Force/Collision Announces NAUTICAL YARDS and SHAPE for 2012


The new Washinton D.C.-based arts collective force/collision has announced two upcoming shows, THE NAUTICAL YARDS from April 26-29 and SHAPE Septemeber 20 to October 6 in D.C. and then in New York at La Mama ETC November 10-18.

Following on the success of Collapsing Silence, force/collision pairs with Rebollar Dance (2011 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts dance commission) to create a large scale, site-specific dance/theatre performance on the historic Washington Navy Yard titled THE NAUTICAL YARDS.

Featuring new music by composer Daniel Paul Lawson (2012 New Music USA grantee), 7 live musicians including 2 opera singers, 5 dancers and 15 actors, this world premiere will take place in and around the water of the Washington Yards Park canal.

Inspired by the rich history and architecture of the Washington Navy Yard, The Nautical Yards chronicles the story of two lovers separated by war and the sea. Drawing on documented accounts of the Navy Yard civilian work force, personal war correspondence and letters and the mythology of water, the performance will make references to the myth of Hero and Leander, West African folklore and the dances of German choreographer Pina Bausch, to name a few. The running time of the performances will be approximately one hour over sunset.

The Creative Team includes Director John Moletress, Composer Daniel Paul Lawson, Choreographer Erica Rebollar/Rebollar Dance, Dance Captain/Assistant Choreographer Ilana Faye Silverstein and Costume Designer Collin Ranney.

force/collision’s second production will be the play SHAPE. Written by Brown University's Head of Playwriting Erik Ehn. Shape is one in a series of 17 plays collected in his larger body of work Soulographie which explores genocidal ideology and collective trauma.

1900 Ambrose Park, Brooklyn witnessed a vast spectacle of vaudeville dances, variety acts, folklore and songs with a cast of 500 African-Americans in the show Black America. In 1921, the Tulsa Race Riot destroyed the African-American community of Greenwood leaving close to 300 dead. Based loosely on the biographies of African-American vaudevillians Billy and Cordelia McClain, Shape concerns the life and labors of vaudevillian fairies exploited for their historical songs and dances, used by the dominant culture and abandoned at times of great need.

This production will have its first workshop at Burning Coal Theatre's Festival for Devised Work, July 5-8, 2012. It will then gets its Washington, D.C. Premiere at Atlas Performing Arts Center in September 20- October 6, 2012. In November 2012, it will be performed at La Mama Experimental Theatre Club in New York City in repertory with all 17 Ehn plays dealing with genocide and reconciliation.

Soulographie is a durational performance event looking at 20th century America from the point of view of its relationship to genocides in the States (the Tulsa Race Riot), in East Africa (Rwanda, Uganda), and Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador). We aim to create channels of dialogue through art and conversation.

The 17 plays by Erik Ehn that comprise the cycle will be produced independently throughout the United States, Rwanda and Uganda over the course of the 2011-2012 Season. These plays will converge at La MaMa in New York in November 2012 as Soulographie, a theatrical event featuring the plays performed in rotation. The cycle will include opportunities to reflect and converse about the issues invoked by the plays, as well as the creation of art and poetics as acts towards social change.

Playwright Erik Ehn's work includes The Saint Plays, Heavenly Shades of Night Are Falling, Maria Kizito, No Time Like the Present, Wolf at the Door, Tailings, Beginner, Ideas of Good and Evil, and an adaptation of Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. He is an artistic associate at San Francisco’s Theatre of Yugen, most recently writing Crazy Horse for them, which combined Noh forms with Native American music and dance. His plays have been produced in San Francisco (Intersection, Thick Description, Yugen), Seattle (Annex, Empty Space), Austin (Frontera), New York (BACA, Whitney Museum), San Diego (Sledgehammer), Chicago (Red Moon), and elsewhere. He has a longstanding collaborative relationship with the Undermain Theater in Dallas, is co-founder of the Tenderloin Opera Company in San Francisco (with Lisa Bielawa), and is founder of the Arts in the One World Conference. He is a graduate of New Dramatists and the former dean of California Institute of the Arts School of Theater. He is head of Playwriting at Brown University.

force/collision is an interdisciplinary contingent of artists/collaborators whose mission is the creation of new performance works.

Based in Washington, D.C., force/collision was created by theatre director John Moletress for the purpose of bringing together artists of mixed disciplines in order to spark dialogue and create space for the presentation of new work. force/collision was born from the performance project Collapsing Silence, created by John Moletress, Ilana Silverstein and David Carlson and given its premiere at the 2011 Source Theatre Festival.

The core ensemble includes Ilana Faye Silverstein, Frank Britton, Karin Rosnizeck, Daniel Paul Lawson, Dane Edidi, Sue Jin Song, Collin Ranney and John Moletress. Associate Artists include Erica Rebollar/Rebollar Dance and Erik Ehn.

Erica Rebollar (Choreographer) studied at the Washington School of Ballet and received her MFA in choreography at UCLA. Erica has worked with First Journey Lab Indonesia, Trip Dance Theatre, Namah Ensemble, Carol McDowell and the Mei-Yin Ng/Me Be WHATever Dance Collective. Brigham Young University's Dance Department commissioned her choreography for their Spring Concert as well as a tour in India. She was a three-time Lester Horton Award nominee for performance and choreography in Los Angeles. In New York City, Erica danced at the Joyce Soho, DTW, Judson Church and Tribeca Performing Arts Center. After relocating to Washington DC two years ago, Erica has performed solo choreography at Velocity Dance Festival, Joy of Motion’s Dance Project and at Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and Dance Place with Mansurdance. She is a 2011 recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Local Dance Commissioning Grant with performances on the Millennium Stage. Erica continues to focus her attention on her collaborative, where multi-genre artists can make innovative work.

John Moletress (Director/Founder, force/collision) is a theatre director and educator living in Washington, D.C. since May 2008. In April 2009, he founded Factory 449: a theatre collective which was awarded the 2011 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company. For Factory 449, John’s production of Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis won Theatermania’s Audience Choice Award for Best Drama and Best Overall Production, as well as DC Theatre Scene’s Award for Best Play in 2009. 4.48 Psychosis was remounted at the Warehouse Theatre in October 2009 where it was named as an official event for United Nations Week. In 2010, he directed a cycle of Erik Ehn’s The Saint Plays for Factory 449, which included the world premiere of The Monkey Seller. Also for Factory 449, John directed the world premiere and first ever D.C. production of playwright Caridad Svich with Magnificent Waste. For Source Theatre Festival, John directed the world premiere of Martin Zimmerman’s Foreign Tongue and was awarded a Creative Communities Fund grant for the development and direction of Collapsing Silence, a performance art project with fellow artists David Carlson and Ilana Faye Silverstein. Additionally, John is a guest artist for Tri-County Performing Arts Center in Pennsylvania where he teaches acting and has directed The Crucible and Pippin. In January 2012, John directed the regional premiere of Craig Wright’s Mistakes Were Made at Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston, TX. John is also a respondent and panelist for the National Playwriting Program of the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival as well as a member of SDC (Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers).

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