SHOTWELL STUDIOS DESCRIPTIONS:

Back to the Graveyard (Premiere)

SUN JAN 25; THU JAN 29; SAT JAN 31

www.samanthachanse.com

Written and performed by Samantha Chanse




Photo by Colin Hussey
Samantha plays herself in real time doing standup comedy plus three other characters in a story that gradually unfolds about a derailed family dinner plan. This comedic piece with embedded tragedy was first seen in late September at Intersection for the Arts as part of Kearny Street Workshop's APAture festival, a multidisciplinary Asian American arts festival. The title is taken from an illustrated children's book that is read at one point in the play.

Samantha is a writer/performer (primarily of plays and standup comedy) and a curator, editor and arts administrator (recently as Kearny Street Workshop's artistic director and now as a board member). A native New Yorker who has been living in San Francisco since 2001, she has presented her work locally and nationally. She received an individual artist commission from the San Francisco Arts Commission for her first, full-length solo play, Lydia's Funeral Video, which premiered in February 2008 in San Francisco under the direction of Wilma Bonet and in August at the NY International Fringe Festival. As a standup, Sam plays venues from dimly lit bars to the Herbst Theater, The Laugh Factory (NY and LA) and the Purple Onion.

"Spiked with surreal celebrity trash-culture references, sardonic moral relativity, and Chanse's biting wit, LFV celebrates irreverent political incorrectness and the societal gray areas in all of us." Connie Hwong, Flavorpill



Molissa Fenley and Dancers

Shotwell Studios: SUN JAN 25; THU JAN 29 | The Garage: SAT JAN 24

www.molissafenley.com

Cosmati Variations 1-4 (West Coast premiere)

Choreographed by Molissa Fenley

Performed by Molissa Fenley Katie McGreevy and Cassie Mey

Costumes by Khadda; Lighting by David Moodey

Music by John Cage performed on CD by the Donald Knaack Performance Ensemble




Photo by Steven Schreiber
This series choreographed by Fenley while in residence at the American Academy in Rome, premiered in June, 2008 and subsequently previewed in New York in October. Cosmatesque floor mosaics of 11th-12th century Roman basilicas and churches inspire each variation's spatial design, geometric form, movement patterns and demand of execution.

Molissa Fenley and Dancers was founded in 1977. In her 31-year career, Fenley has choreographed over 60 works and been awarded two Bessies for Choreography. Early work was commissioned by The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, the American Dance Festival, the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival. The company began to tour nationally and internationally in 1980. From 1988-1997, Fenley choreographed solo works in collaboration with contemporary visual artists and composers. Since 1997, she has returned to the ensemble form. Performances have taken place at the Joyce Theater, Summerstage, The Kitchen, City Center, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center and many others. Fenley has choreographed for the Australian Dance Theatre, the Ohio Ballet, the Deutsche Opera Ballet, Peter Boal, Peggy Baker, the Korea/Japan Performing Arts Exchange and the Pacific Northwest Ballet. She is on the dance faculty at Mills College during spring semesters and teaches choreography in the Experimental Theater Wing at NYU. In 2008, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for Choreography.



Lenora Lee / Lee and Wang Dance

Shotwell Studios: SUN JAN 25; THUR JAN 29 | The Garage: THUR JAN 15; FRI JAN 16

www.LeeWangDance.org

Pfannenstiel Incision Marks the Spot

Created and performed by Lenora Lee




Photo by Lara Hoke
Lenora's unique movement language captures a speed and precision similar to that of martial arts and a detail in gesture and communication to the likeness of sign language. This solo abstract dance serves as a window into the complex emotional and psychological ramifications of having one's fertility at risk and the trauma of the post-surgical experience. "The juncture of hand over hand marks the point of incision. As the hands separate, they create the divide, the splitting of flesh, exposure of the inner body to the outer world."

