Advance Program Notes Imago Theatre FROGZ Friday, February 13, 2015, 7:30 PM These Advance Program Notes are provided online for our patrons who like to read about performances ahead of time. Printed programs will be provided to patrons at the performances. Programs are subject to change.
Imago Theatre presents
FROGZ Creation, design, and direction: Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad Original music: Katie Griesar Light design: Jeff Forbes Cowboy illustrations: George Smith
Performed by: Jonathan Godsey, Pratik Motwani, Kaician Jade Kitko, Tera Nova Zarra, and Mark Mullaney Production stage manager: Kayla Scrivner Fabrication team: Carol Triffle, Jerry Mouawad, and Cati Thomas With music by: Mark De Gli Antoni
The FROGZ national tour is sponsored in part by grants from The Regional Arts and Culture Council and The Collins Foundation.
FROGZ Frogs Alligators Paper Bag Windbags Strings Cowboy Sloth Circus Intermission Orbs Larvabatic Penguins Paper
Program subject to change. The taking of photographs and the use of recording equipment is strictly prohibited.
About Imago Theatre Founded in 1979 by Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad, Imago Theatre’s original productions have toured internationally for over two decades. Imago’s signature works have appeared thrice at the acclaimed New Victory Theater on Broadway in New York: FROGZ (2000, 2002) and ZooZoo (2010). The universal nature of Imago’s world has won audience and critical acclaim in tours across Asia, Europe, Canada, and the U.S. The company was awarded the New York Dance Film Award and was named Best Touring Production by Independent Reviewers of New England. Imago has been hailed by critics world-wide for their range of original work. Working out of a large 18,000-square-foot theatre laboratory in Portland, Oregon, Imago’s ensemble of actors, dancers, designers, fabricators, and musicians become alchemists seeking fresh perspectives of performance. The company has been honored for mask theatre pieces that have appealed to a wide age range, as well as for innovative works that push the boundaries of form, design, and story. Imago Theatre’s methodology is based on the teachings of Jacques Lecoq (1921-1999). Triffle studied extensively with Lecoq, completing his exclusive pedagogical program. Drawing inspiration from Lecoq, Imago Theatre aims to place form and design at the forefront of theatre creation and infuses each production with an idiosyncratic physical energy. In 2006, the company’s innovative production of Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit ran at two Tony Awardwinning theatres: American Repertory Theater and The Hartford Stage Company. The United States premiere of Caryl Churchill’s A Number was produced by Imago Theatre in 2003.
Biographies CAROL TRIFFLE (creator) Carol Triffle completed a third-year pedagical program with Jacques Lecoq in 1997 after studying with him for two previous years in 1986-1988. A member of the dance company The Company We Keep, she founded Imago Theatre in 1979 with Jerry Mouawad and began touring the United States with the original mask theatre. In 1997 she wrote and directed Ginger’s Green, which marked the beginning of the canon of original musictheater works that includes Ajax, Oh Lost Weekend, No Can Do, and Missing Mona. In 2006 her music-theatre works changed form after influences from Richard Maxwell and often featured anti-clown heroes, played by Danielle Vermette and Mouawad in works titled Hit Me in the Stomach, Mix Up, The Dinner, Simple People, Backs Like That, and Splat. She co-directed FROGZ and ZooZoo with Mouawad on Broadway. Triffle has staged works for The Jefferson Dancers and The Oregon Symphony. Her acting appearances in Mouawad’s original plays include Dead End Ed, Samuel’s Major Problems, Serial Killer Parents, Apis, Tick Tack Type, Stage Left Lost, and Zugzwang. Awards include the Independent Reviewers of New England (Best Touring Production); the Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship; New York Dance Film Awards; and Portland Theatre Awards for choreography, costume design, and best original play.
