The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, also known as REDCAT, CalArts’ downtown Los Angeles center for contemporary arts and culture, has unveiled its fall 2012 events and previews of major projects scheduled for early 2013.
The venue’s wide-ranging program introduces Los Angeles audiences to influential artists and ensembles from around the world who are blurring traditional artistic boundaries and developing new forms. Tickets for most events go on sale Tuesday, Aug.14.
“We are excited to be hosting the first L.A. appearances by some of these adventurous artists, including some who are visiting the U.S. for the first time,” REDCAT Executive Director Mark Murphy said. “It’s also thrilling to present significant projects by companies that have built an L.A. following at REDCAT, especially the extraordinary “Gatz” by Elevator Repair Service, who made such an impression with “The Sound and The Fury” in 2008, and The Wooster Group, who will bring their new collaboration with director Richard Maxwell and his company, the New York City Players.”
REDCAT’s fall season launches on Sept. 20 with the Los Angeles debut of Gob Squad, a British-German collective of artists who blend live video and performance manipulations to explore the intersection of art, media and real life. “Gob Squad’s Kitchen (You’ve Never Had It So Good),” presented Sept. 20-23, gives a shrewd nod to the heyday of Andy Warhol’s Factory, turning the REDCAT stage into a vintage film studio to create hilarious reconstructions of the 1965 Edie Sedgwick vehicle “Kitchen” and other Warhol celluloid adventures, weaving them together into a theatrical event.
Revered choreographer Ery Mefri from West Sumatra, Indonesia, brings his acclaimed work to REDCAT as part of the first U.S. tour by his astounding company, Nan Jombang (Oct. 10–11, 13–14). Rooted in the spiritual and martial arts traditions of West Sumatra’s Minangkabau ethnic minority, the company moves with spellbinding control and bursts of chanting, clapping and body percussion, while incorporating elements of modern Western movement in Rantau Berbisik (“Whisperings of Exile”).
Celebrated contemporary dance veteran Ishmael Houston-Jones returns to REDCAT with an acclaimed restaging of his seminal work “THEM” (Nov. 15-18), an intensely physical interdisciplinary collaboration that presents an unblinking look into the lives of young gay men. First created at the height of the AIDS crisis in America, the spellbinding and disturbing production is re-created and performed by Houston-Jones, writer Dennis Cooper and composer Chris Cochrane.
Heralded by critics around the world as a major theatrical event of historic importance, “Gatz” (Nov. 29-Dec. 9) is a bravura feat of dramatic daring from New York’s Elevator Repair Service Theater. The marathon experience was described by Ben Brantley of The New York Times as “the most remarkable achievement in theater not only of this year but also of this decade.” Seven hours long, and presented with a dinner break, “Gatz” is not a retelling of “The Great Gatsby,” but a revelatory enactment of experiencing the novel. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s American masterpiece is delivered word for word, and brought to life in a superhuman turn by Scott Shepherd, an actor known to REDCAT audiences for his work with The Wooster Group, and a 12-member ensemble.
After the first of the new year, hip-hop poet and theater artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph returns with his company The Living Word Project to present his highly-praised collaboration with esteemed visual artist Theaster Gates, “red, black & GREEN: a blues” (Jan. 31-Feb. 3). Mixing voice, music, dance and visual art in a kaleidoscopic set of stories, characters, and impressions,”red, black & GREEN: a blues” expands the understanding of “living green” and what it entails for urban communities under economic and social duress.
Drawing upon butoh, ballet and hip-hop, astonishing Tokyo choreographer, dancer and polymath artist Hiroaki Umeda (Feb. 14-16) makes his Los Angeles debut in a fine-spun swirl of movement encompassed in a digital storm of video, light and sound. This visceral performance layers beats and sonic textures with entrancing video lighting effects — all created on his laptop.
