Previous MicroFests

Atlanta, GA Race, Culture, and Aesthetics October 8-10, 2010 Los Angeles, CA New Play Development December 3-5, 2010 Philadelphia, PA Genre-Defying Work February 2011

What is the Theater we want to create?

One Festival - 3 Cities. From October 2010 through February 2011, NET will host a Micro-Festival in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.  Designed to build a national conversation in the ensemble theatre field around aesthetics, culture, and the ways ensembles create new work that defies traditional theatre practices and forms, these 2 and half-day “Micro-Fests” will be a combination of performances and performance responses, catalyst conversations, master classes, and intentional conversations to provoke a deeper dialogue around the theme of each festival. We’re witnessing an evolution within the theater field: a shift towards Ensemble.

With Micro-Fest: USA as the springboard, we ask the question: What is the Theater we want to create? The very structure of Micro-Fest: USA will lead us towards an answer.  The interconnected and progressive topics include the connection between race/culture and aesthetics—this leads to and informs: the ways ensembles create new work—which leads to and informs: the genre-defying work that ensembles are creating. In looking at the whole, we will create a lexicon to better discuss the work both internally, within the field, and externally, to our audiences, funders and supporters.  By examining the work (i.e. identifying its principles, values and characteristics) we will point to what we believe is the emergence of a new American Ensemble aesthetic. Event Format—these are meant to provide multiple entry points into the theme of each Micro-Fest.

•    Each city will host 4 performances – 3 local companies and one from outside the host city.
•    Moderated performance responses to build a habit of collectively talking about the art.
•    Master classes—because we’re artists.
•    Catalyst conversations to ignite dialogue around local theme. Micro-Fest: USA is asking the following questions:

  1. How does the community in which the work lives inform the work and process? •    How does the audience play a specific role in the work we create?
  2. What is the role of space in what we create?
  3. What are the personal experiences we bring to the places we make work? How are we affected by place? How does the intersection of place and experience intersect as we create our ensembles?
  4. How does the manner by which we intentionally talk about the work effect the advancement of our goals? Through these festivals NET is striving to create a new vocabulary to talk about ensemble theatre-making, its roots in place and cultural traditions, and the processes ensemble use to make theatre.

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