Monday, December 9, 2013

Question #3: Your Parents

We're sourcing text for our performance. You can answer questions one-by-one, or all at once-- anytime before January 12. You can post your answers anonymously on this blog, email us at SmallArtMN[at]gmail[dot]com, or post a comment on our facebook page

Question #3:
Are you like your parents? If so, how?

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Performance In Your Living Room

This project is going to be performed as an evening-length show (around an hour) in living rooms and gallery spaces around the Twin Cities from February 10-March 9. We aim to do about 10 performances, and to have these shows spread among the various Twin Cities neighborhoods.

This year my partner and I have been producing nights of performance in our living room, which we call Small Art. We have 3 performers share an evening, do all of the reservations via email, serve some cheap wine, and split donations among the performers. It's actually been hugely fun (and really painless) to have a good handful of strangers at our house. So, with that I ask:

Do You Live In The Twin Cities And Want To Host A Performance This Winter?

We're still looking for several additional spaces, particularly in the Powderhorn, Longfellow, and Midway neighborhoods. Here's how it works:

--You need to have a living room (or kitchen or attic or basement) space of about 9 feet by fifteen feet. 

--You email my awesome assistant and co-producer Zoe Michael at SmallArtMN[at]gmail[dot]com
with your location, and maybe a janky iphone photo or two of the space, including anything you think we might want to know.

--We advertise the performance, and handle all RSVP's (we only give your exact address to folks who RSVP). You are free to invite all of your friends (provided they RSVP so we know how many are coming).

--I will probably come take a look at the space at some point.

--We arrive an hour and a half early to practice in the space and set up. We bring cheap wine and simple snacks, and perform. We invite the audience to give a sliding scale donation, which is split among the artists. You get loads of gratitude and thanks for your very kind space sharing, as well as a show performed by four kickass (truly) folks.


Maybe you are thinking, but Laura, what the heck is this performance even about? How do I know I'll like it? Is it child friendly?

These are all good questions. The show is only a month and a half into being made, so I can only answer some of them. Here are some thoughts:

--This is a performance for the winter, because the winter brings isolation, and sometimes makes connecting with other humans a bit harder. Connecting and understanding other humans is already pretty hard, cold season aside. So, loneliness and connection are big themes in the piece. Also: that hard thing of articulating your own experience, and sharing it with others-- making sense of your own story.

-- Regardless of theme: This piece has a lot of movement, some text, and is knit together out of a lot of solos and duets. It involves very few technical elements (a microphone, a speaker). It's mostly child-friendly, because there is no nudity or copious amounts of swearing or violence. It will not damage your home in any way. I think it might be funny at times. I also think it could inspire happiness. It doesn't require a lot of space because, well, these are small dances.

Questions? Email me-- SmallArtMN[at]gmail[dot]com.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Project Progress + Question #1

We are heading into week 4 of rehearsal!

In the 3 weeks of rehearsal we've had (meeting 1-2 times a week), we've had lots of chats-- about cheez-its, halloween costumes, childhood pets, and surprises. We have learned some foundational movement phrases, which will be used in different ways. And, we've improvised a good amount. The 4 rehearsals we've had can be summed up with this poster:

Each week for the rest of the rehearsal process, I'll be posting a question that will be incorporated into the piece. You can answer it here (blogger lets you comment anonymously!), you can send me an email (LMholway-at-gmail-dot-com), or you can leave a response on facebook. By answering, you are agreeing that your response can be used in our piece (without your name, of course).

Question #1: 
What is most surprising about your life at this point? 

(What did you expect? What didn't you expect?)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Cast! A stage manager!

3 auditions, 1 callback, 3 interviews, and 33 people later...there is a cast!

I was overjoyed to play with so many talented folks, and could have made a fun and interesting piece with every single person. That said: I'm excited to have found 5 people that I think will be most excellent together-- 5 complimentary, but very different performers:

Charles Campbell

Lazer Goese 

Erika Hansen

Tom Lloyd

We are very lucky to be assisted by stage manager/organizer/collaborator Zoe Michael.

