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NOW Festival #9 Opens at REDCAT with Music, Motion & Multimedia Artists

Photo of work by Susan Simpson courtesy of the artist
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The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, aka REDCAT, brings its 9th annual New Original Works (NOW) Festival to the stage beginning this Thursday and continuing through the next three weekends. Celebrating the vibrant creative community in the Los Angeles area, the theater re-imagines itself as a laboratory for experimentation, genre-blurring and discipline-bending as nine new works and works-in-progress devised and performed by local dance, theater, music and multimedia artists occupy the facility.

Including returning artists and newcomers alike, the first week contains CalArts alumni Poor Dog Group, the NOW veteran Opera Povera, as well as director/puppeteer and CalArts faculty member Susan Simpson. Future weeks encompass an Obie-Award winning writer/performer, a TED Fellow, Khmer dance and pulsating digital music. All in all, there's something for every adventurous theatergoer in the twenty-first century.

This week, Poor Dog Group has created a movement-based interpretation of Jelly Roll Morton's legendary 1938 recording of The Murder Ballad that promotional materials say "delves into the myth of female madness and racialized representations of sexuality."

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Artistic director Sean Griffin and vocalist Juliana Snapper honor renowned composer Pauline Oliveros with Opera Povera's contemporary operatic staging of the musician's 1970 score, To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe In Recognition of Their Desperation.

And Susan Simpson's Exhibit A blends fact and fiction, human performers and puppets, green-screen video effects and live music by Pitch Like Masses to explore the convergence of radical visionaries that populated the hills of our very own Silver Lake in the 1950s.

Sounds like an exciting collection of ideas and conceptual realizations destined to keep us watching and wondering and oohing and aahing. Check it out and make the scene!