Audience Guide: A Theatergoer s Resource

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1 RACHEL LAMPERT, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR SEASON Audience Guide: A Theatergoer s Resource Written and edited by Jenni Kuhn for the Audience Development Department of Kitchen Theatre Company Please Return Guide to Lobby When Finished Contents: About Kitchen Theatre Company... 1 The Creative Team... 1 The Writers/Performers... 1 An Introduction to Solo Performance... 3 Performer Relationships... 4 Origins of Solo Performance... 5 Revolutionary Solo Performers... 6 Solo Performers to Watch Works Cited... 10

2 About Kitchen Theatre Company Kitchen Theatre Company burst on the scene in It was the dream of a group of talented and determined theater artists to create a place where they could work together and hone their craft. From a skeleton staff of three, Kitchen Theatre Company, now in its 24th season, has grown to house a six person artistic and administrative staff, six professional interns, two trainees, often one or two college interns, and over one hundred volunteers all working to keep the important conversations happening. Our Mission In its intimate performance space, Kitchen Theatre Company (KTC) creates professional theatre that challenges the intellect, excites the imagination, informs, and entertains. KTC nurtures a community of diverse artists and brings excellent art to the community and beyond by: Developing and producing new plays, exploring established repertory and contributing to the field of American theatre Encouraging collaboration and offering a safe haven for experimentation. Providing programming that inspires young people, opens the door to newcomers, and speaks to a broad cross-section of our community Advancing a culture of theatre-going Theater is a collaborative art form everyone works together to put on a show. See who is involved with the production of the Solo Play Festival below. For complete biographies, see the lobby kiosk or the program insert. The Creative Team Director, Mami Confessions: Susan G. Reid Director, Black Sheep: Nicole Watson Director, June 16 & Mother Land: Rachel Lampert Scenic/Lighting Design: Tyler M. Perry Lighting Design, Black Sheep: Andrew Scharwath Scenic Charge: Tim Borden The Writers/Performers Mami Confessions (March 25 March 28) Guitarist, Mami Confessions: Doug Robinson Assistant Director: Zoe Benditt Dramaturg/Assistant Director: Jenni Kuhn Properties Master: Meagan Chaudoin Production Stage Manager: Jen Schilansky* Assistant Stage Manager: Jessica Goldade * Member, Actors Equity Association (AEA) LORRAINE RODRIGUEZ-REYES* received her MFA from Harvard s American Repertory Theatre (A.R.T.)/Moscow Art Theatre Institute For Advanced Theatre Training illuminating an acting career that has led her to the stages of Cherry Lane Theatre (Verse Chorus Verse), Mint Theatre (On The Edge), Repertorio Español (La Gringa), Theatre Row (A Bicycle Country, Dog Day Afternoon), Columbia Stages (Three Sisters), La Tea Theatre (Glass Chord, The Importance of Being Blanca), Moscow Art Theatre (Dostoevsky Demons), and Melancholy, a show she did at the beginning of her career at Harvard, directed by Scott Zigler; and the role of La Extraña in De Dónde at The Looking Glass Theatre which earned her an OOBER Award. Some of her Television credits include: HBO's The Sopranos, recurring guest star role on ABC's What Would You Do?, Diversity Inclusion Playbook for ESPN, and Cookin' in Brooklyn for Discovery. Film: Eli Moran, Taught to Hate, The Stick Up Kids, Willets Point (for which she was nominated as Best Dramatic Actress at The Long Island International Film Expo). lorrainerodriguezreyes.com Black Sheep (April 1 April 5) DARIAN DAUCHAN* is an award-winning solo performer, actor, and poet who has appeared on both Broadway (Twentieth Century) and Off-Broadway Theatre (Jean Cocteau Rep., Classical Theatre of Harlem). TV and Film credits include: Law and Order, Nickelodeon's Bet the House as Darian the "SoundFX" Guy, and the Lionsgate feature film Things Never Said. He was a member of the 2006 National Poetry Slam Team for the legendary Nuyorican Poets Cafe, was crowned the 2007 Urbana Grand Slam Champion for the Bowery Poetry Club, was a 2008 Nuyorican Grand Slam Finalist, and was the 2009 New Word Artist for Urban Word NYC in conjunction with the Dance Theatre Workshop now known as New York Live Arts. He's also the 2012 winner of The Jerome Foundation's Stakeholder's Choice Award, and one of his most recent shows Death Boogie, A Hip Hop Poetry Musical, was the 2012 winner of two Edinburgh Fringe Festival Musical Theatre Matters Awards for BEST New Music and BEST Innovation of a Musical. His band The Mighty Third Rail is a 2015 American Music Abroad Finalist for the U.S. State Department, and in 2014 they performed at SPKRBOX, the first Hip Hop Theater Festival in Norway. Black Sheep (commissioned by Kitchen Theatre Company with support from the New York State Council on the Arts) is his fifth solo show. June 16 (April 8 12) Mother Land (April 8 12) RYAN HOPE TRAVIS* is delighted to perform at Kitchen Theatre Company once again. He is returning to the Kitchen after creating and directing two works (Steady and Legend) based on the 50th Anniversary of the March from Selma to Montgomery. Each play received its premiere in Syracuse, NY. Ryan recently appeared in the world premieres of Slashes of Light, a Civic Ensemble and Kitchen Theatre Company collaboration, and A Shout In Salty Water (New York State Council on the Arts). Other regional credits include: The Color Purple, The Fantasticks, The Tempest, Into The Woods, and Side Show (Redhouse), From Then To Now and Wine, Watermelon, The Word (The Black Academy of Arts and Letters). Select film credits include: Nugget, Once in a Good Many Million Times, Hallow, and Last Stop. MICHELLE COURTNEY BERRY is a mompreneur, performer, playwright, Reiki Master Teacher and the second Poet Laureate of Tompkins County. She won the "Best of Ithaca Actor/Actress" Award in winter 2014 and has received a CAP Award for Fiction and a Cave Canem Fellowship in Poetry. Michelle has appeared on "Good Morning America," and has opened for His Holiness the 14 th Dalai Lama, Dorothy Cotton, Mos Def and Amiri Baraka, Howard Zinn, and Dr. Maya Angelou. She has written four plays (Song for Root and River, The Month of Not Speaking, Labor, and Mother Land), three chapbooks of poetry, one stand-up comedy show, and the well-received memoir, Breathe. Other favorite performances include: Love, Loss and What I Wore (Actors Workshop of Ithaca, 2014 & 2013); Kate in Good People (The Homecoming Players, 2014); The Vagina Monologues, (Cornell University, 2013); Claire in Proof (Hangar Theatre- 2002); Woman #4 in Cornered in the Dark (Kitchen Sink Production, 2000); and The Lady in Blue in For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf (Renaissance Theatre Company, 1999). Born in Manhattan and raised in the Catskills, Michelle holds a graduate degree in Communication from Cornell University and a dual-ba degree in English, Literature & Rhetoric and Political Science from Binghamton University, where she was a Presidential Scholar and Commencement Speaker. She is thrilled to be back home at the Kitchen and share the evening with Ryan Hope Travis, who is an amazing talent. Michelle dedicates her performances in Mother Land to her beloved Nina Berry-Lofthouse, a great actress, singer, and thinker who granted her the gift of Motherhood. & 1 2

3 An Introduction to Solo Performance What is solo performance? The genre of solo performance is as complex as the performers who create and realize solo shows. Solo performance encompasses many styles and many forms. It can take on the form of a documentary, verbatim drama such as Anna Deavere Smith s Twilight Los Angles, 1992 in which Smith plays several characters based off of interviews with witnesses to the LA race riots after the Rodney King beating. Solo performance can take on the form of a series of original character monologues like the wacky, yet insightful characters that made Whoopi Goldberg a legend. Solo artists like David Cale and Brenda Wong Aoki spin together tales of fictional characters inspired by their own lives, emulating what the first storytellers in human history must have sounded like. Spalding Gray, Tim Miller, Holly Hughes, and Lisa Kron mastered the autobiographical solo performance style that is popular among solo performers today. However, in all of its multitudes, all solo performances share a few things in common: the performer and writer is the same person, the piece tells a narrative story with one or multiple characters, and the characters have a development arc. The Performer/Writer Solo performance has been growing in popularity since the 1970s. Solo performance offers performers the unique chance to both write and perform their stories. Jo Bonney, an accomplished solo performance director, attributes the growing popularity of solo performance in the latter half of the twentieth century to the sociological shift in Western societies from a community based society to an individual centric society. Bonney, in the introduction to her book, Extreme Exposure: An Anthology of Solo Performance Texts from the Twentieth Century, suggests: Solo performance, in its naked presentation of a single persona, is very much a product and reflection of a century that has given rise to the hedonism of the twenties, the radical individualism and activism of the sixties to the so-called me decade of the eighties. The nineties finally made room for the previously marginalized, diverse voices of this society, and the solo form has tracked these developments. What isn t solo performance? What makes solo performance unique and compelling? It is common for solo performance to get confused with other dramatic forms such as stand-up comedy, one-person shows, or performance art. While these art forms are uniquely fascinating in their own right, they are inherently different from solo performance. Stand-up comedy lacks a cohesive narrative and a presence of characters that