Lenora is Co-Artistic Director of Lee & Wang Dance with Elaine Wang.
A native San Franciscan, she has been an integral part of the Asian American contemporary dance and creative music communities for ten years and has directed, choreographed, and produced her own works internationally. Her current cycle includes, A Timeless Jump (2005), You Quietly… (2006), and Gale Winds & Turiya (2007). She has a long history of collaboration with saxophonist Francis Wong, Japanese (odori) dancer/taiko artist Melody Takata, American Indian vocalist/bassist John-Carlos Perea, Cuban and Brazilian percussionist Jimmy Biala, and flautist/taiko artist Kaoru Watanabe.



Fat is a 4-letter word

THUR JAN 22; FRI JAN 30

Written and performed by Pamela Mackenzie

Directed by Pamela Ciochetti




Photo by Liz Payne
Bemused by all the expert reports on what to eat and why, Pamela takes a wry eye to the American obsession with fat. Her on again, off again diets with weight loss/gain in the hundreds of pounds makes her an expert on what works and why. No matter what your body image, this hilarious take on living fat in a culture fixated on being thin will have you asking for more.

Pamela has extensive regional theatre experience primarily in San Mateo County. She has been a leading lady, supporting ones and chorus/ensemble roles in musicals and operettas; plus director of various productions including A Medieval Feast, Cactus Flower and Moon Over Buffalo. She has written poetry and short stories; and is writing a mystery and a play. This is her first original, solo piece.



Come Home

FRI JAN 23; SAT JAN 24; FRI JAN 30; SAT JAN 31

Created and performed by Jovelyn Richards with live music accompaniment

Originally directed by Adele Prandini; Currently by Rhodessa Jones

With directorial assistance, lighting and set design by Melissa Weaver




Photo by Colin Hussey
A timeless evocation of how war and violence can change a community and its way of life. Twenty-six black soldiers leave lynch-torn rural Arkansas to fight in Europe during WWII. Thirteen come home. This is a story of passion and compromise, of kindness and generosity told by those who hold space for the returning soldiers. Jovelyn's heroine, Donna Ray, begins as a joyous young bride and closes as a resilient Mrs. D who, despite tragedy, never lets her optimism and love fade. Musicians who heighten what is happening on stage support the action. After seeing the premiere at The Marsh last February, Rhodessa Jones accepted the directorship and said, "Ms. Richards has that magic! She is a conjure woman who weaves a fabulous tale of lust, love, death and desire.... it is so rare that black women get to share our love stories.... A storyteller of the first order!!!"

Jovelyn is a stand-up comedian, professional storyteller, and guest lecturer. She's a co-producer for KPFA 94.1 Women's Magazine where she hosts a weekly commentary on mainstream media, "Welcome to Jovelyn's World." She is co-author of the novel The Onion that won the Digest Merit Award; author of Raising Autumn Colored Babies; Beyond Vanity; and other published works. Her written and stage performances include, The Diaries of Aunt Jemima; Harlem Nights; Flowers Cut in a vase and Dying; and Pussy Will Sell a Lot Longer than Cotton Any Day. She received the Playwright Center of Minnesota's Many Voices Award in 1993 and 1997, and the Intermediate Arts' Artist of Color Award in 1995 and 1998. Come Home premiered at The Marsh in San Francisco in February, 2008.

"Jovelyn Richards is the kind of mesmerizing storyteller that can draw an audience's senses into the palm of her hand moments after she steps onstage." Megan Ma, San Francisco Bay Guardian

"I want to tell Langston, that I saw Josephine Baker and Zora Neale Hurston on the same stage." Nehemiah Pitts, Black Mask Magazine

"Richards channels the spirit world, ancestors and the energy of the trees which encircle her…Come Home is such a luscious play. The souls of the black people give it breath. One can hear the playwright's conversations with relatives in Arkansas as a child. We can see the plough, hear the children in the yard and catch the door before it hits the frame, just in case someone is resting…" Wanda Sabir, SF Bay View



In the Boudoir

SUN JAN 18; THU JAN 29; SUN FEB 1

www.summershapiro.com

Created and performed by Summer Shapiro




Photo by Nancy Rodger
This high energy, high stakes clown show unleashes the audience into a world of romance, spaghetti eating, pillow fights and acrobatics by one of San Francisco's most dynamic, risk taking, funny girls. Summer breaks down the axiom that when you are not concerned with looking good, you look really good! She is sexy, charismatic and hilarious. Get ready for a live connection.

