Hope Mohr Dance presents Becca Blackwell and THEY, THEMSELF, AND SCHMERM

Hope Mohr Dance presents Becca Blackwell and  THEY, THEMSELF, AND SCHMERMHope Mohr Dance has announced a one-night-only engagement of Becca Blackwell, Monday, September 18 at Z Below. Part stand-up comedy, part "teen zine vomit confessional," THEY, THEMSELF AND SCHMERM is the New York City-based trans performer's personal tale of being adopted into a Midwestern religious family, trained to be a girl, molested, and plagued by the question, "How do I become a man and do I even want that?"

Blackwell recently performed They, Themself and Schmerm at Under the Radar in New York to critical acclaim. "[Blackwell is] a seasoned artist who's smart enough to know that an honest personal performance can pack a political and consciousness raising wallop," exclaims BOMB Magazine. "Blackwell flirts with and confides in a crowd that can't get enough," writes New York Theatre Review. "It would have taken me two years of focus groups to make being molested that funny," declares playwright and director Young Jean Lee.

A "tall, strong, he-she-schmerm ginger," Blackwell prefers the pronoun "they," existing between genders, and uses "schmerm" wryly to mean, in her words, "a schmear of gender...the sound of gender clapping and then clasping its own hand."

Blackwell's last performance in San Francisco was in Young Jean Lee's Untitled Feminist Show in 2014. Over their two-decade stage career, Blackwell has worked collaboratively with playwrights, directors and ensembles including Lee, Half Straddle, Jennifer Miller of Circus Amok, Richard Maxwell, Sharon Hayes, Theater of the Two Headed Calf and Lisa D'Amour. They, Themself and Schmerm is directed by Elena Heyman. Blackwell is a 2015 recipient of the Doris Duke Impact Artist Award.
"I am thrilled to present the Bay Area premiere of Becca Blackwell's They, Themself and Schmerm," said Hope Mohr. "I'm proud to support Blackwell as a trans artist, and to give Bay Area audiences the rare opportunity to experience Blackwell's authenticity, courage, intelligence and humor."
Hope Mohr Dance's presentation of They, Themself and Schmerm looks forward to the seventh annual Bridge Project, November 3 - 11, the company's signature platform that approaches curating as a form of community organizing to convene interdisciplinary cultural conversations. The theme of this year's event is Radical Movements: Gender and Politics in Performance, and features activists, scholars and performers including boychild, Judith Butler, Jack Halberstam, Monique Jenkinson, Peacock Rebellion, Maryam Rostami and Julie Tolentino, among several others. All of the participants have been asked to respond to the prompt: What does it mean to have a radical body? A description of the complete program is online at hopemohr.org/2017-bridge-project.

Additional stops on Blackwell's West Coast tour include the TBA Festival in Portland, Oregon, and Velocity Dance Space in Seattle. For more information about Blackwell visit beccablackwell.com. To purchase tickets - $20 to $35 - to Blackwell's performance in San Francisco visit Brown Paper Tickets.
The 2017 Bridge Project is supported in part by the NEA, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, the Sakana Foundation, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, California Arts Council, CounterPulse, the Joe Goode Annex and many generous individual donors.

The mission of Hope Mohr Dance is to create, present and foster outstanding contemporary dance at the intersection of critical thinking and the body. Hope Mohr Dance has two core commitments: to engage in rigorous creative inquiry that manifests in artistic excellence, and to deepen critical discourse around dance.
In keeping with these commitments, HMD's signature curatorial platform the Bridge Project "annually recruits the prime movers of American postmodernism in a series of classes, workshops, discussions and public concerts" (San Francisco Chronicle). The Bridge Project approaches curating as a form of community organizing to facilitate cultural conversations that cross discipline, geography, and perspective. HMD's Bridge Project "fills a critical gap in the artistic and intellectual life of the Bay Area dance community by honoring the past and giving context to the present through its remarkable annual series of guest artists and events" (Stanford Professor of Theater and Performance Studies Janice Ross). The Bridge Project's track record of presenting high-caliber artists has raised HMD's profile as a company that does more than present the work of one artistic director, but rather serves as a hub for artistic exchange. Past Bridge Project artists include Jeanine Durning, Simone Forti, Liz Gerring, Anna Halprin, Deborah Hay, Diane Madden, Alva Noë, Chrysa Parkinson, Susan Rethorst, Michèle Steinwald, Dusan Tynek and Molissa Fenley. For more information about Hope Mohr Dance visit hopemohr.org.

Hope Mohr is a curator, choreographer and writer. She trained at S.F. Ballet School, studied theater at Yale and earned her B.A. in Latin American Studies at Stanford, where she wrote her honors thesis on the women's movement in Nicaragua. After working as an Americorps Team Leader in South Central LA, Mohr moved to NYC to train on scholarship at the Merce Cunningham and Trisha Brown Studios. Her long performance career included time in the companies of dance pioneers Lucinda Childs and Trisha Brown. Passionate about pursuing both community organizing and dance, Mohr earned a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a Columbia Human Rights Fellow. In 2007, Mohr returned to San Francisco to establish Hope Mohr Dance. The ongoing mission of the company is to create, present and foster outstanding contemporary dance at the intersection of critical thinking and the body. In addition to making dances that take a rigorous conceptual approach to fundamental questions about the body in space and time, Mohr curates as a form of community organizing. Her signature curatorial platform The Bridge Project recruits the prime movers of postmodernism to the Bay Area to spark conversations that cross discipline, geography, and perspective. Mohr has held residencies at Stanford Arts Institute, ODC Theater, Montalvo Arts Center, and the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature and Dance. She was a 2016 YBCA Fellow.
Hope Mohr Dance presents Becca Blackwell and  THEY, THEMSELF, AND SCHMERM



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