Noelle Simone (Portland, OR): Heavy is the Head that Wears the Crown: Mental Health Memoirs of the Black Woman
Contemporary Jazz/Modern/Hip Hop

Photo of Noelle Simone
Photo by curvygrl@mac.com

Noelle Simone’s dance suite examines the mind of a black woman suffering from anxiety, PTSD, and ADHD and finding a home within herself. Even if it hurts you, young girl, you will find peace.

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

This one-woman dance project is dedicated to exploring the mental health and history of Black women and to uncovering the support we need to flourish and thrive.

BIO
Noelle Simone has been performing for over sixteen years. She has received all her dance training at the Joel Hall Dancers & Center, Northside Dance Theatre, and Gus Giordano Jazz Dance School. She has worked with multiple dance companies and youth dance companies throughout the Chicago land area, and loves teaching. She has performed with Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul, and has started a promising career in theatre, after receiving her .B.FA. in Theatre arts with a concentration in Theatre Management and a Minor in Educational studies from the Theatre School at Depaul University. Noelle has worked with Victory Gardens, Sideshow Theatre and Actor Gymnasium Youth Circus, Choreographing various Theatre and dance performances. She was nominated by Broadway World for best non Equity Choreography in 2017 for The Little Princess with Windy City Music Theatre. With only two bag and the love of her life, she has moved to the Pacific NW, and has gone on to chorographer her one woman show with Echo Theatre. Heavy id the Head that Wears the Crown: Mental Health Memoirs of the Black Woman was debuted on Jan 31st 2020 to a sold our audience.

CREDITS

Choreographer/Curator: Noelle Simone
Dancers: Noelle Simone, Mucyo, Jen McCabe
Music: Jhene Aiko, Billie Holiday, Tea Marr
Spoken Word: Nigel Birch, Jessica Morrison
Lights: Lara
Movement Assistant: Isaiah
Cultural Advisors: BeeBee Sanchez, Aaron

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Roman Norfleet & Be Present Art Group (Portland, OR): Death’s Door NOW!
Musical Performance

Photo of Roman Norfleet

Through musical improvisation, Roman Norfleet creates space for reflection, healing, seeking and mystery.

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

Death’s Door NOW! is a musical performance piece exploring the concept of death and what comes after it. The compositions, visuals and wearable art of this piece express not only my personal journey, but what I’ve learned from others’ processes when it comes to dealing with and understanding death.

BIO
Roman Norfleet is a musical/visual artist originally hailing from Joliet, Illinois and has been surrounded by and involved in music and arts since a child. Over the last 12 years Roman has lived in Los Angeles, California and the DMV area expanding his art form and exploring different territories of music. Roman has released 2 devotional, mantra based projects and an instrumental (or beat tape) project. Now living in Portland, Oregon, Norfleet seeks to continue that artistic, expressive expansion by incorporating visual and performance art into his musical compositions to manifest creative spaces lead by the idea of “being present”.

CREDITS

Roman Norfleet: Performer, Musician
Brown Calvin: Musician
Jacque Hammond: Musician

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Jenny May Peterson (Seattle, WA): ANVIL
Dance

Photo of Hendri Walujo and Jenny May Peterson

It feels impossible to completely prepare for global climate disaster or war, but in a ridiculous way – entirely possible to train your body to deftly avoid falling construction scaffolding.

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

ANVIL is a dance ritual sourced from internet workout fads, Hollywood death scenes, and trendy self-soothing techniques. Together, we do our due diligence to avoid sudden accidental death and prepare for personal disaster.

BIOS
Jenny May Peterson is a former competitive gymnast, licensed massage therapist, amateur furniture maker, and visual and dance artist who has called Seattle home for 13 years. Her multidisciplinary background has given her many tools with which to create compelling visual language while also trying to be an aware and conscientious citizen of the world. Jenny has worked with many local Seattle artists including the Pat Graney Company since 2008. She has a small massage practice and an undying love of plants.

