Ford Theatres Presents THE SECRET CITY
The Ford Theatres presents The Secret City, the Obie Award-winning arts organization that presents community celebrations of everyday creative life, on Sunday, October 12 at 12:00pm.
Part ceremony, part salon, part show, each gathering has a different theme and an ever-changing roster of artists and performers. In addition to seats in the house, a limited number of seats are available on the Ford stage for this participatory and intimate event that will feature storytelling, a live band, performance, food, meditation, The Secret City Singers and joyful community interaction.
From its origins as a fortifying ritual for beleaguered theatre artists, The Secret City has grown into a half-irreverent, half-earnest blend of revival meeting and group meditation session.
Founding Artistic Director Chris Wells said, "Lately, I've been thinking of The Secret City as a tent revival. But tent revival might make you think of fire and brimstone and people speaking in tongues. So, maybe I should say artistic tent revival, but don't let the artistic part of that phrase make you think it's exclusive: The Secret City is for anyone in need of reconnecting to their source. Thousands of people have taken part in our services. Since 2012, we've been holding quarterly performances at the Bootleg Theater in Silverlake and are thrilled to be sharing our work on the Ford stage."
Wells is a writer, actor, and community leader who creates live events, music, and stories. In 2010, Wells received a special citation Obie Award for creating The Secret City, for service to the artistic community of New York City. Wells' theatrical work has also been honored with two LA Weekly Awards for Best Actor, a shared Garland award for playwriting and many Ovation awards for participating in ensemble-created work. In 2007, Wells was honored with The Charles Bowden Award from New Dramatists for his work in support of new play development.
Olga Garay-English, Executive Director of the Ford Theatres said, "The Secret City is quickly becoming the most open secret in town! It is one of the most joyful ways to celebrate the arts and our humanity and I welcome them to the Ford Theatres with open arms. It makes all of us here very happy to host Chris Wells and his company at our venue - which is perfectly configured to give them a larger space, while preserving an intimacy of experience that is their hallmark."
Founded in New York City in 2007, The Secret City is a nonprofit community arts organization founded on the principals of creative mindfulness. With dynamic live performances in New York City, Los Angeles and Woodstock, NY, Chris Wells serves as curator, host, lead artist and producer. For The Secret City, Wells has presented a variety of artists, from GRAMMY®-winner Rosanne Cash, Amanda Palmer, Tony Winners Stew, and Michael Cerveris to downtown fixtures Justin Vivian Bond, Taylor Mac, Eisa Davis, Jennifer Miller, John Fleck, and Jomama Jones, as well as jugglers, ballerinas, marching bands, singer/songwriters, tap dancers, beatboxers, poets, fire eaters, classical musicians, hula dancers, and many more in a setting dedicated to connecting artists to community and community to artists.
Each event has a theme, with art and performance curated around it, and each event follows a template that is structured like a religious service but filled with art and performance: the house band, the work of a visual artist, a food offering from a local chef, cultural calendar, live performance, an interactive component, a story, silent meditation, a featured musical guest and songs by the company choir, The Secret City Singers.
Wells continued, "Sounds kinda like church, huh? And that's one of the reasons it's hard to describe what we do, because our mission is to do the work that religious communities do but for nonreligious people, those who find connections and purpose in art. We believe that art-making is spiritual, involving mindfulness, intention, and discipline, and that art itself connects people in ways that are joyful, inspiring, and deep."
This event is part of IGNITE @ the FORD!, a series presented by the Ford Theatre Foundation comprised of nationally and internationally-renowned artists whose work is contemporary and reflective of the world in which we live. Seating is very limited for this intimate IGNITE on stage experience. Tickets are available by visiting FordTheatres.org or by calling 323.461.3673.