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

      It’s been 125 years since Van Gogh’s death, today we celebrate his life’s work.


      5 Ways to See Van Gogh’s Irises

      Through observations, visitor conversations, and some sneaky eavesdropping, we’ve compiled the top 5 ways people enjoy this painting.

      1. In a Crowd
        One of the most obvious ways that people see the painting is in a crowd. The gallery is almost always filled, and you might have to wait before you can get up close. The anticipation builds as you start in the back row, and slowly move until you are close enough to see the brushstrokes of Van Gogh’s thick paint.

      2. Online
        David from Colorado said that this was his first visit, but he had already seen the painting online. In addition to being available through the Getty’s Open Content program, the painting is often seen on social media. Just search #irises on Instagram for a taste of the painting’s popularity. 

      3. Alone
        If you arrive right at 10 a.m. when the museum opens, the quiet gallery provides a perfect backdrop to really examine the painting. Solitude and seclusion gives the gallery a sense of intimacy. 

      4. Multiple Times
        Repeat visits can give rise to multiple interpretations. Is it a melancholy or joyous painting? Expressive or depressive? 

      5. Internationally
        Visitors from all across the world viewed this famous Van Gogh. In just one hour I heard multiple languages—French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, German, and more. Irises seems to rise above cultural boundaries—a Dutch painting inspired by Japanese ukiyo-e prints—to strike an emotional resonance amongst all viewers. 

      What is your favorite lens to view Van Gogh’s work through? 

      07/29/15

  • Flickr