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PS21 Chatham Season Closing Celebration Makes For A Wildly Unique Labor Day Weekend, September 2-4

Events include multi-disciplinary public initiative of free and affordable performances, arts and environmental education workshops and more!

Philippe Quesne's Farm Fatale and The Moles alongside Compagnie Galmae/Juhyung Lee's participatory installation C'est Pas Là , C'est Par Là are highlights of PS21 PATHWAYS: Blazing Trails to a Sustainable Future, a multi-disciplinary public initiative of free and affordable performances, arts and environmental education workshops and encounters, circus and processional arts, participatory activities, and installations designed for the local community, with influences from around the world.

PHILIPPE QUESNE (FRANCE): FARM FATALE, NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE | September 2-3, 7 PM

PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century, presents this year's sole North American performances of Farm Fatale in the open-air Pavilion Theater. Located on 100 acres of orchards, meadows, and woodlands in Chatham, NY the New York Times has hailed PS21 as a "Hudson Valley outpost of the avant-garde."

Farm Fatale is Philippe Quesne's eco-futurist fable: birds have gone extinct, and five scarecrows find themselves out of work. Taking up the challenge of restoring life on earth, they archive, investigate, make music, and seek ways to save what can be saved. Environmental knights-errant, the scarecrows contemplate the fragile beauty of the terrestrial ecosystem, and in the process are transformed into dreamers, poets, and activists in a quest for a kinder, less harmful future for the planet.

Acclaimed French theater director, scenographer, and visual artist Philippe Quesne marries activism and art to create an unforgettable theatrical experience, a dramatic tightrope act that balances mirth and melancholy, tenderness and catastrophe, irony and magic. Refusing to succumb to despair, the protagonists of this postapocalyptic spectacle celebrate the restorative power and sublime beauty of nature, treating the prospect of the end of the world at a moment when its survival hangs in the balance with the delicacy and humor of musical comedy.
A poetic meditation on the urgent ecological and political issues of our day, Farm Fatale is a vision of our imperiled present and our hope for creating a sustainable future.

TICKETS: $40 patron; $30 general; $20 PS21 members; $10 farmers, environmentalists, and food justice activists; FREE students and youth
On September 4 at 7 pm Philippe Quesne's band The Moles will perform a short rock concert as part of PS21's Season Closing Celebration.

Trained as a visual artist and set designer, Quesne's works for theater conjure a realm where dream and reality coexist. His "darkly hilarious" plays, about our often quixotic efforts to create institutions that will make survival possible (The Guardian), employ minimal dialogue freighted with subtle but portentous political and social messages, and have toured internationally to critical and public acclaim. From 2014 to 2020 Quesne was Director of Le Theatre des Amandiers, the National Dramatic Center in Nanterre, one of France's leading dramatic centers, and is now director of the internationally renowned Ménagerie de Verre in Paris, an artistic research laboratory and performance space celebrated for innovative practice in theater and dance.

COMPAGNIE GALMAE (FRANCE/S. KOREA): C'EST PAS LÀ, C'EST PAR LÀ (IT'S NOT THAT WAY, IT'S THIS WAY) | September 3, 8:30 PM & September 4, 8 PM

Juhyung Lee's Compagnie Galmae transforms a crowd of PS21 spectators gathered on the land and trails into a problem-solving collective. Faced with a dense maze of string that resembles a spider web, one spectator picks up a stone and starts to roll up the string bound to it, another walks into the middle of the labyrinth and contemplates the unraveling tangle. Passing over and under the threads, the spectators, transformed into actors in the performance, help each other.

A neutral space becomes a place of encounters, the individuals form a community. The evening ends with a celebration to commemorate the achievement of working together as a community. In the process, participants begin to ask questions: What happens to individuals when they form groups to pursue a common goal? How do crowds move? How do people work together to solve a problem?