Biographies, continued JERRY MOUAWAD (creator) Jerry Mouwad studied the teachings of Jacques Lecoq at the Hayes-Marshall School of Theatre Arts. After co-founding Imago Theatre in 1979 with Carol Triffle, he went on to collaborate with her for 14 years, creating mask pieces before exploring experimental theatre. He staged two works by Richard Foreman Samuel: Major Problems and Symphony of Rats. He has adapted magical realism literature for the stage, incorporating multimedia, puppetry, and stage illusion in Verdad (in collaboration with Triffle) and Half Light. Modern classic adaptations include Blood Wedding, The Imaginary Invalid, Exit the King, and Uncle Vanya. His adaptation of Sartre’s No Exit on a moving stage appeared at American Repertory Theatre and Hartford Stage Company. He has staged work for BodyVox, The Portland Opera, and The Oregon Symphony. Mouawad directed the U.S. premiere of Caryl Churchill’s A Number at Imago Theatre. His series of original silent works, titled Opera Beyond Words, includes Apis, or the Taste of Honey; The Cuban Missile Crisis; Tick Tack Type; Stage Left Lost; and Zugzwang. He and Triffle co-directed FROGZ (2000, 2002) and ZooZoo (2010) on Broadway. He has appeared as an actor in Triffle’s original works: Ajax, Ginger’s Green, Oh Lost Weekend, Missing Mona, The Dinner, Simple People, Backs Like That, and Splat. Awards include the Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship; the Portland Theater Guild Fellowship; best director by the Independent Reviewers of New England; the New York Dance Film Award; and Portland Theatre awards for acting, light design, choreography, and best original play. KATIE GRIESAR (original music) Katie Griesar makes music with guitar, antique and toy musical instruments, found objects, collected sounds, wrong notes, and awkward gestures. A graduate of Vassar College and the American Repertory Theatre Institute at Harvard University, she is a three-time Portland Drama Critics Circle Award winner for her music/ sound work with Imago Theatre, where she is currently resident composer. Griesar has contributed original music/sound to Imago’s productions of FROGZ, Biglittlethings, ZooZoo, House Taken Over, Oh Lost Weekend, Missing Mona, The Dinner, Simple People, Backs Like That, Splat, Symphony of Rats, Half Light, Ginger’s Green, Trailer Park Paradise, Blood Wedding, Imaginary Invalid, No Can Do, and A Number. She has also contributed original music/sound to works by choreographers Linda Austin, Catherine Egan, Mary Oslund, and Cydney Wilkes, and most recently she scored the dance piece Problem of Bias by choreographer Jessica Hightower. JEFF FORBES (light design) Jeff Forbes is a Portland-based lighting designer working primarily in theatre and dance. He is a nine-time winner of the Willie and Drammy Awards for theatre, for his work with numerous companies, including Artists Repertory Theatre, Imago Theatre, the Musical Theatre Company, Storefront Theatre, and Tygres Heart Shakespeare Co. He has also designed for American Repertory Theatre (Cambridge, Massachusetts), the New Rose Theatre, Portland Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Portland Actors Conservatory, and many others. He tours nationally and internationally with Imago’s production of FROGZ as lighting designer and stage manager, and as technical director/lighting designer for the Deborah Hay Dance Company. His work in dance and performance includes frequent collaborations with choreographers, including Linda Austin, Linda K. Johnson, Do Jump! Movement Theatre, Monster Squad, Josie Moseley, Mary Oslund, Sally Silvers, and Cydney Wilkes. He is a co-founder, along with Linda Austin, of Performance Works NW, for which he also serves as technical director.
Biographies, continued JONATHAN GODSEY (performer) Jonathan Godsey became interested in theatre in 1998 at the ripe young age of 28. Since then, he has performed in numerous national FROGZ tours with Imago, including runs at American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusets, and on Broadway in New York City. Godsey’s other Imago appearances include Oh Lost Weekend, The Imaginary Invalid, and Biglittlethings. He currently studies Aikido at Two Rivers Aikikai in Portland, Oregon, and eventually plans to apply his extensive studies of Taichichuan and Aikido to the art of stage combat. PRATIK MOTWANI (performer) Pratik Motwani is an actor from Mumbai, India. He holds a master’s degree of fine art in ensemble-based physical theatre from the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre in California. As a voice-over artist, Motwani has lent his voice to Dev Patel (the protagonist) in the Indian version of the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire. Motwani is also the co-founder of MadBall Co, based in Mumbai, India. In 2010 he cocreated the social outreach wing of the company with a workshop and performance program EK aur EK Gyarah (One Plus One = Eleven) in partnership with over 10 international aid organizations. The project reached thousands of street children, pediatric cancer patients, students, and teachers in Delhi and Mumbai. Recently, Motwani and his company created IN’Tents—A conservation Comedy in the Great Outdoors as a response to the budget cuts in the national and state park system in the United States. Funded by the Puffin Foundation, the show reached over 1,300 families camping