Tomorrow we get to dive into working. I look forward to sharing the process in this space!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Additional Audition Information

I wanted to add some additional information about the audition that I might have missed in the post below:

1) Wear whatever you like-- we won't be doing high kicks or anything like that. Bring shoes (tennis shoes are fine), since the floors of both Skewed Visions and The Soap Factory aren't great for bare feet. Bring your day planner. I'll need ALL availability/known out-of-town dates through the scope of the project before casting.

2) Plan on being at the audition for the whole time slot, although I'm guessing we'll be done a bit early. 

What will we do? We'll talk about the piece! You can see if it still sounds like something of interest to you. We'll do some group improv. I'll direct/teach a very simple movement phrase. We'll probably do some partner work. I might have you read something, as there will be speaking involved. You'll get a chance to see if you like my style/way of directing. This is really important! We'll talk honestly about scheduling and project demands.

3) If you're interested in the project, but can't make it to one of the audition dates, please email me. There is a possibility that a 3rd audition time might be scheduled, depending on need/interest. 

Thanks so much for your interest!


Monday, September 30, 2013

Call For Collaborators

I’m looking for 3-4 performers/collaborators for a new performance work I’m making. 

I'm also looking for a savvy, organized stage manager to work with me on the piece.

The work is comprised of a series of movement-based vignettes. It will be performed in living room and art gallery spaces throughout the Twin Cities in February and early March. Rehearsals will begin in mid to late October.

Auditions will be held on Sunday, October 13 from 12:30-2:30 at the Soap Factory (514 2nd St. SE, Minneapolis- main gallery space), and Tuesday, October 15 from 3-5:00 at Skewed Visions in the Casket Arts Building (681 17th Ave. NE, Minneapolis). You only need to attend one of the two meetings. 

At this audition we'll chat about the work, do some group/partner improvisation, and learn some movement.

This collection of Small Dances studies connection and loneliness, and aims to build community in the Minnesota winter months. The work will be comprised of 6-7 vignettes, and will be performed in collaboration with a different outside guest artist at each performance. The pieces will involve gestural movement and text. Some of the text will be crowdsourced from answers to a series of questions asked on this blog. 

This project comes from an interest in humans, and the way we attempt to understand and share our own experience with one another. It also comes from interests in layering movement and text, non-traditional performance spaces, the relationship between audience and performer, found text, participation, art as a community-builder, and the connection between movement and intention. 

My name is Laura Holway, and I'm a performance maker based in St.Paul. My movement-rooted work uses text, video, props, and sound to explore people and their obsessions, challenges, and daily rituals. It comes from a love of people watching, and a fixation on the mysteries of human connection. I love interviews, and found text, and often incorporate my performers’ movement tics and stories into what I make. 

My background is in theater. I’ve made a lot of collaborative work. I’m interested in a messy process, and trying new things. This work is a huge experiment involving many of the things I love. You can see some examples of what I’ve made over here and here

You needn’t have a traditional dance background, but this piece will involve a lot of movement. Performers with backgrounds in theater, physical theater, clowning, comedy, and music performance (for example) are also encouraged to audition.
Experience making devised work might be helpful. 
At least some daytime (week day) availability is necessary.
Knowledge of a musical instrument is a bonus.
Ability to be a little uncomfortable at times in the process is essential: it will shift.
This piece will be choreographed, but will rely a lot on your intention, ability to take direction, and intuition. 
Availability during the scheduled weeks is essential, as we have a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time.

Performers will be paid a stipend of $600.

As I wrote above, I'm looking for a well organized, punctual person to be my stage manager/assistant on this piece. You will be responsible for helping to coordinate performance venues and ticket reservations, and for notating movement and performance structure. Ideally, you will have some interest and experience in the world of experimental performance and devised work. 

Access to a computer is essential. Experience with movement/dance is really helpful. 
You won't need to be at every single rehearsal in November and December, but some outside-of-rehearsal work/coordination will be needed.

Please email LMholway[at]gmail[dot]com for more information or to schedule an interview.

The stage manager will be paid a stipend of $500.

Mid-October-November 17: 1 rehearsal/week (with 1 additional rehearsal at some point)
November 18-December 2: No rehearsal
December 3-December 23: 2 rehearsals/week
December 23-January 6: No rehearsal
January 6-February 10: 2-3 rehearsals/week
February 10-March 16: Performances (8-10)

This project is made possible through a Next Steps grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC).

Please email Laura at LMholway[at]gmail[dot]com with any questions.