Having toured the world, Compagnie Galmae's collective performance C'est pas là, C'est par là engages audiences with the PS21 landscape, where they join forces to negotiate their relationships to space, place, and one another through a designed environment built specifically for the performance in response to its surroundings. Playful, political, and participatory, the work epitomizes PS21's PATHWAYS programming.
TICKETS: $15 general; FREE students and youth
POLITICAL INTERPRETATION AND TRIBUTE TO CIVIL SOCIETYIn a 2019 interview, Juhyung Lee explained, "When I created this show my question was: to what extent can one say that a performance is political? A 'committed' show wasn't the answer for me. I wanted to imagine a situation where the spectators look at themselves instead of at the artists. I wanted to avoid being in the position of teaching the audience a lesson."

"During the demonstrations I took part in in South Korea, the police blocked the avenues with buses to prevent the protesters from marching. We tied ropes to the wheels of the buses and pulled together to create a gap so that we could pass. I wanted to do something with this rope, but initially I had no idea what . . . And then, as I touched it, I saw that the rope was made of many strands."

Juhyung Lee reinvigorates the experience of gathering and gives meaning to the "we" that is often lost in our atomized, individualistic world. The artist guides the collective body, and the movement, the interplay between light and shadow, and the music to introduce an element of poetry to the universal theme of the social link. While individuals surrender a part of themselves to the crowd, Juhyung Lee shows that the group experience is both an intimate reflection on the self and a way of redefining our identities in relation to the communities we join.

ABOUT JUHYUNG LEE/COMPAGNIE GALMAE

In 2012, while doing his military service, South Korean Juhyung Lee participated in Bivouac by Générik Vapeur at the Seoul Street Art Festival. The encounter marked a profound turning point: in 2014, he abandoned his law studies to join Générik Vapeur at the Cité des arts de la rue in Marseille. During his first year, he met apprentices from the FAI-AR (Formation supérieure d'art en espace public), France's leading school for artistic creation in public space, Générik Vapeur housed at the Cité des arts de la rue, and and enrolled in its training program the following year. In 2017, he created Compagnie Galmae, a street art collective, to pursue his own participatory, public-space performances. In 2018, he won the Bourse SACD Auteurs d'Espace and began performing C'est pas là, C'est par là in Europe and internationally that same year.

THE MOLES (FRANCE) | September 4, 7 PMPhilippe Quesne's five giant moles will play a family-friendly Rock concert on the PS21 stage as part of our SEASON CLOSING CELEBRATION the evening of September 4.

In The Moles, a companion piece to Farm Fatale, Philippe Quesne invites audiences into a parallel universe where there are no humans and no words. In this mysterious underground world, larger-than-life moles are the architects of something between a processional utopian spectacle and a punk rock band. More about The Moles from the New York Times.

ABOUT PATHWAYS:

PS21 Chatham's PATHWAYS: Blazing Trails to a Sustainable Future is a multidisciplinary series of free and affordable performances, classes, workshops, encounters, and events tailored to our area's permanent residents. PATHWAYS' unifying thread is the intersection of nature and the arts, incorporating PS21's green, reconfigurable theater and our 100 acres of trails and meadows for site-specific performances and encounters.
ABOUT PS21

Since our state-of-the-art theater was inaugurated in 2018, PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century has evolved into the Hudson Valley's mecca for innovative programming by leading and emerging artists in music, dance, theater, contemporary performance, and the visual and multimedia arts. Jesse Green, writing in the New York Times called our open-air Pavilion Theater a "beautiful, reconfigurable indoor-outdoor space that appears to have landed like an exotic bird in the midst of a 100-acre former apple orchard."

PS21 fosters creativity through artists' residencies and encouraging collaborations between performers working across disciplines and genres. PS21's mission is to provide support for innovative performing artists and creators and to introduce their work to broader audiences, while also providing the surrounding region with opportunities for arts engagement regardless of economic status, cultural background, or age. In its new, green facility, PS21 offers resident makers and performers involved in the creation of new work the tools and flexibility for successful innovation and collaboration in the development of sophisticated multi-media work.

More details and tickets can be found on www.ps21chatham.org.

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