are fully embodied and developed by the performer. One-person shows are written by a playwright for another person to perform whereas solo performers work is often unimaginable to be performed by any other person other than the writer. According to the Museum of Modern Art, performance art is a form in which the artist s body is the medium for the art, and the actions that he or she takes is the art itself. Performance art make use of text, props, visual art, and sound much like theater but the artistic purpose is where the difference lies. Solo performance ultimately seeks to tell a story, whereas performance art seeks to make a statement through the artists actions; it lacks a narrative and characters, and character development. Because theater and art serve the needs of expression of the time, as the importance of the individual in the West grew, the need to tell stories alone came bursting out of artists. Solo performance allows performers to tell their stories, literally through their own voices and bodies. Perhaps the proliferation of solo work lies in the desire of an artist to maintain aesthetic control of his/her material. With solo performance having its roots in so many art forms, the potential for expression is limitless. Without the buffer of an ensemble of actors and the need to deliver lines on cue, the performer is free to follow the rhythms and dimensions of each particular audience and locale. No longer was the writer s story and characters left to be interpreted by a team of many artists and theater professionals but now solo artists could look to themselves, as the primary guiding force behind the storytelling. With solo performance, the artist had complete control over their story, the message within it, and the means by which they would relay that story to the audience. The Performer/Audience Relationship Ruth Draper, one of the earliest solo performers, once said about solo artists relationship with an audience, the key is to bring the audience up onto the stage and into the scene with you. It is they who must give you even more than you give them in the way of imagination and creative power. Solo performance creates a far more personal relationship between the performer and the audience than a traditional play does. It eliminates the illusion that the characters are acting or speaking for anyone other than the audience. There is no illusion that the story is being told for anyone but the present audience. The act of lone storytelling says to the audience: I am talking to you. This story is for you. Solo performance transforms the audience into a character in the play, binding the performer and the audience together, both in need of one another. Bonney says it best: More than any other form of live performance, the solo show expects and demands the active involvement of the people in the audience. They are watched as they watch, they are directly addressed, their energy resonates with that of the lone artist, and their presence in the room can trigger not only new levels of performance but, more interestingly, new material. The presence of a single performer in front of an audience of many instantly creates conflicting roles for both performer and viewer great power and great vulnerability. The Performer/Director Relationship and the Development Process The director and performer relationship in solo performance is far different from the relationship that a director builds when working with multiple actors on a script by an absent playwright. The solo performance director can wear many hats during a rehearsal process and often assists with the development of a solo show. When performers and directors work this way, the piece can take on a devised essence one in which the performer/writer has planted the seed and the director and performer sow it together. Seth Barrish, a solo performance director, shares the roles he plays while assisting performers with solo work development: With a solo show the director plays a much stronger role in the development of the piece as a dramaturg, editor, acting coach, advisor, sometimes therapist and general liaison between the audience and the writer/performer. There are a few other peculiarities to solo show development. Throughout the process I act as a sounding board. Often writers need to express concerns and ideas they have. I attempt to create a safe space where the writer can communicate with me without any fear of judgment. Sometimes I ll get calls in the middle of the night Hey, are you up? Yeah. What do you think of this idea? I think I should do my entire show naked while riding a unicycle. Um cool let me think on that. No matter how absurd the idea may seem to me, I try not to shoot it down right away. Sometimes the writer needs the freedom to go down paths that are wonky at best. I believe that cutting off creative impulses prematurely can breed fear and inadvertently inhibit the writing potential. Sometimes a writer needs to express deeply personal feelings. I have on many occasions had a writer bare their soul to me. Sometimes personal writing digs deep and I feel it s my job to create an environment where a writer can explore anything they want. In this sense I treat the developmental process as a sacred act. To learn about the current show's director, check out the interview with the director on the kiosk in the lobby! 3 4

