Peggy Shaw Returns to the Stage in RUFF at PS122's COIL Festival, Now thru 1/19
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by BWW News Desk
Legendary actor, producer and playwright Peggy Shaw triumphantly returns to the stage in the world premiere of Ruff. Presented by Performance Space 122 (PS122) and Dixon Place as part of PS122's eighth annual COIL festival, Ruff pays tribute to the host of crooners, lounge singers, movie stars, rock and roll bands and eccentric family members who have kept Shaw company, living inside her, for the past 68 years. Guided by longtime collaborator Lois Weaver, Shaw throws off the stigma of age and embraces the joy-and necessity-of creating new work, post-stroke, aided by new technology and even deeper courage. Shaw is the recipient of the 2011 Ethyl Eichelberger award.
Performances of Ruff will take place today, January 10-19, 2013 (see schedule above) at Dixon Place (161-A Chrystie Street in Manhattan). Tickets, which are $20, are available online at ps122.org/coil and by phone at 212.811.4111.
Ruff is humorous, musical, and wise. It is also a lament. After her stroke, in 2011, Shaw was given a new perspective on the characters that have populated her work, including those that have disappeared into the dark holes of her brain. But more importantly, and more liberating, Ruff is a celebration of filling that blank space with new insights and Shaw relishes the opportunity to share them with her favorite confidants-the audience.
Performed and co-written by Shaw, and directed and co-written by Weaver, Ruff features choreography by Stormy Brandenberger, music and sound design by Vivian Stoll, lighting design by Lori E. Seid and set and media design by Matt Delbridge.
Peggy Shaw (co-writer, performer) is a performer, writer, producer and teacher of writing and performance. With Lois Weaver, she co-founded Split Britches and the WOW Café in NYC. She has received three OBIE Awards, the 1995 Anderson Foundation Stonewall Award, and The Foundation for Contemporary Performance Theatre Performer of the Year Award in 2005. A collection of her solo performances, A Menopausal Gentleman, edited by Jill Dolan and published by Michigan Press, won a 2012 Lambda Literary Prize for Drama.
Lois Weaver (co-writer, director) is Professor of Contemporary Performance Practice at Queen Mary University of London and an independent performance artist, director and activist. She has performed, directed, and written with Peggy Shaw since 1980. Her experiments in performance as a means of public engagement include the development of the Long Table, the Library of Performing Rights, the FeMUSEm and her facilitating persona, Tammy WhyNot.
In addition to their own solo shows, Shaw and Weaver work together in Split Britches, which they cofounded with Deb Margolin in 1981 at NYC's WOW Cafe. Shaw and Weaver have become known for "a long line of smart, thrillingly well-executed performance pieces" (The Village Voice). Split Britches is currently touring with their newest productions: Miss America and Lost Lounge.
Stormy Brandenberger (choreography) is a professor in the Drama Dance Department at Hofstra University and a collaborative choreographer whose modern dance, multimedia collaborations and theater works have toured the U.S. and abroad. She has worked with the Split Britches Company since 1984. Her choreography has been presented at American Place Theater, Cultural Project Theatre, Dixon Place, DTW, Joe's Pub, Ohio Theater, HERE, PS122, Saint Marks Church Performance Space and Urban Stages.
Vivian Stoll (music and sound design) is a musician, audio engineer and music producer. She has created sound and music for five of Split Britches Company's performances. Credits include Laurie Anderson's Big Science, Annabelle Chvostek's Resilience, Penny Lang's Stone & Sand & Sea & Sky, and Rosalie Sorrels's My Last Go Round and Strangers in Another Country, nominated for a 2009 GRAMMY.
Lori E. Seid (lighting design) started her career in the theater as a stage manger, technical director and lighting designer in NYC's downtown club and performance art scene. She has worked with Karen Finley, DANCENOISE, Charles Atlas, Diamanda Galas, Meredith Monk, John Bernd, Penny Arcade, Annie Sprinkle, John Kelly, Blue Man Group, Split Britches, Antony and The Johnsons and Ethyl Eichelberger, to name drop a few. Seid was awarded a Village Voice OBIE, The Theatre Craft International Award and a Bessie -all for sustained overall achievements in theatre. She is an now an independent producer for theatre, film and TV.
Matt Delbridge (set and media design) creates interactive digital scenography for theatre and installation environments working with Motion Capture systems, live interactive video processing software and virtual 3D environments. Most recently he was the digital scenographer for the UK national tour of Jonzi D's Markus the Sadist and Split Britches' Lost Lounge at Dixon Place. Previously, he worked for the State Orchestra of Victoria, the Deakin Motion.Lab, Queen Mary University of London and Barry Kosky's Gilgul Theatre. He is currently an associate artist with the Queensland Theatre Company and lectures in New Media and Scenography in the Creative Industries Faculty at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Australia.
Dixon Place, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1986 to provide a space for literary and performing artists to create and develop new works in front of a live audience. Our mission to support and nurture the development of new work and work in progress from diverse artists and to build new audiences for the work. The artist's experience is given top priority through our professional atmosphere and remuneration, and their process is enhanced through the reaction of our adventurous audiences. Dixon Place is a local haven for creativity as well as an international model for the open exploration of the process of creation.
Performance Space 122 (PS122) provides incomparable experiences for audiences by presenting and commissioning artists whose work challenges boundaries of live performance. PS122 is dedicated to supporting the creative risks taken by artists from diverse genres, cultures and perspectives. We are an innovative local, national and international leader in contemporary performance.
Beginning in 2011, PS122 embarked on one of the most unusual and potentially radical shifts in its history, including a re-structuring of artist support, a business model overhaul, and the renovation of our building. As PS122's East Village home undergoes a much-needed interior renovation supported primarily by the City of New York, DCA and DDC, PS122's core activity continues to be providing audiences with contemporary live performance.
For over 3 decades, Performance Space 122 has been a hub for contemporary performance and an active member of the cultural community. Under the curatorial vision of Vallejo Gantner (Artistic Director 2005 - present) PS122 has developed a set of programs designed to re-establish the value of live performance, provide singular experiences for audiences that inspire critical thinking, and sustain the creative process for artists throughout their career. Largely in partnership with peer organizations, PS122 currently presents artists in all disciplines in spaces all over the city during an annual fall & spring season and COIL festival in January.
In addition to the commissioning and presenting of artists from NYC across the US, and around the globe, PS122 has increased our activity off the stage to provide audiences with a variety of access points and context for the work on stage. These activities include both talkbacks with the artists as well as in depth conversations that bring together luminaries from non-arts disciplines to discuss a variety of topics including everything from religion, to migration, to queer real estate and cultural diplomacy. PS122 encourages the asking of questions and debate of contemporary society's issues in both artistic practice and audience experience.