Intersection for the Arts and California Shakespeare Present CALIFAS FESTIVAL thru 11/17
Intersection for the Arts and the California Shakespeare Theater come together this fall to co-produce the Califas Festival, a six week-long immersive, story-filled play yard of music, visual art, performance, and more in the area in and around Intersection's headquarters. The Festival is the culminating event of the Califas Project, a year of multimedia creative exploration in communities around the state including productions of Richard Montoya's The River at Campo Santo this past March, and American Night at Cal Shakes in June.The Festival will feature a new performance piece with text by renowned California playwright Luis Alfaro, commissioned songs from seven California jazz greats including Howard Wiley and Terrence Brewer, visual art from Joan Osato, Andrea Blum, Mia Nakano and others, as well as many community voices. Working together through their research and development wing theTriangle Lab, Cal Shakes and Intersection continue to cross boundaries in their art-making, asking what kind of change can happen when an arts event features a letter from a Dream-act youth next to portraits of and by women living in SOMA SRO's next to the work of MacArthur-award-winning Luis Alfaro, next to a crowd-sourced playlist of California songs. This is the Califas Festival: a place to discover how our journeys-individual and shared-can help us dream the future of our state. A full list of Califas events is available at www.theintersection.org.
Alleluia, the Road
The second half of the Califas Festival includes the performance piece Alleluia, the Road, with text by Luis Alfaro, inspired by August Strindberg's play The Great Highway, beginning on Day of the Dead, November 1, and running through November 17. We will follow the spiritual journey of Isaac, the lead character, portrayed by Campo Santo co-founder Sean San José, as he voyages up California Highway 99 toward San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Alleluia, the Road, produced by Campo Santo, Intersection for the Arts, and Cal Shakes, will be performed without traditional set design, amidst the art installations of Califas, as a continued expression of the many stories that have been collected throughout the exploratory phases of the entire festival.
"We want to share and show as many creations, responses, and stories about California as we can," commented San José. "We are not interested in having outreach that is secondary to the play, but rather for all stories derived from our exploration to live alongside one another-including a performance." Triangle Lab Director Rebecca Novick added, "This is one of the chief goals of our work together-to find more impactful ways to create and experience new works together with community."
In addition to San José, Alleluia, the Road features Dwayne Calizo (vocalist and music director) and Campo Santo company members Maria Candelaria (Belicia in Fuku Americanus), Catherine Castellanos (Caliban in Cal Shakes' The Tempest), Donald E. Lacy, Jr. (Brother Ballard in The River), Brian Rivera (Juan José the First, Bob Dylan, and many others in American Night; Luis in The River), and Nora el Samahy (Sally Ranger in The River). The creative collaborative team for Alleluia, the Road, includes Alejandro Acosta (design coordinator),Kevin B. Chen (visual arts program director), Logan Ellis (assistant director), Courtney Flores (costume designer), Christina Larson(stage manager) , Jonathan Moscone (director), Rebecca Novick (Triangle Lab director), Tanya Orellana (scenic designer), Joan Osato(visual designer), Darl Andrew Packard (lighting designer), Jake Rodriguez (sound designer), Sarah Spero (properties designer), Rebeka Rodriguez (outreach program director), Sango Tajima (production team), and Tirzah Tyler (technical director).
On Fridays throughout the Festival, Intersection's Live Jazz at Off the Grid features newly commissioned songs by California local jazz masters: Kasey Knudsen, Melecio Magdaluyo, Darren Johnston, Destiny Muhammed, Howard Wiley, and Scott Amendola. Live Jazz at Off the Grid is held from 12PM-2PM each Friday in the Minna Street Tunnel near 5th Street, and is free and open to the public. During that same timeframe on Fridays, the former news kiosk at 5th and Mission is transformed into an art kiosk and will feature the work of a different early-career artist each week, in a series of interactive performance installations titled "Breaking News: Disrupting Public Space."
Partnerships and Community Engagement
The Califas Project includes collaborations around the Bay Area (Sisters Rize, Bessie Carmichael School, Berkeley City College, UC Berkeley, CultureStrike) and elsewhere in the state (East LA Repertory Theater, El Teatro Campesino, the Valley Storytellers Project in Fowler). Photographer Joan Osato has been one of the project's lead artists, lending images and video design to Califas Project's The Riverand now, Alleluia, the Road. She traveled extensively throughout California, recording interviews, videos, landscape photography, and portraiture that will be displayed prominently at the Califas Festival. Osato distributed more than 100 disposable cameras to residents from many communities around the state and photos of their own California will also be featured in the gallery exhibit, along with video projects by the women of Sister Rize, a women's organization in the neighboring SRO's, work by 4th and 5th graders from Bessie Carmichael Elementary, and many other community voices that make up our state.www.calshakes.org, and through Intersection at https://alleluiatheroad13.eventbrite.com.
