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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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Categories
Book Shelf Comedy Mime

Richmond Shepard, the worldest oldest mime! R.I.P.

I met Richmond a few times during mime performances he did that I photographed. I always wanted to do an interview with him but we never met up. I knew many students of his that became members of his company. I had bought his book when I was studying mime in the late 1970’s. I think he deserves some serious attention by academics regarding his historical place in the time line of mime history in America. Below is a brief history of his achievements.

Richmond Shepard (born 24 April 1929 in New York City Died July 2, 2019) was an American writer, director, producer and mime with a 50-year history in entertainment. He was one of the oldest living working mimes in show business. He built, owned and operated his own theaters in Los Angeles on Theatre Row where he produced over 30 shows. He moved to New York and worked as a theatre and film critic for WNEW, conceived and directed the off-Broadway show Noo Yawk Tawk [1] at The Village Gate for three years. He has traveled across the world performing with mime troupes and performs improvisational comedy in various clubs around NYC as of March 2011. Richmond Shepard’s most recent role was when he played the “Sandman” in Fuzz on the Lens Productions fantasy comedy “Abnormal Attraction” starring Malcolm McDowell, Bruce Davison, Leslie Easterbrook, and Gilbert Gottfried which was released on February 26th 2019

Shepard previously owned The Writer Act Repertoire, an Off-Broadway theatre located at the original venue of The Vineyard Theater,[2] 309 East 26th Street, New York City, in the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan. Notable performances include the world premiere of Last Chance Romance by American playwright Sam Bobrick (June 2011) and a developmental staging of the comedy, Shalom Dammit! An Evening with Rabbi Sol Solomon (March 2012). The theater has been renamed the Write Act Repertory Theatre, owned by Write Act Repertory.

Mime: The Technique of Silence by Richmond Shepard

FORTISSIMO – A Short Film from Noah Wagner on Vimeo.

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