Hendri Walujo enjoys performing and creating experiences for the audience using his movement-based and improvisational skills. He strives for variety and versatility in life as in performance, and values close collaboration and independent expression. His performances oscillate between the elaborate and the intimate, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

CREDITS

Performers: Jenny May Peterson (she/thy) and Jendri Walujo (he/him)

VISIT JENNY MAY PETERSON’S WEBSITE

VISIT HENDRI WALUJO’S WEBSITE

VIEW A SAMPLE OF JENNY’S PREVIOUS PROJECT, UMBIBLICAL

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Kate Duffly & Peter Ksander (Portland, OR): Apoptosis
Performance

Photo of Kate Duffly

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

Taking inspiration from the stories of lost cosmonauts and the idea of the body as spaceship, the performance explores the act of sending messages into the void, listening for echoes, embracing cosmic loneliness, and finding beauty in the unknown.

BIOS

Kate Duffly is a scholar-director and community-based theatre artist with a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She is Associate Professor of Theatre at Reed College in Portland, OR and is currently working on an edited collection that examines a broad array of performance practices rooted in community and explicitly engaged in negotiating difference and disruption. She is an artist who has worked with a range of community-based theater organizations, from Cornerstone Theater in Los Angeles to Theatre Diaspora and Red Door in Portland, as well as the puppet companies Wise Fool and Lunatique Fantastique in San Francisco, and Bread and Puppet of Glover, VT.

Peter Ksander is a scenographer and media artist who’s stage design work has been presented both nationally and internationally. In 2006 he joined the curatorial board of the Ontological-Hysteric Incubator. In 2008 he won an Obie award for the scenic design of Untitled Mars (this title may change), and In 2014 he won a Bessie award for the visual design of This Was the End. Recent Portland credits include set designs for Beckett Women, Sweat, Arlington a love story, John, Our Ruined House, Teenage Dick, and Uncle Vanya. He holds a MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, is an Associate Professor at Reed College and is an associate company member with the Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble.

CREDITS

Created by Kate Duffly and Peter Ksander

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Wade Madsen & Nancy Cranbourne (Seattle, WA): This Is It or Mandy Wakes Up
Movement Theatre

Photo of Wade Madsen and Nancy Cranbourne

Performers Wade Madsen and Nancy Cranbourne have created a heady, dark comedy animated by subtle physical antics, quirky language and a mysterious third character.

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

“This is It” is an original creation of Wade Madsen inspired by Wade’s long Performing relationship with partner Nancy Cranbourne, his love of absurdist theater, philosophical meanderings, foreign films and the continuing questions about life, death and the power of art: What is life? Is it performance? Are we all on stage? We follow these two, and realize that maybe ‘Bebe’ has more to do with the inner workings of ‘Mandy’s’, ego or her higher self. They communicate, but only ‘Mandy’ can understand ‘Bebe’ toward her own understanding of a universal human truth.

BIO
Wade Madsen, a professor of Dance at Cornish college of the Arts, toured with Tandy Beal, Bill Evans and Dayna Hanson. Madsen has created over 180 works and has premiered many of them for the Cornish dance company since joining the faculty in 1984. For the fall of 2018 Madsen presented in the newly created Solo festival at On the Boards. Madsen has had various commissions throughout the United States and into Mexico. He has received various grants and fellowships from the NEA, Artist trust, 4 Culture, Seattle arts commission, and Bosak Heilbron.

Nancy Cranbourne is the Owner/Director of One Big Yes Productions, based in Boulder, Colorado. OBY has produced many large scale dance & theater productions over the past 25 years. She is a master teacher in contemporary jazz dance, and specializes in lovingly deepening the development of dancers over forty. Nancy has served on the dance faculties of the University of Washington, Cornish College of the Arts, the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, and the National Theater Conservatory @the Denver Center for the Arts. Nancy is also an award winning playwright and actress, receiving honors from the Denver Drama Critics Circle, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, and Westword Magazine.

