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Theater Grottesco

Posted on: September 28, 2011


Theater Grottesco creates a new kind of performance that is visually explosive and designed to rekindle interest in live performance while offering a fresh perspective of humanity and culture.

STORM is a collaboration between Theater Grottesco and Out of Context (a conduction orchestra), with contributions from national and local writers, environmental and social scientists, visual artists and several Santa Fe children. The production uses environmental hot point topics to open the door on critical threads of our national psyche that prevent us from taking action, including our relationship with “truth”,  addiction and  the nature of paradigm and paradigm shift. Storm’s artistic form is a unique structured improvisation that will lead audiences to the brink of a chaos closely capturing the spirit of these times, while tapping fresh emotion and providing insight into hurdles that can no longer be ignored.

  • The orchestra works with a vocabulary of signs transmitted by a conductor and providing instantaneous possibilities for altering or initiating harmony, melody, rhythm, articulation, phrasing or form.
  • Projections provide scenography, sometimes in abstraction creating moods, other times with realistic images with which the actors interact. Projected images of scientists and news reporters lay the structure of an ever darkening horizon. Technicians make instantaneous choices based upon the rhythmic intensity of the unfolding action and sound.
  • Two actors portray a chorus of archetypal characters. Texts cross cultural and historical barriers. The actors move from character to character, colliding with the information and bling with the emerging music.
  • Lighting includes stationary bicycle power, candles and torches.

Theater Grottesco’s last collaboration was with the Della Davidson Dance Company, producing A Dream Inside Another in 2005. Collaborations are rare opportunities for the company to explode form and bl visions with artists from other discipines whose work we greatly respect. This project includes a deep foray into cutting edge projection art that will require new equipment including 3-4 mid-level projectors, two 2 mid-high computers and an array of projection software. 14 performers and a larger technical crew than we usually use, all New Mexican artists, will be paid for their work.

In 2006, TG and OOC imagined an orchestration featuring text and looking at the future. We began with 5,000 year old Taoist texts, William Burrough’s version of Blade Runner and modern science fiction. By 2009, we were focusing on environmental crises. That led us to the social phenomena defining contemporary American culture and our ability – or inability – to act.  In 2010, TG produced a short exploratory production. Deane, Flax and guest artists have been working since fall, 2010.  STORM premieres in Santa Fe, winter, 2012 followed by performances in Albuquerque and potential national touring.

Award-winning environmentalist Alan Weisman (The World Without Us) believes TG and OOC have discovered what environmentalists have been seeking for decades: a way of inspiring dialogue by creating a new artistic form with which to experience it. This comes at a critical time for American culture. Coincidentally, it is always time to challenge traditional theatrical form. Our audience consists of Santa Fe and all of New Mexico. We are working on national touring, and targeting young audiences through the schools with an outreach program that will include artistic, environmental and social science post show discussions.