"In The Boudoir tells a deceptively simple story about a young female clown's love life. When a date fails to show up to a candlelit dinner for two at the clown's house, she compensates for her disappointment by engaging the audience in elaborate romantic fantasies. Veering erratically and erotically between the clichés of the helpless, ditzy female and the aggressive femme fatale, Shapiro both explodes stereotypes while making us recognize the universal desires for romantic passion within us all. …. conspired to make the entire audience fall at her feet…half an hour of this masterful, sweetly-scathing performer simply isn't enough." Chloe Veltman For full review visit: www.artsjournal.com/lies/2008/07/of-cupids-and-clowns.html

Summer Shapiro, a graduate of the SF Clown Conservatory, recently premiered this show at the Climate Theater sharing the bill with Cirque Du Soleil veteran, John Gilkey. Her clown show with April Wagner, PANTS! The Best Show Ever, sold out in SF this spring and in the New York Clown Theater Festival this fall. Summer was in the WOW Festival 2007 in a trapeze clown duo in Angry Gods and Lost Marbles, by Paoli Lacy and then at the Magic Theater in October, 2007. Summer was a performer and core company member in The Medea Project: Theatre For Incarcerated Women, directed by Rhodessa Jones in 2006. She has performed original solo work at Julia Morgan Center; played the Clown in The Bartered Bride, directed by Christopher Walker, Legion of Honor and Napa Valley Opera House; debuted in The Mums circus, directed by Roy Johns at the Golden Eagle Awards, Los Angeles; and Assunta in The Rose Tattoo, directed by Tony award winner, Mel Shapiro (no relation).



Vixen Noir in Sweet Deliverance

SUN JAN 18; THU JAN 22; SAT JAN 24

Written and performed by Veronica C. Combs (Vixen Noir)

Original Music composed by Shawn Garmon

Warning: Explicit Sexual Content and Nudity; no children under 18




Photo by Karen Marisa
The sexual evolution of Vixen Noir from precocious toddler to sassy sex goddess is exposed in this funny, edgy and raucous one-woman show. Vixen sets out to prove that her smutty ways were passed down through her matriarchal bloodline. Punctuated by video excerpts from interviews with her grandmother, Vixen's fierce mix of storytelling, poetry, monologues, songs, burlesque and dance, culminates in an explosive climax that might make you look at your own sexuality in a whole different light!

Vixen Noir (aka Veronica C. Combs) is an award-winning, San Francisco-based erotic performance and burlesque artist, actress, poetess, contemporary and ballroom dancer, as well as director, producer, choreographer and filmmaker. She has been wowing audiences internationally with her sexy, jaw-dropping performances for over 17 years! Her work claims erotic power and celebrates the diversity of gender expression. She was founder of liquidFIRE Productions, a local theatre company dedicated to the authentic representation of lesbians and queer women of color on stage (1997 to 2006). Now she teaches erotic performance, co-produces and co-hosts the monthly Cabaret Dé~Nude and is launching her show on tour.



Nina Wise

THU JAN 22; FRI JAN 23; SUN JAN 25; SUN FEB 1

www.ninawise.com



Photo by Klea McKenna
Improviser Nina Wise creates autobiographical performances that emerge from a robust physicality and result in a theatrical form that is accessible, exciting, unpredictable and always relevant to the issues of the moment. In short, Nina Wise's performances are funny, moving and smart.

Nina Wise is a theater artist known for spontaneous performances that make audiences laugh, cry, think and see life in a whole new way. She has presented one-of-a-kind performances at theater festivals, international conferences, and think tanks as well as at prestigious performance art venues on both east and west coasts. Her work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and in Thailand, India, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Brazil and Canada.

