19nth Season of the Ko Festival, Amherst

Ko Festival LogoThe 19nth season of Amherst’s Ko Festival has been curated on the theme of “It’s All in the Family.”

They’ll have five weeks of shows that take a penetrating and entertaining look at families – both traditional and non-traditional. A rich examination of ways that people negotiate expectations, identity and legacy.

The festival runs July 5 – August 8, 2010, with plenty of workshops also.

Highlights of the festival include performances and workshops by genius juggler Sara Felder, a physical, no words production of Alice performed by Quest Productions of DC/Maryland, and workshops and performance on devised and puppet performances by Nick Sile (of Mondo Bizarro of New Orleans) and Sandglass Theatre’s Eric Bass.

Full information on the website http://www.kofest.com .


July 9-11 WHEN WE DANCED with Gregory Ramos (Burlington, VT)

We have lost or are close to losing the people who fought, rallied, and resisted the social structures that once made queerness a crime, a mental disease, and caused us to lie about who we are to ourselves and to the world. They laid the foundation and created the changes that lead to domestic partnerships, civil unions, and (at least in some states) gay marriage. Based on extensive interviews, Gregory Ramos’s new piece seeks to capture the stories of these individuals and their perspectives on aging.

Tickets: $20/16 Students & Seniors.

July 16-18 FRi, SAT & at 8 p.m., SUN at 4 p.m. ALICE Quest Productions (Washington, DC/MD)

A high- flying, fanciful interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice in Wonderland, this show explores a young girl’s journey as she tries to find her way – through a forest filled with remarkable and strange creatures and through her equally confusing life at home. Quest is internationally recognized for its innovative work in visual theatre and its leadership in welcoming people from diverse backgrounds. Told entirely physically, with no words, the production is equally accessible to those who are deaf, hard of hearing or those not fluent in English.

An all-ages event

Tickets: $20/16 Students & Seniors.


The Mettawee River Theatre Company’s annual all-ages event. Originally produced in 1997, this production is based on an Iroquois creation tale and will incorporate many puppets representing the spirits and creatures of this young world before the arrival of humans. Performed outdoors in a landscape permeated with music, song and celebration. Performed on the Amherst College Observatory Lawn off of Snell Street.

Tickets: $8 Adults/$5 Children. Rain Space: Amherst Holden Theater

July 23-25 FRi & SAT at 8 p.m., SUN at 4 p.m.
POETIC LICENSE Written & performed by Erica Batdorf (Toronto)

Meet Marty, a creative writing professor at the brink of walking out on her life. In the midst of a lecture she falls apart and begins to expose her struggle to balance writing, motherhood and academia. Marti is passionate, inappropriate and desperate for answers as she challenges her students to examine what is truly radical. Does she walk out on her job, her kids, her whole life? Her guardian angel and a third character, physically paralysed and full of humor, challenges the audience to examine desire in the context of eternity. Enter this funny, magical world where poetry is edible, ruffian angels describe paradise and the audience is fed an unexpected meal.

Tickets: $20/16 Students & Seniors.

July 30, 31 & August 1 FRi & SAT at 8 p.m., SUN at 4 p.m.
JUNE BRIDE Written & performed by Sara Felder (San Francisco/Philadelphia)

A huge hit last summer with her production of Out of Sight, Sara Felder is back with the tale of a traditional Jewish lesbian wedding! Meet the the blissful brides on their first date, the reluctant parents, and the ageless spirit of the Jewish tradition. The questions are deep: Will their parents attend the wedding? Will their marriage be accepted by the Jewish faith? Will the brides both wear wedding gowns? June Bride has delighted audiences in nearly 30 cities in North America and Europe. A provocative and hilarious story of family, tradition and marriage in modern America featuring juggling balls, sharp knives, a crystal ball, and, we hope, a strait jacket escape.

Tickets: $20/16 Students & Seniors.

August 6 – 8 Exact Times T.B.A. LOUP GAROU
Performed by NICK SLIE of Mondo Bizarro (New Orleans)
Directed by KATHY RANDELS of ArtSpot Productions (New Orleans)

Loup Garou, is about wild and dangerous entity (some say a werewolf) deeply anchored in the folk traditions of southern Louisiana. His story comes from France through Acadia down the Mississippi to Louisiana. Part ritual, part howl to the world about southeast Louisiana’s plight, this outdoor performance that uses rigorous physicality, poetry, live Cajun music and visual installation to investigate the deep interconnectedness between land, family legacy and culture in Louisiana. Director Kathy Randels, whose last appearance at Ko was in the memorable Nita & Zita, invites you to join them as they sing a song of love and hope for their homeland, that is nowmore precarious than ever.

Stay tuned! Exact outdoor location and times still T.B.A.

Tickets: $20/16 Students & Seniors. Rain Space: Amherst’s Holden Theater


July 13 – 18
DEVISED THEATER: Story Circle & Song as Source
with Mondo Bizarro Artistic Director Nick Slie (New Orleans), & President of the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET)

Devised theater is like preparing food from scratch. You choose a recipe, carefully combine often-disparate ingredients, decide upon a cooking method, season to taste and serve. For this workshop, the primary ingredients are personal stories and group singing.

Stories will be generated using an inviting and surprising process called Story Circles that comes from former Civil Rights activist John O’Neal of Junebug Productions and the Free Southern Theater. We will also explore the dynamic possibilities of the singing voice. Whether you think you can sing or not, whether you think you have a story to tell, this workshop is for you. — A creative voyage that explores the dynamic possibilities of story, song and movement to generate new performance work.

July 26 – 31
EGOLESS ACTORS: A Puppetry Intensive
with Eric Bass & Ines Zeller Bass of Sandglass Theater (Putney, VT)

Sandglass Theater believes that the puppet, as a theatrical medium, unlocks doors to our more secret sides and to integrating parts of ourselves. This includes the worlds of our dreams and memories, as well as all the metaphorical possibilities of theater. Sandglass teaches a method of manipulation developed in over 20 years of workshops in the US and abroad.

Daily sessions will include breath development with relation to puppet performance, training in manipulation technique and its relation to artistic statement, and training and discussion in theory and aesthetics.

August 2 – 7
CREATING SOLO PERFORMANCE: Amusing the Muse (or – The Art of Juggling the Truth)
with world-renowned juggler & solo theater artist Sara FelderA workshop on developing performance material from our own lives using objects, character work, monologues and humor. We will write, try on different performance styles, create images, play with objects, investigate characters, consider different narrative voices, find the humor in the pain (and vice versa) experiment, fail, laugh and surprise ourselves. Use this workshop to generate material for a solo performance. Emphasize the use of performance to say something important, and, if we’re lucky, to amuse (or shmooze or cruise) the Muse.


Note that there are discounts for members of NET, TCG companies, ATHE and all returning workshop students! There is also a limited pool of financial aid.

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