We Made This is a study created by myself, David Higgins, and Ronald Kevin Lewis that was awarded the prize in the inaugural RI Devised Theatre Festival, produced by First Day Productions at Mixed Magic Theatre in October 2017.
We Made This- Serving the Country
photo credit: Taylor Corbett Photography
Training Day/Diversity Fellows!
I worked with Diversity Fellows! (Marc Boucai & Reya Seghal) on the newest iteration of their piece Training Day, a live art diversity workshop, exploring the languages and performances of diversity and multiculturalism in American institutional spaces. I collaborated as a director and dramaturge, with a keen eye on the ludic journey of this very participatory piece.
The showing over two nights in April 2017 won the 2017 Motif Magazine Award for Best Practical Theatre.
More about Diversity Fellows! at their website HERE
Human Knot-Station #4
The piece found audience participants progressing through 10 stations of different kinds of diversity training activities. Here a group attempts to unknot themselves without dropping contact while Trainer Ziyi Yang looks on.
Finale Slide of Big Karaoke Finish
This slide sports the lyrics of the final number of Training Day by Diversity Fellows! Sung to the tune of YMCA, this language gives a taste of the overall message of the piece.
a low-res document from the position of power point person of Reya Seghal and Marc Boucai as corporate diversity trainers in Diversity Fellows! project Training Day at the Rhode Island School of Design, April 2017
Our piece, There Need Be No More Blood, took up the theme of conjuring from Bonner's original, and, in deep belief that enough blood of young POC had been spilled by the police, took the form of a collective action intended to happen external to the performance space. Arielle and I cut and sewed 100 muslin conjure bags and filled them with blood & bone meal, sunflower seeds, pennies that had been ritually cleansed in salt water. The bags were tied shut with a red cord with a short piece of paper attached reading: open and activate. March 1, 2017 at sunrise-6:20amEST In performance, we gave a short description of Bonner's play and then asked people to do something for us- to plant their conjure bags at sunrise on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017. As audience members left the performance space, Arielle and I sang to them and handed them each a bag. A group of us gathered at sunrise at the old bus turnaround on Camp Street in Providence to plant our bags.
Ode to Autumn
A work for a human, a microwave oven, pumpkin marshmallow peeps, a pumpkin, and a sledgehammer. This piece is a re-working of a piece made in September 2013 by Vanessa Gilbert, Teerapat Parnmongkol, and Jason Schuler. Performed at AS220's Luna Loba on 10/16/2016.
The performance score for this work involves a human setting a mound of pumpkin-flavored marshmallow peeps in a microwave oven and heating them for a duration of no less than 5 minutes while holding a sledgehammer over their head in readiness. When the microwave signals cooking completion, the human smashes the pumpkin with the sledgehammer.
Ode to Autumn at Luna Loba/AS220 10/16/2016
The Haunting of Buzzards Bay
This site-specific piece shadow puppety work was created for the culture*park 13th Short Plays Marathon in November 2015. The creative team was David Higgins, story, shadow puppetry; Vanessa Gilbert, story, vocals; and Jeremy Fortier, musical direction and viola. photo credit: Vana Dougias
Additional photos are from the performance in the FringePVD festival on July 29, 2016 at Fringe Central (i.e. Big Nazo Lab.) Same company augmented by Stuart Window. Thanks to Elizabeth Keiser for sharing these photos.
The Haunting of Buzzards Bay: Excerpts
9/11 Memory Generator
From an installation/photo booth made for the Diversity Fellows! 9-11 show in September 2015, the 9/11 Memory Generator allowed participants to digitally insert themselves into one of a series of iconic photos from Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001, and take a commemorative photo. Clicking on the laptop to take the photo triggered a camera switch and what was actually recorded was a security camera photo of the participants.
What the participant sees
a screenshot of what a participant in the 9-11 Memory Generator would see in the installation. Through use of a Max Patch, the person in the photo booth is inserted into an iconic photo from 9-11.
a poor photo of my max patch
a second example of what a photo booth participant might see on the computer screen in the installation.
What the camera ACTUALLY captures
Participants of the 9/11 Memory Generator, thinking that they will receive a commemorative photo of themselves inserted into a background of their own choosing are instead captured on a security camera. The image was then printed in the style of a commemorative beach photo or roller coaster photo with the banner image below vvvvvv
There's Nothing To See Here
Created in collaboration with Justine Williams and Eva Peskin, There's Nothing to See Here is an ongoing civic performance project, convening groups for building and assembly in sites throughout NYC and beyond.
Past performances: May 14 & 15, 2015 at Gallim Dance Space, Church of Sts. Luke and Matthew, Clinton Avenue Brooklyn
a time-lapse video of the Friday May 15 performance of There's Nothing to See Here. Shot by Dennis Shafer on an iPhone 6.
METAVERSES- an augmented reality tour of some of the collections of the Metropolitan Museum
A performative augmented-reality tour and "artist hack" of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, created in collaboration with artists over 60 from the Westbeth Artist Residency in NYC and in-residence with The Met's Digital MediaLab. Conceived and developed by Justine Williams, Jason Schuler, Vanessa Gilbert and Patricia Faolli . May 2014 and installed in the Westbeth Gallery December 5, 2014. Take the tour yourself HERE.
photo credits: Jason Schuler, David Higgins, Justine Williams
Over the Top
Hosted by the last living WWI veteran, Over the Top presents a garden party whose guests, personifications of the nation states involved in World War I, play out their changing relationships and allegiances. After Austria-Hungary throws the first lawn dart, the audience become mobilized as participants so they too can play War. Our host leads the audience Over the Top, at once releasing himself from his memories and charging us to remember.
Developed with David Higgins from his play of the same name. Over the Top has received development support from Joseph Megel and the Process Series at UNC.