"You leave a Nina Wise performance uplifted, as if you've seen something fresh, moving and above all, deeply human." Ashland Tribune

"No mere talking head, Wise possesses a supple physique, prodigious energy and nerve with which to render the shapes and souls of things. Loving-kindness abounds in her work. She makes art as fresh as the day's headlines." Village Voice



THE GARAGE DESCRIPTIONS:

Laura Arrington Dance

FRI JAN 16; SAT JAN 17; SUN JAN 18

www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1402188185

The Virgin Sea

Choreographed by Laura Arrington

Performed by Laura Arrington, Charles Gushue, Alicia O, Brianna Taylor, Liz Tenuto, Hanna Saterlee and Ashley West-Roberts



Photo by: Steve Clarke
Part fantasy, part ritual, this ensemble dance tackles the space between the exceptional and the everyday, the loss of innocence and the liberating power of love. Rock music, live singing, wild dancing and excessive gum chewing move along the story inspired by John Berryman's The Ball Poem of a gender bending pirate boy and his quest for freedom while being held captive by sailors.

Since moving to the Bay Area in January 2008, Laura Arrington has shown her work at the Garage and as part of ODC's Pilot Program. She lived in New York where she performed in the companies of Ellis Wood, Christopher Williams, and Nina Winthrop. Her work has been shown at Dixon Place and Dance New Amsterdam. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and while there, performed for BJ Sullivan, Gerri Houlihan, Sean Sullivan, Tatiana Baganova, Sherone Price and Alice Holland.



earthstepper

THU JAN 15; FRI JAN 16; FRI JAN 23; THU JAN 29

Choreographed and performed by Ara Glenn-Johanson




Photo by Colin Hussey
This solo sheds stark but revealing light upon a solitary traveler as she arrives in an unknown place. Ara isolates the moment when a wanderer is truly lost. Layered with dance, live singing and vocal soundscaping, this epic yet personal work draws on expressions of loneliness across a thousand years, from a tenth-century poem to an eighteenth century folk ballad to present day experience.

Ara is an interdisciplinary artist in experimental theatre, site-specific performance, community-based theatre and dance. In NYC, she has performed in underground spaces like Charas and Collective Unconscious. She has been influenced deeply by her old time teachers Stephen Wangh, Mary Overlie and KJ Holmes. Recently, her work has been shown in the Summer Performance Festival at The Garage, 2nd Sundays at CounterPULSE and the Celebrate Dance Festival in San Diego.






Edited For Time

THU JAN 15; FRI JAN 23; THUR JAN 29; SAT JAN 31

Choreographed by Gretchen Garnett

Music by Redhooker

Performed by Chad Dawson, Gretchen Garnett, Becca Rufer and Leah Samson




Photo by Tom Gallo
The piece's sweeping physicality reaches through space with strength and power. Legs and arms extend and slice as the dancers pick up momentum and speed. There is a shift and opening reminiscent of the linear quality of time marching on and seeming faster as we speed through it. Their rhythms and relationships become more fluid. Inspiration came from the book The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger where the main character involuntarily moves forward and back in time, constantly confusing and distorting the causes and effects of the events in his life.

Gretchen has been choreographing, dancing and teaching in the Bay Area since 2005, where her work has been presented at the Garage and SpectorDance Emerging Choreographers Festival in Marina, CA. She has performed with Barely Human Dance Theatre, Diggs Dance Theater, danceNAGANUMA, Leyya Tawil's Dance Elixir, HerPic Performances, and the Pfeifle Dance Project and currently with Kelly Bowker and Aura Fischbeck Dance.



Molissa Fenley and Dancers

The Garage: SAT JAN 24 | Shotwell Studios: SUN JAN 25; THU JAN 29

www.molissafenley.com

Cosmati Variations 1-4 (West Coast premiere)

Choreographed by Molissa Fenley

Performed by Molissa Fenley Katie McGreevy and Cassie Mey

Costumes by Khadda; Lighting by David Moodey

Music by John Cage performed on CD by the Donald Knaack Performance Ensemble




Photo by Paula Court
This series choreographed by Fenley while in residence at the American Academy in Rome, premiered in June, 2008 and subsequently previewed in New York in October. Cosmatesque floor mosaics of 11th-12th century Roman basilicas and churches inspire each variation's spatial design, geometric form, movement patterns and demand of execution.

