2014 Lab Artists: ArtSpot Productions + Mondo Bizarro
Vermont Performance Lab and Sandglass Theater joined forces to bring the New Orleans theater ensembles ArtSpot Productions and Mondo Bizarro to Vermont in the Summer and Fall of 2014. The theater ensembles teamed up to celebrate the people and cultures of South Louisiana while turning clear eyes on the crisis of the vanishing coast in a new work, Cry You One.
Founded in 1995 by Kathy Randels, ArtSpot Productions blends rigorous physicality, original music, interactive sculptural environments, and extended research to incite positive change in their community. Mondo Bizarro is a group of artists that have been creating original, multidisciplinary art and fostering partnerships in local, national and international communities since 2003. Co-founded by Bruce France and Nick Slie the work of Mondo Bizarro is intentionally multidisciplinary, ranging from physical theater to large-scale community festivals, and from social media to site-specific productions.
Part song, part story, and part procession, the outdoor performance of Cry You One is a powerful musical and theatrical journey about the affects of one of our country's worst environmental disasters, Hurricane Katrina, and its relevance to Vermont's stories of Hurricane Irene. 11 theater artists, Cajun style and African inspired musicians, and on-site designers took up residence in southern Vermont to present their site-responsive piece in the fields of Guilford, VT and to engage several local schools through workshops and performances.
The residency culminated in several events taking place in small towns around southern Vermont. A converted, historic church space, run by Next Stage Arts Project in the heart of Putney, Vermont, opened the festivities with a traditional Gumbo Supper, followed by a screening of Sharon Linezo Hong’s documentary My Lousiana Love. There was an evening of Cajun Two-Step dancing, replete with fresh Beignets, and live music from the Cry You One performance, held in a rustic New England Grange in Dummerston, VT. The culminating events were the performances of Cry You One where Vermonters followed the artists on an unforgettable adventure, traversing fields and forest, with performance interwoven throughout.
The Cry You One residency is presented by Sandglass Theater and Vermont Performance Lab, as part of Sandglass Theater’s Voices of Community series. This presentation is made possible in part, by funding from New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; additional funding is from by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Performance Network, Puffin Foundation LTD, Chroma Technology Corporation, VPL’s Creation Fund Donors, and Sandglass Theater’s donors.