About Triangle Lab: The Triangle Lab is about making theater together, expanding the definitions of who participates in theater making and how they participate. We aim for theater, artists, and community members (the three points of the triangle) to become equal partners in discovering and sharing the profound stories of our times. We expect our experiments to yield new ways of making plays, new stories, and new ways of telling them, and to engage a broad range of participants in our community. The Triangle Lab is a partnership with San Francisco-based Intersection for the Arts supported by generous grants from The James Irvine Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
About Cal Shakes: Founded in 1974, now under the leadership of Artistic Director Jonathan Moscone and Managing Director Susie Falk, California Shakespeare Theater strives for everyone, regardless of age, circumstance or background, to discover the relevance of theater in their lives. Over the last decade, our Main Stage interpretations of Shakespeare and the classics, performed at the solar-powered, environmentally sustainable Bruns Amphitheater, have earned a national reputation for their immediacy and artistry. Through its New Works/New Communities program (launched in 2003), Cal Shakes has directly engaged members of disparate communities in the creation of new works of theater that reflect their voices. The Triangle Lab builds on this work to conduct community-based experiments aimed at revealing a new relevance for theater-making in society through creative responses to changes in the cultural landscape that are so dramatically impacting the field. Established in 2001, Cal Shakes' Artistic Learning program is our primary vehicle for increasing access to arts education. Multi-faceted programming ignites creative youth voices through a continuum of education programs that annually serve thousands of diverse urban, suburban and rural students. For more information on the entirety of Cal Shakes work on stage, in schools, and in communities, go to www.calshakes.org.
About Intersection for the Arts: Established in 1965, Intersection is widely considered to be one of the most vital cultural centers on the West Coast. Intersection's programs emphasize relationships, collaboration, and process. Annually, Intersection works with hundreds of artists through residencies, commissions, fellowships, fiscal sponsorship and incubation, performances, exhibitions, workshops and public art projects. Whether nurturing artists through residencies, ensembles through the creation of new performance, or new organizations through fiscal sponsorship; Intersection provides the space and time for artists to experiment, take risks, and bring their vision to full fruition. Emphasizing the creative process, Intersection provides significant research and development support and offers community engagement activities to provide artists with room to explore and push boundaries. Organizationally, Intersection emphasizes creative risk-taking and radical collaboration. Intersection is the lead collaborator with Forest City Development to realize the 5M Project, a 4-acre prototype for the next generation of urban development that embraces diversity of thought, life experience, and culture as essential to healthy community. Intersection brings together artists, makers, entrepreneurs, social change agents, and technology innovators to collaboratively develop a new place that unlocks resources, connections, and creativity across silos. At the 5M Project, creative collaboration, placemaking, experimentation, and problem solving drive break-through change. For more information about Intersection for the Arts, visit www.theintersection.org.
About Campo Santo: Founded in 1996, in residence at Intersection since 1997, Campo Santo is an award-winning multi-cultural ensemble committed to developing and premiering new Performance and Theatre, and to nurturing diverse new audiences for the performing arts. We cultivate playwrights, fiction writers and poets to work in an intimate, interactive community-based setting to create new theatrical experiences that reflect and reinvent our society. Campo Santo is Spanish for "sacred ground". Like the roots of our name, we are taking the sacred form of storytelling and using it as a tool to bond community through socially relevant plays. We want to show the audience the world we live in and see the audience in the world we come from. We have nurtured more than 45 world premieres with a wide range of writers including Junot Diaz, Philip Kan Gotanda, Jessica Hagedorn, Naomi Iizuka, Denis Johnson, and Octavio Solis, to name a few, and nurtured the first works of writers Sharif Abu-Hamdeh, Chinaka Hodge, and Dennis Kim. Most recently we have focused on expanding our definition of what performances and performance spaces can be with the creation of new theatre, music, and dance pieces in our year-long de Young Museum Artist Residency, for the Trolley Dances and a Mobile Bus Street Art Performance Tour, with new works by great writers like Richard Montoya, Luis Alfaro, and Chinaka Hodge, and with a series of mobile performances with Denis Johnson in non-traditional venues.
About Luis Alfaro: Lauded for his exceptional ability to create his own worlds in the framework of Greek classics (Medea, as Alfaro's Bruja and Mojada; Oedipusas Oedipus El Rey; Electra as Electricidad), Luis Alfaro was inspired by Strindberg's play The Great Highway to create his newest piece. Winner of the MacArthur Fellowship, Alfaro is the Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland; his award-winning plays have been produced across the country including the Goodman, Mark Taper Forum, Magic Theatre, and Victory Gardens, to name a few.