CREDITS

Performers
Wade Madsen: Bebe
Nancy Cranbourne: Mandy
Eric Pitsenbarger: stage hand

Written and Directed by Wade Madsen

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ATOLE (Portland, OR): CANELA
Ritual Performance/Electronic Music

Photo of ATOLE band

Photo by Renee Lopez (Miss Lopez Media).

Performers Amo Reyes and Jacob Soto interweave storytelling and improvised music to publicly tell the story of communal grief. “Love is hard. Nobody said it would be easy or perfect. But nobody said I would be a 38yo brown widow, either.”

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

CANELA is an indigenous herb used to heal the body and delight the senses.

ATOLE is an ancient Mexican drink that is sweet, ambiguous, and served communally.

CANELA by ATOLE is a ritual performance. An experimental composition. Synthesizers, samplers, percussion, voice. Three songs thread together using storytelling and humor.

BIO
Amo Reyes and Jacob Soto are from Las Vegas, of Mexican descent, have Master’s degrees from Portland State, and are currently education professionals in Portland, Oregon. They have performed together since 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada, where Jacob was the drummer and Amo was the singer for a dance punk band, Flaspar. They both moved to Portland and Jacob joined Amo and Tim’s band, Atole. Amo and Jacob have been performing as Atole since 2008. They have jammed many times in Amo’s basement the last few years, but this will be their first public performance in 5 years.

CREDITS

Performers: Amo Reyes & Jacob Soto

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James Mapes – Fly Paper Games (Portland, OR): Confluence
Interactive Installation

Photo of a game board

Designer James Mapes’ large-format table-top video game will engage audiences in team play in the theatre lobby.

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

In this interactive installation, Risk/Reward audiences will compete piece-by-piece to build the city of Portland on a giant, digital game board.

BIO
James Mapes is a lighting designer, writer, and board game designer based in Portland, Oregon. He has worked with BodyVox, Oregon Children’s Theatre, Portland State University, Reed College, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and – of course – Risk/Reward, all the way since the Someday Lounge. He has been the technical direector for festivals including Portland Playhouse’s Fall Festival of Shakespeare and numerous venues for PICA’s Time-Based Arts festival. He has toured the world. In 2015, he published his first board game via Kickstarter, Saga of a Dying World, and is eager to connect the fine arts with interactive, multimedia experiences. He has a family; they are great.

CREDITS

DESIGNER: James Mapes

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Artist Profile: Olivia Louise

Olivia Louise (Portland, OR): the myth of Narcissus
poetry/movement/contemporary performance film 

Still from the myth of Narcissus film

Artist Olivia Louise and team bring a poignant and visually stunning look at how we see ourselves in a world surrounded by technology.

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

A cyborg-feminist rediscovery of the Greek myth of Narcissus that explores the contemporary dance of selfhood within technology.

CREDITS

PRODUCER & DIRECTOR: Olivia Louise
CAMERA: Clamber (clamber.org)
NARCISSUS: Tiana Garoogian (tianagaroogian.com)
VIDEO EDITOR: Codec Ultra & Olivia Louise
SOUND DESIGN: Dustyn Astbury & Zak Nelson
SET INSTALLATION: Nijotz (process.life) & Olivia Louise

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Artist Profile: Kelly Nesbitt

Kelly Nesbitt (Portland, OR): PENNY – THE CONDUIT
performance art film 

Collage of images from Penny - The Conduit film

We are thrilled to bring Kelly Nesbitt’s humorous and touching film, Penny – The Conduit, to Portland audiences and beyond.

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

PENNY expresses our collective grief and despair, yet exemplifies the unquenchable hope that lies deeper in the human heart. Death, mourning, and healing are overt themes of this piece, as exemplified by Penny’s awkward yet earnest commitment to meditation, nature worship, and conversations with a radically different kind of deity.

