FirstWorks Announces Sets 2015-16 Season

FirstWorks Announces Sets 2015-16 Season

FirstWorks, Rhode Island's premiere organization for connecting art with audiences and the nonprofit producer of the recent Providence International Arts Festival, rode the post-festival momentum today with the announcement of its 2015-16 season. Their new season kicks off the week of Nov. 16, 2015, and brings together a diverse roster of luminary artists across the genres of music, dance, spoken word and interactive performance. Now entering its second decade, FirstWorks is expanding its Artistic Icons Series at The Vets, inaugurating a new Frontier Series of genre-defining artistry, and making each performance a festival unto itself with free, pre-show programs designed as local cultural showcases in event venue lobbies.

This season's "firsts" include:

· East Coast Premiere: Cloud Eye Control's "Half-Life", Nov. 21, 2015

· Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, "Big Band Holidays", Dec. 4, 2015

· Rhode Island Premiere: London's BalletBoyz, Jan. 31, 2016

· World Premiere Tour: Urban Bush Women's "Walking with 'Trane", Feb. 27, 2016

· World Premiere: Aurea Ensemble's "Chromatic Fantasy", March 12 and 13, 2016

· Rhode Island Premiere: Rosanne Cash, "The River & The Thread", April 10, 2016

· Season-long project of engagement and community partnership with Urban Bush Women as part of Widening the Circle, a program produced in partnership with American Dance Legacy Initiative and Rites and Reason Theatre

Fresh off the magnificent success of the Providence International Arts Festival, during which FirstWorks provided a full day of free programming for 100,000 visitors, the arts organization continues to introduce audiences to rising stars and living legends from around the world. Now in her 11th season of curating FirstWorks programming, FirstWorks' Executive Artistic Director Kathleen Pletcher said, "We're entering our second decade and Rhode Islanders remain ready to be dazzled by something new, innovative, and exciting. That's exactly what we'll deliver with the diverse array of stunning talents on deck for our 2015-16 season."

FirstWorks' season begins with the first performance of their new Frontier Series: Los Angeles-based, multimedia performance art troupe Cloud Eye Control in their East Coast debut of "Half Life" on Nov. 21, 2015. "Half Life" is a mix of projected animation, theater, and music that examines the psychological fallout of global disaster. This highly visual, visceral piece recently drew rave reviews for its world premiere at L.A.'s famed REDCAT Theater. Cloud Eye Control performances are tours-de-force through the innovative and unexpected, exploring themes of human adaptation in a technological world.

This performance also marks the beginning of FirstWorks' new cross-promotional partnership with the historic Columbus Theatre, where "Half-Life" will be staged. During the week leading up to the performance, members of Cloud Eye Control will share their inventive hybrid art of animation, experimental theatre, pop music and puppetry with FirstWorks Arts Learning students and university students through workshops, talks and a performance lab.

The first performance of FirstWorks' 2015-16 Artistic Icons Series celebrates the return of a FirstWorks favorite, the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, bringing the spirit of the season to The Vets on Dec. 4, 2015 with "Big Band Holidays". America's preeminent jazz orchestra consists of 15 of the finest musicians working today, under the direction of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer/trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. They'll ring in the season with a night of swinging holiday favorites, New Orleans inflections and jazzy good cheer featuring the vocal stylings of special guest, Denzal Sinclaire.

This is Jazz at Lincoln Center's fourth year of a unique educational partnership with FirstWorks. Together, they've developed curricula to teach Rhode Island students subjects like civics, social studies, and math through jazz. This year's "Big Band Holidays" performance will feature student ensembles playing in the Vets lobby and gallery.