4 5 Where does solo performance get its roots? For as long as humans have walked this earth, they have told stories. Before the Greeks took the stage and embodied the first characters, mimicking real life with dialogue and action, ancient tribes and societies bestowed the task of keeping their histories alive to a single person. This single history Medieval minstrels keeper relayed his or her society s shared history to the rest of the tribe orally and became the first story tellers and solo performers. As time went on, solo storytellers remained a part of life. Dialogue eventually evolved out of Greek monologuestorytelling. In medieval Europe, French troubadours and English minstrels told stories in singularity, traveling from city to city. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, American lecture circuits, medicine shows, vaudeville acts all had solo performers sticking to the basics of storytelling. Some of the first performers who engaged in a style that can be linked to the solo performance style we see today can be dated back to the early twentieth century. Beatrice Herford s stand-alone character portrayals mocked the trivialities of modern society life. These monologues, however, stood alone and were not a part of a narrative compilation of monologues. Similarly, from the 20s to the day she died in 1952, Ruth Draper mocked high society matrons in her monologues. Draper s monologues took on a more narrative and character developmental form. In the 1920s and 30s Jackie Mabley performed on the vaudeville circuits with her stand-up routines and monologues of her famous reclamation of the mammy stereotype, Moms. In Moms, Mabley blended narrative storytelling with character standup, creating the open and loving relationship with her audiences that many solo performers rely on today. The works of Lord Buckley, Brother Theodore, and Lenny Bruce in the late 50s and early 60s display the shift that solo performance took from light-hearted comic storytelling to overt social commentary and ranting that is often associated with the solo performance style. Buckley was known for his jazz comic style in which his sets contained a series of narrative poems invented by him or riffs on old works such a Mark Anthony s funeral oration from Julius Caesar or the story of Jesus in his piece, Nazz. Brother Theodore is most famous for his dark rant on life that ran for sixteen years at the 13 th Street Theatre. He spun together fictionalized ramblings on various subjects with hilariously presumptuous audience interaction. Lenny Bruce s comedic style was blatantly commentarial and explicit; he was hounded by censors for his entire career. His shows were a series of stand-up bits that were social commentaries ranging from teachers salaries to race, to the nature of obscenity. These early solo performers established the roots of the art form that later artists were inspired by and branched off from. Jackie "Moms" Mabley An analysis of twentieth-century solo performance and solo performance today is not complete without acknowledging the influence that social issues have played within the genre and as a result, the socially conscious material and the artist/activists that have been drawn to it. Because solo performance presents a unique opportunity for artists to speak to their audience as directly as they want to, it offers a compelling platform for artists who want to address social justice issues, human rights issues, and give political and cultural commentary within the context of their work. As a result, the genre has attracted diverse artists, including a large number of women, racial minorities, and people who identify within the LGBTQ community, who are interested in discussing race, sex, gender, equality and other cultural hot topics and changing the landscape of stories in the American theater canon. The Revolutionaries of Solo Performance It wasn t until the 1960s that solo performance as we know it today took its current form: a single performer telling a complex narrative, portraying a single character or multiple characters, developing those characters throughout the narrative. Here are a few of the most influential solo performers from the 1960s to the present time. The dates reflect the time period in which the artists work was first recognized as extraordinary. Almost all of these artists are still working in the solo performance mode and continue to break barriers in storytelling today. Laurie Anderson (1970s and 80s) Excerpted from a foreword by Roselee Goldberg in Extreme Exposure: An Anthology of Solo Performance Texts. Basically, my work is storytelling, Anderson explains, the world s most ancient art form. These stories also end up as songs. If they have the right rhythmic structure, Anderson