Coinciding with Open Studio Weekend

The Brattleboro Reformer, May 25, 2016

 MARLBORO >> The Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) Open Lab event is set to take place at Marlboro College in Marlboro on Saturday. VPL's Open Lab coincides with the state-wide Open Studio Weekend from the Vermont Craft Council.

In that spirit of celebrating art making, this fun and informal Open Lab event welcomes visitors to experience the creative process for three interdisciplinary projects led by theater artist Ain Gordon, and choreographers Jennifer Monson, and Sara Smith from 1 to 4 p.m, with start times at 1, 2, and 3 p.m, in the Serkin Center and Whittemore Theater at Marlboro College, 2582 South Road, Marlboro. Follow the VPL signs on campus. Open Lab visitors will have the unique opportunity to meet the artists and their collaborators, discuss their projects in development and get a glimpse into the early stages of new performance work. VPL's Open Lab event is free and visitors are encouraged to come early, bring a picnic, and enjoy the beautiful Marlboro College campus.

Now in its 10th Anniversary Season, VPL's Lab program has nurtured the research and development phases for over 50 dance, theater, film and music projects that have supported over 350 artists. The work developed in VPL's Lab program has gone on to win numerous awards, and tour nationally and internationally. Artist residency programs like VPL's offer artists time, space, and resources to create without limitations, experiment, and test new work in front of audiences.

In Fall 2015, theater artist Ain Gordon worked with VPL to partner with Marlboro College and Green Mountain Crossroads to research radical movements in the '60s and '70s for a new theater work, "Radicals in Miniature." Gordon is a three-time Obie Award-winning artist known for unearthing marginalized histories as source material for live theater. During the Open Lab, he will be collaborating with composer/performer Josh Quillen and dramaturge Talvin Wilks to further develop the piece.

Choreographer Jennifer Monson will work with a diverse range of artists who span discipline, geography, and generation to develop three parts of her newest piece, in tow: the live performance, related web-based TV series, and sound score with harpist/composer Zeena Parkins. Often working between dance, science, and environment, Monson is committed to pushing both artists and Open Lab visitors to expand and re-imagine approaches to the experimental category of live performance through a work-in-progress showing of in tow.

Interdisciplinary choreographer, librarian, and editor of the KINEBAGO journal, Sara Smith, will work in VPL's Lab to develop a new multimedia performance work, Florence Rice Hitchcock and the Theory of the Soft Earth. Combining dance with computer animation and mock documentary, Smith will collaborate with lighting designer Kathy Couch, scenic artist Gina Siepel and with performer Candice Salyers, and develop new movement material to test in front of Open Lab viewers.

VPL's Open Lab is presented in association with Marlboro College and is sponsored by Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects, and is made possible with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and VPL's Creation Fund donors. VPL's Open Lab celebrates Vermont Arts 2016, in celebration of public funding for the arts.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information visit