Clockwise from left:
Rachel Mars: Our Carnal Hearts (Sep 13–16) (Photo: Christopher Shea)
Ligia Lewis: minor matter (May 9–11) (Photo: Doro Tuch)
Okwui Okpokwasili: Poor People’s TV Room (Dec 6–9) (Photo: Ian Douglas)
The 18/19 Season:
Image, Object & Gesture
The 18/19 Season at On the Boards asks how artists use the tools of contemporary performance to respond to key issues of our time—gender, queerness, racial injustice, our relationship to technology, and societal anxieties. This season we’re also providing more ways to access these ideas—through artist and curator talks, work-in-progress showings, studio visits, and more.
Single tickets will be available for purchase in August 2018.
Jump to a section:
Heather Kravas: visions of beauty
The 18/19 Season marks the start of our new artists-in-residence program. We’re excited to announce that this first cohort includes Pat Graney, Heather Kravas & Vic Haven, Ahamefule Oluo, Tim Smith-Stewart & Jeffrey Azevedo, Timothy White Eagle, and Markeith Wiley. The Artists-in-Residence program will give Northwest-based artists a stipend, along with access and support for rehearsal and technical experimentation. OtB will also provide expertise around production and fundraising, as well as curatorial guidance around projects in development. This residency will give artists resources for experimentation and support connections between artists in the cohort. Throughout the season, they will present work-in-progress and open rehearsals, offering our wider community a look at creative processes of artists working in our city.
The following events with the Artists-in-Residence will be ticketed (dates & locations TBA):
— Sep 2018: Artists-in-Residence Conversations
— Nov 2018: Artists-in-Residence Work-In-Progress Showings
— Mar 2019: Artists-in-Residence Work-In-Progress Showings
About the Artists-in-Residence
Pat Graney makes performance and installation work that explores female identity and power. Graney’s work has been presented numerous times at On the Boards, most recently Girl Gods in 2015. Her new work, ATTIC, is part of trilogy of multidisciplinary performative installation works that explores the psychological female experience through a metaphor of a domestic house.
Heather Kravas & Vic Haven are currently at work on a new multidisciplinary collaboration. Kravas works with choreographic, improvisatory, and collaborative practices to explore the limits of dance as a contemporary form and political force. Kravas’ recent piece visions of beauty was presented at OtB in 2017. Haven is a visual artist who uses abstraction and intuition to explore a series of real and imagined spaces through drawings or object-making.
Ahamefule Oluo is a musician, composer, and comedian. Oluo presented his work, Now I’m Fine, at on OtB in 2014. He is currently working on a new evening-length piece exploring the relationship with his mother, that can be seen in direct conversation with Now I’m Fine.
Tim Smith-Stewart & Jeffrey Azevedo are a collaborative artistic duo who presented their work Awaiting Oblivion... at OtB in 2017. Smith-Stewart is an artist and activist who uses text as his primary medium for creating performances and installations. Azevedo is an artist and engineer who integrates art, science, and technology. They are at work on a new piece titled Salvage Rituals that centers queer bodies dancing exhaustively on a platform of piezoelectric tiles—their bodies actively powering the stage lights.
Timothy White Eagle is a performance artist who is interested in the progressive theater of rituals. White Eagle's newest project is an immersive installation and series of performances exploring sacred spaces inspired by Mormon, Indigenous, and Mythologized practitioners.
Markeith Wiley is a dance maker, performer, and instructor of many styles. He presented his work It’s Not Too Late at OtB in 2016 that merged late-night talk shows with theater and comedic physicality. Recently, he collaborated on and performed in Dani Tirrell’s Black Bois in the 17/18 Season.
Okwui Okpokwasili: Poor People's TV Room (Photo: Paul B. Goode)
18/19 Subscription Series
— Rachel Mars: Our Carnal Hearts (Sep 13-16) *Limited capacity performance
— Andrew Schneider: AFTER (Oct 25-27) *Limited capacity performance
— Okwui Okpokwasili: Poor People’s TV Room (Dec 6-9)
— Marginal Consort (Jan 25-26, as part of the Sound Histories festival)
— Nicola Gunn: Piece For Person And Ghetto Blaster (Feb 14-16)
— Nicola Gunn: Working With Children (Feb 21-24)
— Ligia Lewis: minor matter (May 9-11)
— Ligia Lewis: Sorrow Swag (May 17-18)
About the artists in the Subscription Series:
Rachel Mars (Sep 13-16) is a British artist whose work Our Carnal Hearts is a passionate exorcism of envy. Using theater, comedy, and original music linked to the Southern tradition of Sacred Harp singing, Mars plays high priestess to the audience, accompanied by four belting female singers. Blending pop culture and dark humor, Our Carnal Hearts puts the competitive spirit under the microscope in a raucous celebration of the emotional driving forces that underlie our common experiences.
Andrew Schneider’s performances (Oct 18-27) push theater to the edge of its logical limits, into new realms that defy categorized experience. These live works combine hallucinatory techniques and push the language of theater into new dimensions. Schneider, along with his recurring collaborators, will present two parts of an existential trilogy about what it means to be alive in the world today. AFTER (Oct 25-27) is a mind-bending examination of what constitutes a single life and the endless possible outcomes at the precise moment of death. Read more about YOUARENOWHERE (Oct 18-20) under Special Events.
