Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa

Unmasking Scandal at Villa Theater Lab

Villa Theater Lab invites performers to work in residence at the Getty Villa for two weeks, workshopping new theater pieces and presenting them in four performances over a single weekend. For the past two weeks, Rogue Artists Ensemble has been putting the final outrageous touches on Songs of Bilitis, inspired by one of the sexiest literary hoaxes in history.

They’re presenting the story though what they call “hypertheater,” which combines video, movement, and layered audio tracks—plus giant handmade masks, a tiny prop boat hidden in a fake baby, and a colorful wardrobe that comes progressively…off.

When they weren’t rehearsing these past two weeks, the group was making hyperprops with scissors, duct tape, cardboard, and fabric. The goal is experimentation and authenticity. “Our process has to begin in a less precious state,” Sean Cawelti, director of the play and one of the founders of Rogue Artists, told me.”When we’re creating things, we don’t feel bad if we have to start over or redo something.”

For the Rogues, theater is a dialogue. “Audiences are never expected to be passive viewers,” Sean said. “We want the act of viewing theater to be live, so there’s a roughness, there’s an unformed quality about the work sometimes that makes it really feel primal and kind of immediate.”

And immediate it is: the performances start this Friday.

Tagged , , , , Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Comment

  1. Carol
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I caught the last performance, and loved it. I hope the Getty decides to bring it back for a full run. The masks and puppets were great, and the acting terrific, and the whole show was entirely engaging. I drove up in the rain (from San Diego) to catch the last performance, and it did not disappoint. Wonderful, keep up the good work!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • Tumblr

    • photo from Tumblr

      Olympian Census #4: Aphrodite

      Get the stats on your favorite (and not-so-favorite) gods and goddesses on view at the Getty Center.

      Roman name: Venus

      Employment: Goddess of Love and Beauty

      Place of residence: Mount Olympus

      Parents: Born out of sea foam formed when Uranus’s castrated genitals were thrown into the ocean

      Marital status: Married to Hephaestus, the God of Blacksmiths, but had many lovers, both immortal and mortal

      Offspring: Aeneas, Cupid, Eros, Harmonia, Hermaphroditos, and more

      Symbol: Dove, swan, and roses

      Special talent: Being beautiful and sexy could never have been easier for this Greek goddess

      Highlights reel:

      • Zeus knew she was trouble when she walked in (Sorry, Taylor Swift) to Mount Olympus for the first time. So Zeus married Aphrodite to his son Hephaestus (Vulcan), forming the perfect “Beauty and the Beast” couple.
      • When Aphrodite and Persephone, the queen of the underworld, both fell in love with the beautiful mortal boy Adonis, Zeus gave Adonis the choice to live with one goddess for 1/3 of the year and the other for 2/3. Adonis chose to live with Aphrodite longer, only to die young.
      • Aphrodite offered Helen, the most beautiful mortal woman, to Paris, a Trojan prince, to win the Golden Apple from him over Hera and Athena. She just conveniently forgot the fact that Helen was already married. Oops. Hello, Trojan War!

      Olympian Census is a 12-part series profiling gods in art at the Getty Center.

      08/03/15

  • Flickr