24th ST Friends Onstage at CalArts REDCAT's NOW Festival
We always have an eye on the innovative and groundbreaking works that REDCAT presents downtown. One of our favorite annual family friendly events in Los Angeles is the REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival, and if you love 24th ST Theatre, then you’ll probably love their selections too!
So when REDCAT announced the NOW Festival that opens tonight, we were especially pleased to see two of our favorite artists on the program. Jasmine Orpilla was an After ‘Cool Teaching Artist here, and Miwa Matreyek not only performed in the 2012 Summer Sounds, but is the artist responsible for our famous train effect that wows so many students and teachers at the end of “Enter Stage Right!”
So we definitely think you should go see their performances in REDCAT’s NOW Festival, and take in one of downtown L.A.’s gems of a space - behind yet still part of the Walt Disney Concert Hall - for multidisciplinary work you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
We asked their Executive Director Mark Murphy more about the process of selecting artists for the NOW Festival and what makes Jasmine and Miwa’s work revolutionary enough for their stage.
Cindy Marie Jenkins: What traits do you seek in a NOW Festival artist or performance?
Mark Murphy: Proposals are evaluated based on
1. the vitality of the idea proposed
2. the quality and integrity of the work of the artist/ensemble/collaborators
3. the appropriateness of the project to a festival of new, contemporary works, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration (and to the festival format)
4. the artist’s / team's ability to successfully execute the project.
CMJ: Why were Jasmine and Miwa's works chosen for the NOW Festival?
MM: Jasmine and Miwa are wonderful of examples of artists who are experimenting with and inventing interdisciplinary forms, and finding new ways to use performing arts to communicate an idea or tell a story.
Miwa’s mesmerizing fusion of projected animation and live performance is unique, and her use of dual front-and-rear projection creates a magical effect that creates new possibilities for her to engage with the projected images as a performer. Her collaboration with a composer who is also breaking new ground makes this a particularly intriguing project for the NOW Festival.
Jasmine and her collaborators are blending ancient Filipino traditions with new dramaturgical and staging concepts. Musically, the distinct arrangement of traditional kulintang gong and percussive music for an operatically trained soprano is beautiful — and the use of Pangalay dance in large-scale shadow projection is a hauntingly beautiful way to explore themes related to cultural and social changes in the current history of the Philippines and among Filipinos in the US.
CMJ: What doors do you hope to open for artists by them participating in the NOW Festival?
MM: The NOW Festival makes REDCAT a laboratory for artists to experiment and test new ideas in an environment that encourages risk-taking and collaboration. We hope that the technical and design support, rehearsal space and performance opportunities will allow artists to create work that expands their artistic vocabulary, enhances their ambitions, and affords them greater exposure, attention (locally and nationally), and builds and audience for their unique work. It is inspiring that so many projects that started in the NOW festival have then been developed further and became career-changing productions that created new opportunities for the artists and their collaborators.
There are very few organizations that provide any infrastructure for performing artists to develop new works. In 15 years, NOW has been able to support more than 130 projects.
Get a sense of the magic Miwa created for our field trip that wows children all over Los Angeles to this day! Watch the video below then get your tickets to REDCAT's NOW Festival here.