Okwui Okpokwasili (Dec 6-9) is an Igbo-Nigerian American artist, performer, choreographer, and writer. Her multidisciplinary performances draw upon her training in theater, and operate at the intersection of theater, dance, and visual installations. Poor People’s TV Room explores two historical incidents: the Women’s War of 1929, a resistance movement against British colonial powers, and the Boko Haram kidnappings of more than 300 girls in 2014, and its connection to the Bring Back Our Girls movement. Okwui’s Bronx Gothic is featured on OntheBoards.tv.
Marginal Consort (Jan 25-26, as part of the Sound Histories festival) is a Japanese collective improvisation group made up of sound and visual artists. Once students of Takehisa Kosugi, a minimalist violinist and multimedia radical artist based in Tokyo in the 1970s, the collective plays just one concert per year, and thinks of themselves as a collective of soloists.
Nicola Gunn (Feb 14-24) is an Australian performance maker concerned with the morality and ethics of everyday situations. Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster combines text and choreography to interrogate an altercation she had with a stranger who was throwing stones at a duck, and invites the audience to consider the grey area of moral relativism. Working with Children, which will make its international premiere at On the Boards, looks at the phenomenon of artists who make work with children for an adult audience to explore the risky territory of shame and sexuality.
Ligia Lewis (May 9–18), born in the Dominican Republic and raised in the US, is currently based in Berlin. She is in the process of developing a triptych, minor matter being the second part. Materializing thoughts between love and rage, Lewis and two performers move with and against one another, their bodies become entangled within the frame of the black box. Sorrow Swag, the first part in this triptych, takes the color blue as a point of departure to work through grief and sadness.
Alicia Mullikin | MORENA, an artist in the NW New Works Festival 2018.
(Photo: Joseph Lambert/Jazzy Photo)
Solo: A Festival of Dance (Oct 4-7)
Introducing a new festival that explores the form of the choreographic “solo”, featuring both national and local artists.
Sound Histories (Jan 24-27)
A festival focused on the history of sound art, with featured performance by Marginal Consort (Jan 25-26).
NW New Works Festival (June 2019)
Join us for the 36th annual NW New Works Festival celebrating experimental performance from the the Pacific NW.
Andrew Schneider: YOUARENOWHERE (Photo: Maria Baranova)
Andrew Schneider: YOUARENOWHERE (Oct 18-20)
Limited capacity performance
YOUARENOWHERE is a rapid-fire existential meditation that uses a physics lecture, pop culture, and personal revelations to dissect subjects ranging from quantum mechanics and parallel universes to missed connections and AA recovery steps. Using an array of complex visual and aural effects to produce a fluid, shifting landscape of sensory overload, YOUARENOWHERE transforms the physical performance space and warps linear time to short-circuit preconceived notions of individual perspective and what it means to be here now.
Michelle Ellsworth: The Rehearsal Artist (Artist talk, Apr 3; multiple performances, Apr 4-6)
Limited capacity performance
Michelle Ellsworth’s work encompasses live performance, installations, video, performative websites, and drawings. Ellsworth employs absurdist humor, new technologies, monologue, and dance to create a topsy-turvy world that audiences get to experience, sometimes on the most intimate scale. The pharmaceutical potential of dance interests her, as well as the value of labor-intensive ideas. The Rehearsal Artist will utilize On the Board’s building to test the viability of the constructed environment the dancers and audience inhabit.
keyon gaskin: : a self portrait (Mar 22-24)
gaskin prefers not to contextualize their work with their credentials.
This season we're introducing a new lecture series that brings international curators, artistic directors, and arts leaders to Seattle. Each guest will discuss their own practices and perspectives in relation to contemporary performance. Speakers will be announced summer 2018.
— Oct 3: Lecture 1
— Nov 7: Lecture 2
— Jan 23: Lecture 3
— Mar 20: Lecture 4
Inua Ellams: Barber Shop Chronicles (Nov 1-3)
Presented by Seattle Theatre Group in association with On the Boards. OtB subscribers will receive access to specially discounted tickets. This dynamic play by Inua Ellams leaps from a barber shop in Peckham to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos and Accra. Newsroom, political platform, local hot spot, confession box, preacher-pulpit and football stadium. For generations, African men have gathered in barber shops to discuss the world. These are places where the banter can be barbed and the truth is always telling.
Kyle Abraham/A.I.M. (Mar 29-30)
Presented by Seattle Theatre Group in association with On the Boards. OtB subscribers will receive access to specially discounted tickets. Led by artistic director Kyle Abraham, the mission of A.I.M is to create an evocative interdisciplinary body of work. Born into hip-hop culture in the late 1970s and grounded in Abraham’s artistic upbringing in classical cello, piano, and the visual arts, the goal of the movement is to delve into identity in relation to a personal history. The work entwines a sensual and provocative vocabulary with a strong emphasis on sound, human behavior and all things visual in an effort to create an avenue for personal investigation and exposing that on stage. A.I.M. is a representation of dancers from various disciplines and diverse personal backgrounds. Combined together, these individualities create movement that is manipulated and molded into something fresh and unique. (Abraham's When the Wolves Came In is available on OntheBoards.tv)
Note: Performances are subject to change.