BIO

KELLY NESBITT is a multi-disciplinary performance artist, midlife warrior, and frontline healthcare worker who plays at the intersection of humor and healing. With extensive training in the field of humor, Nesbitt has been awarded grants for the creation of solo and interdisciplinary ensemble performances, toured internationally, and collaboratively produced numerous DIY community arts events since 1999. 

Inspired by nature, contemplative arts, practice and technique ~ Nesbitt is a body based storyteller who embodies the archetype of the fool, juxtaposes absurdities with sincerity, pathos with surreal-humor, and pratfalls with sincerity. Performance aesthetics employ recycled layered costuming, makeshift props, and superhero motifs. Video work experiments with raw facial close ups and lowbrow video editing techniques for comedic effect. Audience members have described their performances as transcendentalist hilarity, utterly inexplicable, and earnestly epic.

MAD COMPOSER LAB, aka Kennedy, is an innovative and versatile composer whose imaginative music captures beauty, bursts of melodic and rhythmic energy. His compositional vocabulary is sought after by many collaborators who seek authentic but familiar sonorities. Kennedy’s scores can be found in a number of studio and independent productions including At The End of The Tunnel, Sightings, and This Is Us. In addition to composing, Kennedy’s orchestrations and arrangements can be found in films such as Deliver Us From Evil (Screen Gems), The Monkey King, Priest (Screen Gems), and Drag Me to Hell (Universal). 

His concert repertoire includes String Adagio no. 6, Western Sketches for Orchestra, Songs of the Seasons, 5 is Prime : 4 is Magic, and numerous experimental works for combinations of traditional instruments and ones created by Kennedy at the Mad Composer Lab.

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Still image from Distancias film

Artist Profile: Moriviví Theatre in collaboration with Hand2Mouth

Moriviví Theatre in collaboration with Hand2Mouth (Portland, OR): Distancias Digital devised theatre work

In a new cut of the full-length documentary-style digital devised theatre work, Moriviví Theatre and Hand2Mouth premiere a work that will speak to so many of us about our experiences during the pandemic of the last year and a half.

PERFORMANCE SYNOPSIS

Distancias is an exploration of the distance we have been experiencing during the pandemic. Through a series of vignettes, three Latinx artists explore feelings of isolation, separation anxiety, and loneliness while also traversing their longing for a homeland, a home-people, a communidad that is rooted in their cultura.

BIO

Giovanni Alva is a theatre artist who likes to tell stories and help others tell theirs. He holds a BA in theatre arts from Humboldt State University and has worked in Portland at Milagro, Portland Playhouse, Action/ Adventure, CoHo, Roosevelt High School, and Hand2Mouth. Robi Arce is an actor, director and physical theatre poet. Robi holds an MFA in Ensemble-Based Physical Theatre from Dell’Arte International. He has performed, toured, and lead workshops in Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. His work is diverse, from theaters to churches, plazas and schools, bringing theatrical and educational shows to all. Fueled by social justice and change, his passion is to create a physical, dynamic and poetic theatre that connects with people as sports connects with the fans. Michael Cavazos is a Queer Chicano theatre maker and visual artist. He is the author of the play “Gritos y Chismesitos” and co-author of “Chic and Sassy” and “Chic and Sassy: The Higher the Hair, the Closer to God.” Before moving to Portland, he was a member of the sketch comedy troupe Gender Offenders and performed on many New York City stages, including the Beechman Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, The Culture Project, and P.S.122. Michael directed and performed in the theatrical concert, “Universo,” for Hand2Mouth and has worked with Imago, Milagro, Crave, Profile and Portland Center Stage. He is a company member at Hand2Mouth and is co-directing the new musical “Bad World” with Crave. He is part of two cross-cultural theatre collaborations with companies in Egypt and France. His art was recently selected as part of RACC’s new public art collection: Capturing the Moment. Michael is one of five Oregon performing artists to receive the 2021 Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship for artists of outstanding talent, demonstrated ability and commitment to the creation of new work.

VISIT THE MORIVIVI THEATRE WEBSITE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE FULL-LENGTH PROJECT: DISTANCIAS

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