Molissa Fenley and Dancers was founded in 1977. In her 31-year career, Fenley has choreographed over 60 works and been awarded two Bessies for Choreography. Early work was commissioned by The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, the American Dance Festival, the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival. The company began to tour nationally and internationally in 1980. From 1988-1997, Fenley choreographed solo works in collaboration with contemporary visual artists and composers. Since 1997, she has returned to the ensemble form. Performances have taken place at the Joyce Theater, Summerstage, The Kitchen, City Center, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center and many others. Fenley has choreographed for the Australian Dance Theatre, the Ohio Ballet, the Deutsche Opera Ballet, Peter Boal, Peggy Baker, the Korea/Japan Performing Arts Exchange and the Pacific Northwest Ballet. She is on the dance faculty at Mills College during spring semesters and teaches choreography in the Experimental Theater Wing at NYU. In 2008, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for Choreography.



Ko Labs Theater Company

SAT JAN 24; SUN JAN 25; SAT JAN 31; SUN FEB 1

www.kolabs.org

Endless Frontier

Created and directed by Niki Selken; Costumes by Kasey Smith;

Original music by Gabriel Gilder, Aaron Levine, David Manning and Niki Selken

Performed by Emily Encina, Gabriel Gilder, Justina Kochansky, David Manning, Niki Selken, Danielle Sublett, Dan Trudell, Ben Wilkinson and Zack




Photo by Kasey Smith
A magical, experimental musical with witty satire, foot-tapping live music and enormous puppets! Follow two foolhardy adventurers and a demigod who seek open space amidst a shrinking landscape of the American West. Set against a giant mountain of junk, the cast turns the national pastime of consumption and expansion into the notion of Manifest Destiny.

Niki Selken is an experimental playwright, performer and musician who recently founded Ko Labs Theater Company and debuted this production in the 2008 SF Fringe Festival. Niki has performed and/or worked with Shakespeare Santa Cruz, The San Jose Stage Company, Erika Shuch Performance Project at the Yerba Buena Center, The Garage, The Exit, Crash Cabaret at the Roxy Theater and with her band Cosmic Star.



Lenora Lee / Lee and Wang Dance

The Garage: THUR JAN 15; FRI JAN 16 | Shotwell Studios: SUN JAN 25; THUR JAN 29

www.LeeWangDance.org

Pfannenstiel Incision Marks the Spot

Created and performed by Lenora Lee




Photo by Lara Hoke
Lenora's unique movement language captures a speed and precision similar to that of martial arts and a detail in gesture and communication to the likeness of sign language. This solo abstract dance serves as a window into the complex emotional and psychological ramifications of having one's fertility at risk and the trauma of the post-surgical experience. "The juncture of hand over hand marks the point of incision. As the hands separate, they create the divide, the splitting of flesh, exposure of the inner body to the outer world."

Lenora is Co-Artistic Director of Lee & Wang Dance with Elaine Wang.
A native San Franciscan, she has been an integral part of the Asian American contemporary dance and creative music communities for ten years and has directed, choreographed, and produced her own works internationally. Her current cycle includes, A Timeless Jump (2005), You Quietly… (2006), and Gale Winds & Turiya (2007). She has a long history of collaboration with saxophonist Francis Wong, Japanese (odori) dancer/taiko artist Melody Takata, American Indian vocalist/bassist John-Carlos Perea, Cuban and Brazilian percussionist Jimmy Biala, and flautist/taiko artist Kaoru Watanabe.



