This is what’s happening!
SECURITY FABLE (on going, work-in-progress)
I’m continuing to work on a new clown show exploring safety, danger, protection and fantasy/ terror. I’m collaborating with my friend, musician and composer Sakiko Mori as we explore the unfolding antics of this fluorescent-vested night watchman who plays princess on break and is consumed by a fire-breathing dragon.
I’m delighted to be collaborating with Kah Yangi and Dailen Williams in orchestrating art making with activist and community groups for the PRONK parade. We’re still looking for more materials (fabric, bamboo, paint, cardboard) and more hands to engage in making stuff, be in touch if you want to join in. We are working to make the PRONK parade a multiracial, cross-city, disruption of “Columbus Day,” an opportunity to connect activists and community groups, create art reflecting the struggles we are fighting for, and leverage the dance party to be a celebration of our causes and communities. Currently we are in conversation with folks at the George Wiley Center to strategize artistic partnerships to celebrate RI social justice movement elders and current Black Lives Matters movement leaders in a series of banners created in conjunction with oral history interviews. More on this effort as it evolves!
This summer I’m heading back to the magical Canadian clown island where I studied last summer — the Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance (MCCP) for further work with clown mentor John Turner. I’m also heading there in August to teach!
STILL In The Works… Attended Baggage
I’m still in the early stages of creating a suitcase-theater performance project, slated to debut in 2017. Using puppetry, clown, storytelling and audience interaction, this project explores notions of dislocation and travel, temporarily transforming train platforms, bus stations and baggage claim terminals into sites of performative inquiry and human exchange. Currently, I’m fundraising, brainstorming and looking for luggage…
My “sister” Ruth Nibbons, MFA hosted a night of queer performance at AS220 in Providence as part of Magic! Terror! Gay! Horray! It was a feast of queer poets, musicians and video makers in action. Ruth provided finger sandwiches and and inspired dialogue surrounding the complications of “Pride” in its current white, corporate, homogeny. She led an interactive sonic quilting activity in which audience members shared ideas about current and possible movements in which we take real and palpable pride! Then we had a public burning of our private prides.
I created this giant Bunnicula puppet for the 3rd and 4th grade musical at The Gordon School and trained a team of muscly puppeteers.
This spring, thanks to a grant from RISCA, I worked with two English classes at Coventry High School to create a shadow puppet version of Macbeth. The students constructed the screen and all the puppets.
I also taught a shadow puppet after school class at The Gordon School with their amazing librarian Frances Martindale.
I worked for a few months with 30 first graders at The Achievement First Charter School in Providence to create an original puppet play about families of birds, rabbits and turtles surviving a storm by way of mutual aid and a lot of sticks.
And, after two years of building, writing, editing, and touring Lava Fossil, I’m tucking all those suitcases in the basement in case that show needs to come out again, down the line.
I was interviewed for a piece about it and me in Rhode Island Monthly.
A suitcase theater show about a dad, a crab, a dentist and where things go when they are gone. Plus! The secret life of eel grass, an ash-encrusted visitor from Pompeii, and how to measure grief with a ruler. Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian. Check out these reviews of of Lava Fossil: Boston Globe and Edge Boston
I performed as part of a Sleeping Weazel festival at The Boston Center for the Arts and the Providence Fringe Festival. The summer before last, I performed a much shorter version of the show at The Great Small Works 10th International Toy Theater Festival at St. Ann’s Warehouse in NYC, Gabfestry in Machias, Maine. As well as at Hospice’s Camp Braveheart and The SWN Symposium at URI’s Oceanography School (held in honor of my dad.)
Not so recent undertakings:
With support from a grant I received from The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, I helped organize the 7th annual PRONK parade, which took place as part of the PRONK Activist Street Band Festival on Oct. 13th at India Point Park. I worked with about a dozen activist and community groups to either lead workshops or link them them up with other artists to create visual spectaculah to march with at the parade. Then the groups kept the art to use in future organizing and demonstrations.
THE Corrugated Community
For two hot weeks last August, I led a team of 6 high school students, one assistant and a mentor from New Urban Arts through an intensive cardboard construction project. With funds from Pop-Up Providence, we built cardboard structures for kids to play in and draw on in parks around the city and then hosted a series of performances and workshops in our cardboard town square each afternoon. We engaged in rigorous discussion of public space, how to build for and deal with hordes of children, and the frustrating mechanics of crafting sturdy but collapsible cardboard structures.
On March 14-16 I was part of a uniquely collaborative full-length performance combining projections, dance, puppetry, theater and music on the theme of dissolving borderlines (between people, nations, life and death, etc.). It featured a “dream team” of local/national artists including: Sophie Wood (The Royal Frog Ballet, Western Mass), Eternal Cult (Minneapolis), Rick Burkhardt, and Chrissy Wolpert & the Assembly of Light Choir. It was accompanied by an amazing live band directed by Dan Schleifer of The What Cheer? Brigade. I made a clown act about the body breaking down. Flesh suit curtesy of Kristina Brown. Photos of the whole shabang here (by Jori Ketten). And a video here.
A Fellowship at New Urban Arts
I completed my 2nd year of this awesome Fellowship position. In my role as a Fellow I supported artist mentors, shared artwork and ideas about community arts practice, and worked as an artist-in-residence at this incredible place. My relationship with New Urban Arts is sure to continue and grow in new ways. Thanks to all of you who welcomed me into the fold, helped me papermache for days on end, shared your ideas, questions, elbow grease and courageous spirits with me. I’m inspired!