explains, stories might become songs. Some are lyrical enough without notes, others are spoken with musical backdrop. Her stories, which at first were mostly autobiographical, are personal ruminations on themes of politics, love, religion, the natural sciences. They serve a range of different functions in her performances: some stories are connective tissue (between songs), some are joints and some of her favorites are short (fifteen lines) with questions in them, she says. Sometimes I need to write a story to make sense of a song, at other times, stories are entirely independent of songs and have rhythms of their own. United States (1983) Empty Place (1989) Stories from the Nerve Bible (1992) Photo Sources: Ruth Draper, Minstrels: Britannica.com; Jackie Moms Mabley: imbd.com; Laurie Anderson: theguardian.com; Spalding Gray: spaldinggray.com; The NEA Four: huffingtonpost.com; Luis Alfaro: lib.neu.edu; Deb Margolin: wells.edu; Whoopi Goldberg: usmagazine.com; Brenda Wong Aoki: cargocollective.com; Anna Deveare Smith: playbill.com; Lisa Kron: playbill.com; Marga Gomez: margagomez.com; Alice Eve Cohen: aliveevecohen.com Spalding Gray (1970s and 80s) Gray was known to have pioneered the autobiographical solo performance. His sixteen darkly honest autobiographical monologues have been performed throughout the world. He was famous for his minimalist style, performing while sitting at a barebones table with his notebook in front of him. Gray s performance life was not limited to solo performance he co-founded the famous Wooster Group in 1977 and later the Performance Group. Excerpted from a foreword by James Leverett in Extreme Exposure: An Anthology of Solo Performance Texts. Spalding has become an icon of our culture, speaking out of it and back at it. Every Boy Corralled into Manhood, Every Fantasy of Boundless Sexual Adventures, Every New Home Owner, Sufferer of Symptoms, Son, Lover, Husband, Father At Gray s best, like any good chronicler, he makes his experience emblematic of his time. He represents us often with uncanny accuracy: paranoid, bemused in the face of tumultuous events beyond our control, self-reflexive to the point of obsession, comforting ourselves with ironic laughter, playing hide-and-seek with the prospect of our own annihilation and the world s. Sex and Death at Age 14 (1979) A Personal History of American Theatre (1980) Swimming in Cambodia (1986) 6

5 Left to right: Karen Finley, Holly Hughes, Tim Miller, John Fleck The NEA Four: Karen Finley, Holly Hughes, Tim Miller, and John Fleck (1990s) Named The NEA Four after they were defunded by the National Endowment for the Arts for their obscene art, Finely, Hughes, Miller, and Fleck immediately became solo performance icons. Not coincidentally, all four artists used their naked bodies in their performances, and much of their subject matter revolved around sexual freedom and sexuality activism. While Fleck and Finley s works walk the line between solo performance and performance art, Hughes and Miller s works are highly narrative autobiographies. Of Miller: Excerpted from a foreword by Ken Foster in Extreme His juxtaposition of a delightful movement/dance physicality with the graphic depiction of our physical selves creates a paradox that is alternately beguiling and stunning in its impact. Within the context of his highly interactive performance work, he uncovers the violences that are inflicted upon us, as gay men, and more poignantly, those we inflict upon ourselves. In doing so, he creates a performance experience that extends beyond narrative and beyond politics into metaphor and profound art. Of Hughes: Excerpted from Hughes s biography on University of Michigan School of Art and Design s website. In the early '80s, Hughes became part of the Women s One World Café, also known as the WOW Café, an arts cooperative in the East Village established by an international group of women artists. As the Village gradually became a magnet for the avant-garde art world, WOW served as an incubator for a generation of artists Her work has been widely anthologized and has served as foundational material for performance studies, queer studies and feminist performance studies. Finely: The Return of the Chocolate-Smeared Woman (1998) Hughes: World Without End (1990) Miller: My Queer Body (1992) Fleck: Blessed Are All the Little Fishes (1990) Luis Alfaro (1980s and 90s) Excerpted from a foreword by Morgan Jenness in Extreme His work has been described by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation [he is the recipient of a MacArthur genius grant and a member of New Dramatists] as having the power to eloquently challenge race relations, sexual orientation, gender and poverty the types of things that, in America, so often tend to place people on the edges of a society as an artist and as a human being, Luis manages the accepted landscape. The edges do become the center, the narrow cultural assumptions of otherness shift and the white-washed face of America itself is turned inside out to reveal the intricacies of the bone, blood, and