Disciplinary Artist Samantha Shay to Return to Portland with VASALISA Premiere
World-renowned artist Marina Abramovic mentored one of her pieces, Of Light. One year after Björk attended that same performance and after creating such an impact, Björk listed her as one of her artistic inspirations in The Guardian. And now, after having performed internationally and received endorsements from such art geniuses, theater producer and director Samantha Shay returns to Portland with a new show 'Vasalisa', a raw folktale in collaboration with one of her spiritual mentors and localartist, teacher, and healer Gerri Ravyn Stanfield.
Based on the ancient Russian folktale of the Baba Yaga, 'Vasalisa' is a dreamlike storytelling of being immersed back into nature to retrieve intuition as told through imagery, performance, and folk songs from Bulgaria and Eastern Europe. "We are in a moment where modern culture devalues our intuition as a form of intelligence and the initiation ritual itself. 'Vasalisa' reintroduces a story in which intuition is reclaimed through an initiation process and integrate ritual with theatre in ancient and unprecedented ways," Samantha Shay affirms.
'Vasalisa' will be created and rehearsed in Portland in the time span of just one week. After a busy year of performing pieces internationally, and the significant production demands such performances required, Samantha Shay desired 'Vasalisa' to be created within a new framework of simplicity and rawness.
Samantha Shay explains, "Its really important for artists to set aside time to make something without too much expectation or being tethered, to follow a glowing leyline in your heart, so spending this week making a new performance is just that experiment for me."
Along with her Artist Collective Source Material, Samantha Shay brings her unique visions once again to the Portland stage, after having performances in the city that include, 'I Should Have a Party For All The Thoughts I Didn't Say' and a smaller version version of 'A Thousand Tongues' in 2016. The shows were sold out and criticallyacclaimed across Portland Media.
"More than most theatrical occasions, you really have to be there - and you should. Sometimes I felt like I was in a late Kubrick film, sometimes a Tim Burton show." - Brett Campbell, Oregon Artswatch
Samantha Shay was also the youngest theater director and only female to participate in the European Capital of Culture, premiering her production 'A Thousand Tongues' in Wroclaw, Poland, as a co-production between Shay's Theater Collective Source Material, and the Grotowski Institute, in which she was among some of the most prestigious company of world theater, such as Tadashi Suzuki, Peter Brook, and Robert Wilson.
'Vasalisa' premieres worldwide Sunday, May 14th 2017 in Portland, Oregon at The Headwaters Theatre. Purchase tickets to Vasalisa HERE.
Samantha Shay is an American director of theatre and film, performer, and producer, Samantha Shay creates multi sensorial poetic landscapes, reminiscent of a living dream. Her work is a collaboration between the body and its senses, performing like a welcomed hallucination. She is also the founder of internationally recognized artist collective Source Material, and frequently collaborates with musicians to make films, including JFDR (Jófríður Akadóttir), K A R Y Y N, Jodie Landau, Johanna Warren, Ghost Town Jenny, and Sóley (Sóley Stefánsdóttir).