On the surface, Kyle Abraham’s new dance work at On the Boards, Live! The Realest MC, seems to be about gay issues. It is a queer retelling of The Adventures of Pinocchio. The reality, however, is more complex. It is as much about how sex roles, gender and homosexuality are framed largely by the context of race as it is about individual struggle and acceptance. This brings up other questions of race, of course, but in ways that most of the critics of dance and theater–who tend to be white and largely bourgeois–do not care to grasp because such a discussion, too, would prove reality more complex than currently fashionable when it seems easier to reduce it to psychodrama.
Category Archives: Performing Arts
In keeping with her art’s humble origins, Hayes and her husband Michael White Hayes drew their new art space’s moniker from a similar pool. “We were very deliberate about choosing the name Tin Can Studio. A tin can is a simple, common thing but it’s a very useful invention,” says Hayes. “It revolutionized the way people feed themselves. Tin Can Studio is like that tin can because art feeds people’s souls.”
Many people watch pseudo-documentary work such as Behind the Music with the Latest Lame Boy Band and the like. But even those quasi-real glimpses at the artists’ life reek of antiseptic. Yes, they occasionally contain elements of soap opera and other things to please the mostly hypnotized viewers of “reality” television but they rarely touch on what artists actually do
The Star’s José Amador sits down to talk with Keira McDonald, the Solo Performance Festival founder and curator, about her role within the festival and in guiding new artists through the creative process; as well as what lies beneath her decision to leave her leadership role after six years at the helm.
I’ve signed up to do a storytelling show, though I’m not a natural storyteller. I pitched my story because being in a show sounds like fun. Because oral storytelling is a skill that I want to learn as a writer. Because I used to be a theater kid. And because as much as being in front of an audience terrifies me, I still love to perform. Then, predictably, stage fright sets in.
In order to review Back Back Back, a play about three baseball players who struggle with the decision to use steroids, we appropriately sent a baseball fan with some knowledge of the issues at hand. That baseball fan also happened to be Star theater critic, John Allis.
In an espoused effort to direct attention to the talents of playwrights, the nine ten-minute plays that comprise Balagan Theatre’s shorts festival, Death, Sex: Election Season, draw from one pool of eleven actors, each of whom portrays several roles in the evening. Similarly, in further textual emphasis, all shows are directed by either Shawn Belyea or Jake Groshong, reining the evening’s offerings into a shared sensibility.
Even those who “support” the arts often treat the making of art like an optional activity in life, something to be reserved for the gifted. It isn’t. Art is not just about being crazy, weird, incoherent, and incomprehensible while expecting money for it. Being an artist requires massive amounts of self-imposed dirty work alternating with almost palpable tedium. This is for all those who do the dirty jobs.
Part of the exploration of the Seattle Chamber Players’ American Chamber Dance series aims to revive “rarely performed ballets conceived for chamber ensemble and dancers by maverick American composers.” Charles Tomlinson Griffes was certainly a maverick and his beautiful ballet is rarely performed–very rarely.
In about eight weeks, I’ll be in a storytelling show, down here in Tacoma. And having signed up for this show, I am now cursed (or blessed) with abundant irony. I am terrified that I don’t know how to tell a story.