Arena Stage Will Present Double Edge Theatre's THE GRAND PARADE, 2/6-10

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Arena Stage Will Present Double Edge Theatre's THE GRAND PARADE, 2/6-10

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater will present the world premiere of Double Edge Theatre's The Grand Parade (of the 20th Century), which takes audiences on an evocative journey through the 20th century by fusing music, dance and flying. Following workshop performances in Baltimore and Chicago previews, Double Edge, hailed by American Theatre as an "unpredictable and imaginative" theater troupe, officially launches the international tour of The Grand Parade in Washington, D.C. before taking the production to the Golden Mask Festival in Moscow. Inspired by Marc Chagall's paintings, this movement-based new work runs February 6-10, 2013 in the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle.

The Grand Parade is directed and designed by Double Edge Founder and Artistic Director Stacy Klein in collaboration with Double Edge members Carlos Uriona, Matthew Glassman, Adam Bright, Hayley Brown, Jeremy Louise Eaton and Milena Dabova.

"The Grand Parade is a highly visual and unusual, company-built piece that serves as a reminder of the wonderful work collective ensembles do," sharesArena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith. "The company members live and work on a farm in western Massachusetts, and it's a pleasure to bring their work to D.C. to literally take flight in the Kogod Cradle."

"The Grand Parade has been a truly collaborative experience, from its co-creation by Double Edge's international ensemble to the inspiring partnership with Russian composer Alexander Bakshi, to the host of designers, dramaturgs and production associates from Ashfield and around the country, who have come together to envision their picture of 20th century history," adds Klein. "With Chagall as our muse, we dared our way through the century's chaos, trying to write (or imagine) a better future and find our own thousand ways to fly."

To share their ensemble-based approach to devised work with the local community, Double Edge is partnering with local theater ensembles and universities to provide workshops focused on physical improvisation leading up to their run at Arena Stage. Double Edge kicked off this series of training sessions by working with members of two of Arena Stage's Community Engagement programs-Voices of Now Mentor Ensemble, a yearlong drama program for students focused on devising and performing theater based on their own writing, and The Actors Arena, a forum for experienced local professional actors to hone and develop their skills. Three additional workshops are scheduled for January that will include ensemble members from dog & pony dc and students from Georgetown University, along with other local artists and students.

About The Grand Parade: The Grand Parade depicts major events of the 20th century in a theatrical style inspired by Chagall's kaleidoscopic vision of humanity at play, at war and at rest. Trapeze, circus, dance, projections and popular culture fill the height and breadth of the stage as history is recounted with iconic images from film, television and photography. Time shrinks and expands as the 20th century unfolds in a dream-like rush of juxtapositions that include the ecstasy of landing on the moon, the frenzy of war, the skilled escapes of Houdini, the atomic bomb, Kennedy's assassination and Hitler's brutalization of Europe.

Stacy Klein (Director/Designer) is the founder and artistic director of Double Edge, which has entered its 30th year as one of the foremost laboratory, ensemble theaters in the U.S. After 12 years in Boston, she moved Double Edge to rural Ashfield, MA in 1994 and led the creation of The Farm Center. The Grand Parade is the 16th Double Edge performance she has directed, and it begins a new stage in her work. She was mentored from the 1970s until the present by Rena Mirecka, lead actress of the Teatr Laboratorium, and holds a Ph.D. in Theater History and Criticism.

The Cast of The Grand Parade (in alphabetical order)
Adam Bright is an actor, technical director and core member originally from London, England. He studied theater at Hull University and worked with the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, England under the guidance of Sir Alan Ayckbourn. While studying acting with the National Youth Theatre UK, he became interested in ensemble-based new work, and this led him to Double Edge. Adam has been with Double Edge since 2005 and has performed in three company performances.

Hayley Brown has been working with Double Edge since 2003, creating roles in both company and summer spectacle performances. She manages the theater's food co-op and vegetable garden. Hayley completed the Intensive Program at the New England Center for Circus Arts, with a focus on aerial fabric and duo trapeze. She is a native of Western Massachusetts.

Milena Dabova was born and raised in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, where she trained in rhythmic gymnastics, aikido and dance. She has lived in the U.S. since 2002 and holds a BA in Theater & Dance and Psychology from Amherst College. Milena joined the Double Edge ensemble in 2010 and has performed in four of the company's summer spectacles and two Second Stage productions. She is now a core member of the theater and is the company's marketing and technology associate.

Jeremy Louise Eaton has been with Double Edge for eight years and is a core member and student program associate. She is also one of the leaders of Double Edge's training programs. Jeremy has lived in Laos, California, Pakistan, Maryland, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Massachusetts.

Matthew Glassman is a lead actor and executive director of The Farm Center who has worked with the company since 2000. He has created the roles of Sancho Panza and Bruno Schulz, among others. He serves on the board of the Network of Ensemble Theatres, co-leads the National Rural Arts & Culture Working Group and has served as a grant panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. He has a son, Nicolas.

Carlos Uriona is an actor and puppeteer from Argentina and has been a core member of Double Edge since 1996. He is the ensemble leader, actors' coach and trainer. He created the roles of Don Quixote in the UnPOSSESSED (2003-2010) and Odysseus in The Odyssey (2011-12). He was also a founder of Grupo de Teatro Diablomundo in Buenos Aires (1985-1996).

Rounding out the cast are Double Edge Co-Founder Carroll Durand and Resident Artist Kieran Smyth, along with musicians Brian Fairley, John Peitso,Walken Schweigert and Amanda Miller. Chorus members from Georgetown University include Emma Clark, Vivian Cook and Allie Villarreal.

The Grand Parade creative team also features Composer Alexander Bakshi, Sound & Projection Designer Brian Fairley, Wood Designer Jeff Bird, Costumiere Amanda Miller, Lighting Designer Lucrecia Briceno, Vocal and Music Director Lyudmila Bakshi, Mask Designer Beckie Kravetz, Puppet Designers Carroll Durand and Sarah Cormier and Dramaturg Morgan Jenness.

The Grand Parade was selected as one of seven new projects to receive funding from the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Grand Parade is also funded in part by The Bilateral Presidential Commission: American Seasons in Russia, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation's USArtists International and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Grand Parade Special Events, Ticket Information and Performance Calendar
Chagall as Theater Muse event at The Phillips Collection-January 31, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
The Phillips Collection is partnering with Arena Stage to present a special preview of The Grand Parade. Director Stacy Klein and members of the company will discuss how their deep study of Chagall informs this wordless, music-infused spectacle as they demonstrate through video, costumes and props some of the artistry that will be showcased on stage. This event is $20 (or $8 for Phillips Collection members) and will take place in the Phillips Collection Auditorium, located at 1600 21st Street, NW. For more information and to reserve tickets, visit phillipscollection.org/events/2013-01-31-theater-chagall-as-theater-muse.aspx.

TICKETS: Tickets for The Grand Parade are $40, subject to change and based on availability, plus applicable fees. For information on savings programs such as student discounts, Pay-Your-Age tickets, HOTTIX and Hero's Discounts, visit arenastage.org/shows-tickets/single-tickets/savings-programs.Tickets may be purchased online at arenastage.org, by phone at 202-488-3300 or at the Sales Office at 1101 Sixth St., SW, D.C.

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