A rare collaboration between avant-garde powerhouses, The Wooster Group invites Richard Maxwell of New York City Players to direct “Early Plays” (Feb. 20-23), a new production based on Eugene O’Neill’s early “Glencairn” seafaring plays — “Bound East for Cardiff” (1914), “The Long Voyage Home” (1917), and “The Moon of the Caribbees” (1918). Maxwell’s adaptation and direction gives O’Neill’s nascent voice — musical, yet stark — an inspired modern “remix” for which he received an Obie Award.
Resonating in the theater throughout the fall is a diverse arrangement of international musical offerings including inventive interpreters of contemporary Italian repertoire for voice and piano Duo Alterno (Oct. 2), krautrock pioneers Faust (Oct. 19), world-renowned theremin virtuoso Eric Ross and video artist Mary Ross (Nov. 2), a celebration of musical shape-shifter Raymond Scott (Nov. 9) with former Oingo Boingo guitarist Steve Bartek and his band (including other Oingo Boingo alums) finding new takes on the composer’s early cartoon classics and composer Ego Plum’s ensemble re-envisioning Scott’s farsighted electronica, and masters of Pansori (Nov. 13) Bae, Il-Dong and Kim, Dong-Won.
REDCAT celebrates contemporary jazz with “Words and Music: Bonnie Barnett” (Oct. 3): “extreme vocalist” Bonnie Barnett trades chops with Ken Filiano, on bass, and Anders Nilsson, on electric guitar. A few nights later, Angel City Jazz Festival and The Jazz Bakery co-present a concert featuring Anthony Wilson, Larry Goldings and Jim Keltner (Oct. 6), and then MariLyn Crispell serves up piano compositions and improvisation before Alpert Award-winner Myra Melford (Oct. 12) takes the stage with her Snowy Egret project.
Later in the Fall, a collaboration between creative music luminary Wadada Leo Smith and composer and SCREAM (Southern California Resource for Electro-Acoustic Music) founder Barry Schrader, opens “SCREAM Finale” (Nov. 10), the final manifestation of the venerated annual music festival featuring works of rare quality by four masters of the electro-acoustic idiom. “Murderous Little World” (Dec. 10), an evening-length work of experimental music theater by award-winning composer Linda Bouchard and based on poems by Anne Carson, makes its U.S. premiere performed by Canada’s Bellows and Brass Trio under the direction of Keith Turnbull.
REDCAT has also announced highlights of its fall Film/Video programs, which will include new and archival work by such influential artists Bruce Baillie (Sept. 23–24), James Benning (Oct. 1), Kathy Rose (Oct. 8), Laura Heit (Oct. 15), David Gatten (Oct. 29), Trinh T. Minh-ha (Nov. 8), and Thom Andersen (Nov. 19). Also on the schedule are two multi-screening film festivals: New Chinese Cinema (Oct. 22–23), and Platform International Animation Festival (Oct. 26–28). (Email email@example.com to request a copy of a detailed release about the Film/Video program.)
In the Gallery, two influential visual artists each receive their first major solo exhibitions in Los Angeles. Surveying his work of the past 15 years, “Tony Cokes: Retro (Pop, Terror, Critique)” (Sept. 16–Nov. 11) brings together three ongoing series of videos borrowing and sampling materials from high and low culture. New York-based artist Jordan Wolfson’s most recent project (Dec. 2–Jan. 27) presents a new 3D-video installation that weaves together the disparate histories of analog film, animated cartoons and digital video filmed on location in Paris, New York and Los Angeles.
REDCAT, the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, is an multidisciplinary contemporary arts center for innovative visual, performing and media arts located in downtown Los Angeles inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex. Through performances, exhibitions, screenings and literary events, REDCAT introduces diverse audiences, students and artists to the most influential developments in the arts from around the world, and gives artists in this region the creative support they need to achieve national and international stature. REDCAT continues the tradition of the California Institute of the Arts, its parent organization, by encouraging experimentation, discovery and lively civic discourse.
For more information, visit www.redcat.org.