mejor poeta “es el hombre que nos entrega e..

En la cultura yoruba, y sobre todo en sus manifestaciones caribeñas como la afrocubana, las historias contadas oralmente por generaciones ocupan un lugar esencial. Esas historias, muchas de e..

En la serie artística Out in the Tropics, la tarima no discrimina, la sensibilidad de los intérpretes es inclusiva y todo público es bienvenido. Producción de la entidad local sin fines d..

El flamenco es una música de fusión. La tradición es de sobrevivencia, de cambio constante y adaptación al lugar y los tiempos. Mientras el sonido puede ser diferente, el espíritu de Nuevo Fl..

La problemática del cambio climático está que arde. Sobre todo en un estado como la Florida, en primera fila para sufrir consecuencias drásticas. Llegar al público con este mensaje e inspirar..