inner skin underneath its thin veneer. Cuerpo Politizado (Politicized Body) (1995) Speaking in Tongues (1995) Straight as a Line (1997) Deb Margolin (1980s and 90s) Excerpted from a foreword by Lynda Hart in Extreme Margolin has scored some eighteen years in the theatre, as playwright, performer, dramaturg, director. She has taken her shows on the road all over the world But most of all, Margolin s inexhaustible voice of feminist consciousness, her daring incursions into all manner of views that were not-to-be-seen relentlessly push at the stage s continues. We have been framed she calls out to us again and again stop, look, listen the pageant is passing us by and we are part of it whether or not we are willing to participate. Margolin is doing something about it [with her writing and performances]. Let us go watch and learn. Gestation (1991) Bill Me Later (1998) Index to Idioms (2003) Whoopi Goldberg (1980s and 1990s) Excerpted from a foreword by Fred Zollo in Extreme As Whoopi shifts abruptly and completely from character to character, her monologues are in a way always dialogues with the audience members in front of her. In 1984, in two separate interviews, she explained, A lot of the strength in my work is reactive. I ve got these characters, and how they behave on a given night I ve had, the mood I m in. That s why I like to go out into the audience when I do the wino, because I want to know, as much as anyone out there wants to know, what s going to happen next. And, My work requires the active participation of an audience. They can t just come in and sit. How can you change people if they just sit there? If you re right in their faces and you re fondling them and talking to them, they go out of the theatre saying more than just, Oh, we went to a show. Spook Show ( ) Moms (1984) Whoopi Goldberg: Live! on Broadway (1985) Brenda Wong Aoki (1990s) Excerpted from a foreword by Robert Hurwitt in Extreme At first, Aoki focused her solo work on dramatizing Japanese folktales starting with The Queen s Garden in 1992, she has increasingly worked in a more autobiographical mode She works with a simple set, with one costume and only a classic Noh fan for a prop. Even her characters are affected with minimalist attention to the choice of key details Working from a still, concentrated center, Aoki shifts quickly from one character to another, conveying each change with a clear, concise, but simple, gestural or vocal choice. Her voice is remarkably flexible, both in accent and pitch. Her gestures, informed by her Noh training, pinpoint a key physical characteristic the placement of arms, the cock of a head, the center of gravity, the angle of a brow to express the character. At times, she seems to be acting as much with her thighs as with her voice. Holly Hughes is an internationally acclaimed performance artist whose work maps the troubled fault lines of identity. Her combination of poetic imagery and political satire has earned her wide attention and Mermaid (1997) placed her work at the center of America s culture wars. somehow to change our center of gravity by repainting depends on a lot of things: the audience, the kind of day Uncle Gunjiro s Girlfriend (1998) 7 8

6 Anna Deavere Smith (1990s) Excerpted from a foreword by Lani Gunier in Extreme Using the stories people tell her, Anna Deavere Smith performs and interprets the tough issue of race at the height of racial conflagration. She has borne witness to blacks and Jews in Crown Heights (in Fires in the Mirror). In Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 she both exposed and then attempted to stitch together the wound left by the riots in Los Angeles following the acquittal of the police officers who were videotaped beating Rodney King. She brings these events to life after the fact, then breathes new life into them. She is a fluent translator who inhabits the moments when speech fails and then takes us there too, to the very moments which defy definition and description. Fires in the Mirror (1992) Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (1993) House Arrest (2000) Lisa Kron (1990s) The goal of autobiographical work should not be to tell stories about yourself but, instead, to use the details of your own life to illuminate or explore something more universal. - Lisa Kron Excerpted from a foreword by Peggy Phelan in Extreme Lisa s work begins with the assumption that we are all under-represented, all in search of an image of ourselves that forever eludes us. Her work suggests that art comes from the slow, often comic, often agonizing attempt to ask oneself a question. The structure of that inquiry sets in motion a series of political and philosophic propositions that gives Lisa s work its dizzying, often antic, energy. If it is an achievement to ask oneself a question, it is an achievement that first requires that one become a spectator to oneself and this in turn allows Lisa to find an unusual intimacy and sympathy with her audience. 