Resident artists at Perishable (RAPT)

16 Jul

Just cycled home in the rain from the third meeting of this years’ Resident Artists at Perishable theatre meeting–a new program instigated by Perishable’s new and fabulous artistic director, Vanessa Gilbert, and roughly based on the HERE artists’ program in NYC. It’s a great group. It’s an open application process that cycles each year, for artists between “emerging” and “established”. (I’m not quite sure what those terms mean any more–or rather, where there is to emerge TO exactly–a point bemoaned by many as playwrights leave the theatre in droves for film or TV in search of a paycheck). Anyway!! It’s a program for generative artists (usually people who perform the work they make, rather than playwrights like me).

Today Marya Errin-Jones and Amy Budd showed their respective works-in-progress and we gave feedback. They’re beautiful and very different pieces— I won’t say more because the artists are still growing them and may not want them publicized to my 2.5 readers yet. We are using a modified version of the Liz Lerman response model for feedback and it really does seem to generate an atmosphere of listening and observation, rather than judgement and instant-dramaturgy. One of the works is being built from image and movement; the other is a scripted play by a dancer/ performer. Our group has several dancers, three playwrights, and a couple of performers who also generate their own work from a physical as well as conceptual/writing base.

I feel energized and inspired from an afternoon in the dreaming-space of making new work, considering others’ creative process— and how cool is it that we meet in a small black-box theatre to read, show work on the floor, etc… It brings home to me again how vital it is to have an artistic home and community, and I feel very lucky for this one.

My project as a RAPTor is to write a Providence Opera with local musician Alec K. Redfearn.
I don’t see myself getting to it real soon as I need to defend my dissertation on Thursday, attend to revisions, get to New Orleans for ATHE and my Trojan Barbie reading, then work on Weightless which is having its world premiere at Perishable this October. After than–and starting my new job in September too— I’ll think about the opera.

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