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Abrons Art Center Avant_Garde_Arama Bushwick Starr Comedy Dance Half-Straddle Music Performing Arts Women

FLASHBACK – Half Straddle performs at Avant-Garde-Arama – May 2nd, 2015 – Abrons Arts Center

In these very trying times, I wanted to reach back to a performance that startled me when I originally documented it. The performance by Emily Davis on May 2nd. 2015 Avant-Garde-Arama had that impact on me. Performed at the Abrons Arts Center on behalf of the amazing Bushwick Starr performance space. Seeing this piece now in these difficult times makes us realize how valuable the AGA was for so many years. This show was ‘chock-full’ of wonderful performers. (John Fleck, Uzi Parnes and Ela Troyano, Half Straddle, Martha Wilson, Travis Chamberlain (for Jennifer Monsoon) Holly Hughes, Jack Ferver, Yin Yue Dance and the Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure.) Watch and listen to this ‘Half-Straddle’ piece performed by Emily Davis.

ABOUT HALF-STRADDLE

Half Straddle is an Obie-winning, New York City-based ensemble of performers and designers that make plays, performances, videos, and music led by writer and director Tina Satter that have been seen through the United States and internationally. 

Half Straddle has premiered 10 full-length shows, and a number of shorter works and video projects that have been seen at festivals and theaters throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Asia.  

In October 2019, the critically acclaimed Is This Room, a show conceived of and directed by Tina Satter and starring Becca Blackwell, Emily Davis, Pete Simpson, and TL Thompson, with costumes by Enver Chakartash, was the company’s Off-Broadway debut at the Vineyard Theatre. The show had premiered at The Kitchen in January 2019. In 2014, Half Straddle’s show House of Dance was nominated for a ZKB Patronage Prize at Zürcher Theater Spektakel. 

The company began in 2008 and received their Obie Award grant in 2013. 

All of Half Straddle’s company members and collaborators work extensively in a range of other performance contexts, often creating their own work, in avant-garde theater to Broadway, to university teaching and as theater artists in NYC public schools. 

In New York City, the company’s work has been presented at the Vineyard Theatre, The Kitchen, New York Live Arts, New Museum, Danspace, Performance Space New York (formerly PS122), Bushwick Starr, HERE Arts Center, Dixon Place, American Realness at Abrons Arts Center, COIL Festival, Ice Factory Festival, and PRELUDE Festival.

ABOUT BUSHWICK STARR

The Bushwick Starr began in 2001 as a developmental space for the New York based theater company, Fovea Floods, Inc. In 2004, the company helped to fully convert the space to a black-box venue while producing a large-scale theatrical run. In the subsequent years, as the neighborhood of Bushwick began to transform into a thriving artistic nexus desirous of space and support, we decided to open our doors to other artists. Since doing so, we have quickly grown into a bustling theatrical venue, enjoyed by artists and audiences near and far.

We believe in the power of art to communicate in surprising ways. The work we present is bold, new, and daring, often melding disciplines, and always full of ideas. The Starr supports artists with 360 degree love by offering an attentive, nurturing, and supportive environment for our artists, helping them develop their best work under ideal circumstances. We provide a space that houses and ignites the conversation around intersecting communities and creates a cultural bridge through ongoing community programs and events.

AVANT-GARDE-ARAMA

Avant-Garde-Arama is Performance Space 122’s longest-running series. A multi-disciplinary mini-festival featuring break out performances in dance, music, theatre, performance art, video/film, and more presented in eight minutes or less. While PS122’s East Village home is being renovated, Avant-Garde-Arama and other programming will take place at multiple venues around the city.

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Video Women

Tallulah Bankhead–Trip to the Automat, 1957 TV

Tallulah Brockman Bankhead (January 31, 1902 – December 12, 1968) was an American actress of the stage and screen. Bankhead was known for her husky voice, outrageous personality, and devastating wit. Originating some of the 20th-century theater’s preeminent roles in comedy and melodrama, she gained acclaim as an actress on both sides of the Atlantic. Bankhead became an icon of the tempestuous, flamboyant actress, and her unique voice and mannerisms are often subject to imitation and parody.

Tallulah hailed from the Brockman Bankheads, a prominent Alabama political family — her grandfather and uncle were U.S. Senators and her father served as an eleven-term member of Congress, the final two as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Tallulah’s support of liberal causes such as civil rights broke with the tendency of the Southern Democrats to support a more typically aligned agenda and she often opposed her own family publicly.

Primarily an actress of the stage, Bankhead did have one hit on film (Alfred Hitchcock‘s Lifeboat), as well as a brief but successful career on radio. She later made appearances on television, some of which have become classics.

In her personal life, Bankhead struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction and was infamous for her uninhibited sex life. Bankhead was capable of great kindness and generosity to those in need, supporting disadvantaged foster children and helping several families escape the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Bankhead was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1972, and the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame in 1981. Upon her death, Bankhead was credited with nearly 300 films, stage, television, and radio roles. She is regarded as one of the 20th-century theatre’s great Leading Ladies.