101 Humiliating Stories (1994) 2.5 Minute Ride (1999) Marga Gomez (1990s) Excerpted from a foreword by David Roman in Extreme Whatever the venue, Marga playfully baits the audience with a kind of can-you-believe-this? rhetorical wonder and before we know it, the entire audience has fallen under her appealing spell. If we re not on the edge of our seats it s because we ve already fallen off them from laughing. A gifted storyteller, Marga s performances combine the high energy of stand-up with the focused intensity of a poet Marga s work provides, at once, a social context for her audiences to consider her selfpresentations as a Latina lesbian and the historical context for her career as a solo performer. But unlike other solo artists whose work is defined by identity issues, Marga s work is as much about performance itself as it is about identity. Other Solo Performers to Watch: Danny Hoch: Jails, Hospitals, & Hip-Hop (1997), Taking Over (2009) Sarah Jones: Bridge and Tunnel (2004), A Right to Care (2005) Nilaja Sun: No Child (2008) Mike Daisey: How Theatre Failed America (2008), The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs (2012) Eleanor O Brien: Inviting Desire (2009), Good Girl s Guide: Dominatrix for Dummies (2013) Tracy Erin Smith: The Burning Bush (2011), Memento Mori (2014) Valerie Hager: Naked in Alaska (2013) Ann Rudolph: Squeezeland (2002), Loveland (2014) Alice Eve Cohen Join us from June for another solo performance, Thin Walls by Alice Eve Cohen directed by Rachel Lampert! Alice Eve Cohen returns in a tale of big-city life and cultures colliding. A cast of characters all living in a onceelegant, now run-down NYC residential hotel are wonderfully brought to life with all their triumphs and flaws. Audiences who loved What I Thought I Knew will love this one too! Alice Eve Cohen is a writer and solo theatre artist. Her new memoir, The Year My Mother Came Back will be published by Algonquin Books in March 2015; audiobook (read by the author) will be published by Highbridge/Recorded Books. Her first memoir, What I Thought I Knew (Viking / Penguin) won the Elle's Lettres Grand Prix for Nonfiction; it was selected as one of Oprah Magazine s 25 Best Books of Summer and Salon's Best Books of the Year. Her solo theater adaptation of the book has been produced at Kitchen Theatre Company and other venues. She has written for Nickelodeon, CTW, and CBS, and has toured her solo shows and plays to theatres, festivals and schools, nationally and internationally. Her writing about arts in education has been published in nine languages, and she has written for various print and online publications. The recipient of fellowships and grants from the NYS Council on the Arts and the NEA, she has been an artist-in-residence at Virginia Center for Creative Arts and Voice & Vision Theatre's Envision Retreat. She was writer-in-residence at Frank McCourt high school for writing and journalism, and has taught writing and performance workshops at schools and universities around the country. She holds a BA from Princeton University and an MFA from The New School. Alice teaches at The New School and lives with her family in New York City. She is currently working on a novel. Work Cited: Barrish, Seth. "Thoughts on Directing a Solo Show." Howl-Round. Emerson College, 11 Feb Web. 19 Mar Path: Extreme Exposure: An Anthology of Solo Performance Texts from the Twentieth Century. Theater Communications Group. New York City: Theater Communications Group, Print. Heddon, Dierdre. Autobiography in Performance: Performing Selves. N.p.: Palgrave Macmillan, Web. 19 Mar Lisa is a founding member of The Five Lesbian <file:///c:/users/owner/downloads/ _537538_02_int01-libre.pdf>. Brothers, a theatre collective that grew out of the WOW Café in 1990 and extends the legacy of first Margolin, Deb. "Where the Ache for Speech Resides." Howl-Round. Emerson College, 15 Feb Web. 19 Mar generation lesbian performance artists. Like many Path: performance artists working in the U.S. now, Lisa s work "MoMA Learning: Performance in Art." Museum of Modern Art. N.p., Web. 19 Mar Path: is autobiographical. But unlike many other performance A Line Around the Block (1994) org/learn/moma_learning/themes/conceptual-art/performance-into-art. artists, the point of Lisa s work is not about the discovery Jaywalker (1998) Wallace, Clare. Monologues:Theatre, Performance, Subjectivity. N.p.: Litteraria Pragensia, Web. 19 Mar or achievement of a usually underrepresented identity. 9 Long Island Iced Latina (2009) < 10

7 Up Next on the Main Stage: Ages 14+ * AEA Member Karina Arroyave* Karl Gregory* Lesley Gurule* Lena Kaminsky* Dean Robinson* Peterson Townsend* April 29 - May 17 Directed by Rachel Lampert A screwy little jewel of a play... It's as unconventional a conventional look at love as you'll find. New York Times A lesbian wedding is in the works, if only Donna can stop smoking. Married couple Barb and Bob are separating over their conflicting philosophies on material possessions. Nick wants to settle down and wonders if the shark at the aquarium is The One. A brilliant comedy for five humans and one shark. Please Return Guide to Lobby