The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble: BLIND DREAMERS

 Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble previews BLIND DREAMERS at Mount Holyoke College on August 9 & 10 
What: Blind Dreamers 
When: At 8:00 pm, on Friday, August 9 & Saturday, August 10 
Where: Kendall Studio Theater at Mount Holyoke College, in the Kendall Sports & Dance Complex, Dunlap Place, South Hadley 

Cost: $15 general admission 
Reservations: / or tel. 413.320.3147 
Additional information: 
BLIND DREAMERS, a work of devised physical theatre, previews at the Kendall Studio Theater at Mount Holyoke College, prior to touring to the Irondale Center in Brooklyn, New York the following week. This ensemble-created production, directed by Serious Play! Artistic Director Sheryl Stoodley, pays homage to visionary German choreographer Pina Bausch and is inspired by her creative process. The narrative unfolds through gesture and movement, augmented with song, text and a live original score by guitarist/composer John Sheldon. 
The current production is an evolution of Meta/Pina Project: Blind Dreamers, which Serious Play! premiered last summer at the Northampton Center for the Arts. Because of the nature of devised work – the story emerges in the rehearsal process – the current production is substantially different from last year’s. 
As with Bausch’s work, Blind Dreamers is built on elements of the actors’ own experiences. 
For the current production, Stoodley has worked with 10 actors – five of whom were in last summer’s production, five new – to create this portrait of a family and to explore what lies beneath its veneer of polite civility. Through structured improvisational compositions, wild games, “actor-tasks” assigned by Stoodley and choreographer Lisa Enzer, a physical language specific to this production emerged within the ensemble. Actors symbolizing the personae of each family member are paired with representations of their inner selves. As the arc of the narrative grows, buried secrets are revealed and controlled appearances unravel. 
The actors who make up the ensemble and who have collaborated in the creation of Blind Dreamers are Axel Cruz, Carissa Dagenais, Rand Foerster, Rachel Garbus, Constance Leslie, Taylor Middleton, Annelise Nielsen, Carolyn Shakti Sadeh, Kaliis Smith and Katelyn Tsukada. Lighting design is by Reilly Horan, costume design by Elizabeth Smolin, technical coordination by Kathy Couch and Robin Doty. 
Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble is based in Northampton, where it was founded almost 20 years ago. The company works to create a dynamic integration of movement and text, and has a history of engagement with lively, ensemble-created scripts that are informed by contemporary issues [from Paul Zimet/Talking Band, NYC: “It was my pleasure to meet you and your company and see the commitment you all have to the work”]. Productions have toured to Athens, London, and Edinburgh [in The Scotsman/Aug. 2005: Serious Play!’s production of 

Alice Tuan’s COASTLINE features “strong performances, a superb rap, and innovative staging”]. Serious Play! was the first American company to perform at the JoakimInterFest in Kragujevac, Serbia, where its production of the politically charged Milosevic at the Hague, by Milan Dragicevich, won an award for “dramatic innovation and theatrical boldness” [in American Theatre magazine/Feb. 2010: During Serious Play!’s presentation of MILOSEVIC AT THE HAGUE in Serbia, “the tension broke when the audience burst into applause and rose to their feet”]. Serious Play! is a member of NET, the Network of Ensemble Theaters, and is an Artist Associate with A.P.E. 

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