Pink Hair Affair

SUN JAN 25; THU JAN 29; FRI JAN 30

www.pinkhairaffair.com

A Sympathetic Listener (West Coast premiere)

Choreographed and costumed by Lauren Mathis and Rachel Slater

Performed by Lauren Mathis, Rachel Slater and Ashley Wood

Videography by Curtis Albucher

Original music by Evv'n'Flo and Ben Frankenstein




Photo by Bill Hebert
In their San Francisco debut, the girls in pink wigs create a passage into one girl's perspective of harmony, asking: Who are these individuals who play in hopes of finding amity? Through a variety of angst-filled duets, merry, spontaneous trios and undulating video interactions, the audience watches puzzle pieces of her life: an odyssey of personal examination expressed in the language of abstract contemporary dance.

Lauren and Rachel are founding members of Pink Hair Affair and have performed in the Philly Fringe Festival, Group Motion's Spiel Uhr series and produced several independent shows. Lauren is pursuing her Master's at California Institute of Integral Studies. Rachel has been dancing professionally for Group Motion Multimedia Dance Company directed by Manfred Fischbeck. Both have classical ballet training and graduated with BFAs in modern dance performance from the University of the Arts in 2007.

"…A too-adorable gaggle of nine girly-girls, who prove they have brains under those hot-pink wigs when each takes a turn with the choreography." Merilyn Jackson, The Philadelphia Inquirer



Pumpdance Theater

THU JAN 22; FRI JAN 23; SUN FEB 1

Remotor Controls

Choreographed by Pearl Marill

Performed by Jorge Dehoyos, PJ Johnson, Pearl Marill, Valerie Scott, Alexander Steinhaus and Rebecca Wolfe




Photo by Colin Hussey
This high energy, quirky and comedic ensemble stumbles from birth to death in a day; from babies gyrating to hip-hop music in diapers to corporate pogues scuttling like crabs. Poignant and bittersweet, the performers get caught up in the frenetic pace of life that controls them until they learn to find balance. The moment they find their bliss, time catches up with them.

Pearl has worked with New Conservatory Theater, Jump!Theater, The DramaMama's, UDance Electra, Pj Johnson, and Lila Improvisational Theater. Artistic director of the recently formed, Pumpdance Theater, Pearl's work has been shown at Works in The Works in Berkeley, in ODC's Pilot program, CounterPulse, The Garage and at The Traveling Jewish Theatre.

"Pearl Marill is a choreographer with a future. Her movement and presentation ideas combine to keep the audience both intrigued and out rightly amused by her stories. "Remoter Control" is a selection of dance pieces that range from the silly to the sublime..." Paul Sinasohn, SF Bay Times



SoShe's Performance Collective

SAT JAN 17; SUN JAN 18; THU JAN 22; FRI JAN 30

www.myspace.com/soshescollective

Various work choreographed and performed by Daina Block, Kerri Myers, Brianna Taylor, Julie Wolfrum and Alison Yoder; with Laura Arrington, Michael Brezinski, Christina Sours and flute player Mike 360




Photo by Colin Hussey
This group of dedicated artists present their eclectic repertoire with featured new works. Daina Block premieres her disturbingly haunted solo, Beatrice. Brianna Taylor revisits her African inspired solo, A Small Story, and brings a premiere for the quartet, Impossible Landscapes. Julie Wolfrum's fresh solo, Beyond Recognition features live music by flute player Mike360, and she reprises the quirky duet, Judge Not, featuring Alison Yoder and Michael Brezinski. It's safety first for the ensemble in Standard Procedure by Kerri Myers plus a screening of her video solo Waiting/Longing.

SoShe's Performance Collective, founded in 2008 was created as a support system for artistic souls in need of nourishment and nudging. Reaching out to the community, SoShe's has created a space for artists to be seen and heard in a safe setting. SoShe's collaborates with other performers in a monthly showcase, allowing constructive feedback. Also SoShe's offers a weekly dance class at MoBu Dance Studio in Noe Valley, open to all levels.



Footloose is funded in part by grants from the Zellerbach Family Fund, Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax, the Argosy Foundation, generous businesses and individuals. Corporate sponsors are Copy Central and the SF BAY GUARDIAN.