all the way from the Redwood Parks to Rocky Mountain National Park. As a performing artist Motwani has played leading roles in The Dell’Arte Company’s production of The Nutcaper, Mary Jane—The Musical, and their recent production The Comedy of Errors. After a fantastic touring experience last year Motwani returns to join Imago for his second season. TERA NOVA ZARRA (performer) Tera Nova Zarra is an acrobat, aerialist, and vocalist. She has trained under the direction of former Austrian sport acrobatics champion and national team coach Stefan Furst for seven years. She has also trained at Sons of Cayuga in San Francisco with coaches Dominik Wyss and Serchmaa Byamba and taken lessons from École Nationale de Cirque’s Yuri Bozyan in Montrel. Zarra holds a black belt in Aikido and Aiki Jujutsu from American Institute of the Martial Arts in Connecticut and is a trained opera, jazz, and rock singer. She has recorded backing vocals for Shock G of Digital Underground, and her ninja rock band, Fist of Dishonor, toured with Vanilla Ice. Zarra spent a year in San Francisco performing as a strong woman for Velocity Arts and Entertainment. In Portland, she was a company member for Do Jump Extremely Physical Theatre and Night Flight Aerial. Zarra previously appeared in Apis and Zoo Caper with Imago. She is excited to join the cast of FROGZ. KAICIAN JADE KITKO (performer) Born in California but raised on Kauai, Kaician Jade Kitko now dwells in Portland, Oregon. Before moving to Portland, he was trained in tap by Carol Culver and is currently learning trapeze and lyra from Nightflight Aerial. His first show in Portland was Imago’s Stage Left Lost, followed by three seasons in their young audiences show Bim Bam Bop. Outside of Imago, Kitko dances and choreographs for Trip the Dark dance company, does puppetry with Red Yarn Productions, and teaches tap independently. This is his first large-scale tour. MARK MULLANEY (performer) Mark Mullaney is excited and honored to join the cast of FROGZ. In addition to acting, Mullaney likes to play and teach the bagpipes to children and record audiobooks in his free time. Previously he acted in Imago’s Pimento & Pullman. Generous thanks to to Jerry Mouawad and Carol Triffle for all the opportunities and to the cast—it has been a pleasure.
Biographies, continued KAYLA SCRIVNER (production stage manager) Kayla Scrivner studied dance and technical theatre at Portland State University, working in Lincoln Hall for over 15 years. From 1993-1997 she taught dance at The Edna Manley College of Fine and Performing Arts in Jamaica and danced with The National Dance Theatre of Jamaica. Scrivner worked as technical coordinator with White Bird Productions for nine years, and she has also worked with Northwest Dance Theatre, The Portland Ballet, Bodyvox, and Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. GEORGE SMITH (cowboy illustrations) George Smith was a nationally syndicated cartoonist best known for The Smith Family. He was the proud father of 11 children, one of which is artistic co-director of Imago, Carol Triffle. CATI THOMAS (fabricator) Cati Thomas was born and raised in England. She started sewing at age seven, and a few years later she set off to work in the costume shops of regional and London theatres. A taste for adventure led her and her sewing machine to the American Northwest where, for 20 years, she led a domestic life in central Oregon. She has performed in, directed, and costumed numerous community theatre and dance productions, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Charley’s Aunt, Death Trap, Oliver, Swan Lake, and Trojan Women. When she returned to Portland three years ago it was her heart’s desire to work at Imago Theatre and see the inside of an orb. She has since become intimately acquainted with the insides of many of Imago’s creatures. This is her fourth season at Imago. She would like to thank her three children. KATHERINE GRAY (fabricator) Katherine Gray has performed in four of Imago’s original works. She has assisted in creature creations for both FROGZ and Biglittlethings. While her primary focus has been dance over the past 18 years, including many seasons with Oslund & Co./Dance, she works steadily in the field of prototype development, special events production, costuming, and industrial design.
Engagement Activities Friday, February 13, 2015, 10 AM Youth Performance for area elementary school students Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, Street and Davis Performance Hall Imago Theatre will give a free youth performance to select area elementary school students.
In the Galleries
Shinique Smith Gnosis, 2013 Ink, fabric, and acrylic on wood panel 48 x 48 x 5 inches Courtesy of the artist and James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai
Explore CONNECTIONS between works of art, artists, and viewers; between art past and present; and between ideas and their aesthetic manifestation. THREADED Three one-person exhibitions featuring Shinique Smith, Angelo Filomeno, and Polly Apfelbaum Through Sunday, April 12, 2015 Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10 AM-6 PM/Saturday-Sunday, 10 AM-4 PM Three one-person exhibitions by renowned artists Shinique Smith, Angelo Filomeno, and Polly Apfelbaum, who work with threaded material as their medium, mining its symbolic significance while creating fascinating and unexpected visual forms.