Thursday, May 7, 2015

An Overview of this year's R&D Group FINDINGS Series

By EllaRose Chary

EllaRose Chary
Today we’re kicking off FINDINGS, a presentation of the new work that has been done in The Civilians’ R & D Group over the course of the 2014-15 season. We have 7 presentations, our most ever. Rather than thinking of these presentations as “final” or even as readings, we consider them more open rehearsals. This is a chance for the writers and directors to invite us in to the process and see where these pieces have ended up after 9 months of investigation. FINDINGS will be happening May 7 – 21 at 138 S. Oxford Street in Brooklyn.

When Steve and I put together the new R & D group at the beginning of the season, we often identify themes across the diverse projects, looking at how these new works will speak to each other over the course of the development process.  The broad conversation that appears to be happening between these new pieces this year has to do with larger questions of community and origin stories. How are we connected to each other, and in turn how do those connections play out in a larger societal framework?

In Caroline V. McGraw’s BELIEVELAND, Carrie – based on the playwright – looks at the relationship of her parents to the talented, but now obscure, poet D. A. Levy, and in doing so reveals a larger narrative about the city of Cleveland and America’s rust belt. Caroline took over the Civilians’ social media pages this week, and she posted photos and primary sources for her research which you can check out here and here.  The presentation will be directed by R & D director Jay Stull. Catch Caroline’s presentation this afternoon (May 7th) at 2 PM.

Show & Tell
Next up will be Max Vernon’s SHOW AND TELL, a night of adult show and tell set in the hours before the sun explodes. Perhaps the opposite of an origin story, this piece still grapples with questions of human connection in light of much larger social and environmental distress. Max’s songs have been a regular presence in The Civilians’ Let Me Ascertain You Cabaret series in recent years and I’m excited that we’re now getting to look at one of his full pieces. We’re excited to have Civilians Associate Artist and former R & D Group member Sam Pinkleton back to direct. This presentation will be Friday, May 8 at 7 PM.

Winter Miller’s SPARE RIB is one of our more experimental pieces this year and digs into the topic of abortion. The piece has cross cultural and historical elements that wind through a stream of consciousness narrative, that speaks to both community and origin. Directed by R & D Group director Alex Keegan, Winter will present her work on May 11 at 2:00 PM.

Bull's Hollow flag
Associate Artists Donnetta Lavinia Gray’s LAID TO REST focuses on the mother of a son killed by police violence after years have past an the cameras are gone, directed by R & D director Ilana Becker, it will be presented on May 18 at 7:30 PM. Followed on May 19 by Rob Handel and Kamala Sankaram’s THE PRIVACY SHOW also directed by Jay Stull, an interactive musical project that will make you think twice about your digital and personal security. May 20  at 7:30 PM will bring us to BULL’S HOLLOW PART 1: THE FOUR FATHERS, our most direct origin story, literally set in the belly of the beast (a whale named Burton), developed this year by Jaclyn Backhaus, Mike Brun and Andrew Neisler…this is the first of a 3 part trilogy.  Finally, on May 21 at 2 PM Krista Knight will take us to the San Francisco Airport Hyatt with KIRK AT THE SAN FRANCISCO AIRPORT HYATT, using primary source recordings and personal experience, Krista tells the story of her father Kirk Knight, living beyond his means at the Hyatt, expecting to die, any day, and having hung on for 29 years and counting.

You can read more about the shows and get the full schedule and locations on the R and D page of The Civilians website here.

After many months of research and development, we’re excited to share these FINDINGS. If you are a project creator or director, applications for next season’s group are open, but remember they are due June 15

No comments:

Post a Comment