Off Center Festival Returns to Segerstrom Center
Rival Sons + Reggie Watts + The Car Plays + Belarus Free Theatre: Minsk 2011: A
Reply to Kathy Acker + Doug Varone and Dancers: Stripped/Dressed + Fleur
Elise Noble: 2 Dimensional Life of Her + Marc Bamuthi Joseph: Word Becomes
Flesh + Indie Band: Sea Wolf + Off Center Lounge at Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge
January 22 – February 2, 2013; tickets just $10 and $20
|Renée & Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall|
COSTA MESA, CA – Segerstrom Center’s Off Center Festival returns for its second year, January 22 –February 2. The festival will showcase more of today’s finest contemporary performing arts companies and several of last year’s favorites. Off Center Festival is an eclectic and even audacious mix of groundbreaking theater, music, dance and performance art that takes place throughout the campus. The festival officially opens with the Center debut of California rock band Rival Sons on January 22 and the following evening welcomes back popular comedian/musician Reggie Watts. The Car Plays also returns with many new works that once again place the actors in the driver’s seat of this wild theatrical experience that takes place in actual parked cars on the Arts Plaza. New to the Center will be the Doug Varone and Dancers performing Stripped/Dressed, Fleur Elise Noble in 2 Dimensional Life of Her, Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s The Living Word Project: Word Becomes Flesh, the Belarus Free Theatre performing Minsk 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker. Sea Wolf, the band that inaugurated the Center’s Indie Band Series in 2008, returns to Founders Hall. Off Center Lounge in Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge will again become the gathering place for artists and audiences.
“The return of our Off Center Festival is tremendously exciting,” said Center President Terrence W.
Dwyer. “An eclectic array of adventurous international theater companies and innovative dance, music
and interdisciplinary presentations await Festival attendees of all ages. Our audiences can look forward to performances that will thrill, challenge and entertain, and we’ve kept the price of tickets low, as little as $10, to encourage attendance at multiple performances by these extraordinary artists. And we invite
everyone to stop by our Off Center Lounge at Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge afterwards to meet and mingle
with artists, staff and audience. The energy of these post-show gatherings is exciting.”
Beginning Sunday, December 2, ticket buyers can customize Off Center Festival packages of three or
more shows for just $10 per ticket. Single tickets for $20 will be available beginning January 6. Tickets
can be purchased online at SCFTA.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787. The TTY number is (714) 556-2746. Some performances are suggested for
mature audiences only. Please contact the box office for suggestions. Artists and program are subject to change. For more information, please visit SCFTA.org/OffCenter.
Indie Band Concert:
Opening with Robert Jon and the Wreck
January 22 in Samueli Theater
“…despite impeccable retro credentials Rival Sons are doggedly establishing
themselves as a vital force for the modern age, too.” – The Guardian
California’s Rival Sons is a raucous, maximum-blues-infused, hard rock band who explodes with the
rhythm and roughness of some of the greatest rock acts of all time. From a self-released full-length album Before the Fire and EP (self-titled), to the strength of their live performances, the band gains major attention everywhere they play. With artistic chemistry that lends to the authentic and raw side of rock music, vocalist Jay Buchanan, guitarist Scott Holiday, bassist Robin Everhart and drummer Mike Miley harken back to when the thrill of rock and roll truly made a difference.
January 23 in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
“Do yourself a big favor and go see him on tour now.” – MTV
Internationally renowned vocalist/beatboxer/musician/comedian/improviser Reggie Watts wows audiences with his unpredictable performances which are created on the spot using
only his formidable voice and looping pedals. No two songs are ever the same. Blending and blurring the lines between comedy and music with his unique lyrical style. Hilarious, brilliant, unpredictable – Watts is a staple of the international performance scene. He opened for Conan O’Brien during his 2010 tour and played Bonnaroo. An avowed “disinformationist,” Watts loves to disorientate his audiences in the most entertaining way. You may not know what Watts is going to do, but that’s OK – he doesn’t either.
Belarus Free Theatre: Minsk 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker
January 24 – 26 in Founders Hall
Performed in Russian with English subtitles
“What makes it heart-rending is the knowledge that the events described are
true.” – The Telegraph, London
Internationally acclaimed Belarus Free Theatre’s, Minsk 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker is a brave and
unflinching play about repression and sexuality in Belarus, Europe’s last dictatorship. Strip clubs,
underground raves and gay pride parades pulse beneath the surface of a city where sexuality is twisted
by oppression. A love letter to a home that exiles those willing to fight for it, Minsk 2011 celebrates and
mourns a land that has lost its way.
Responding to American writer Kathy Acker’s 1981 text New York City 1979 depicting sexuality in New York, Minsk 2011 reveals the scars of repression in Belarus where protests are brutally suppressed and underground nightclubs are routinely raided by Special Forces. Minsk 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker was originally co-produced by Natalia Kaliada and Nicoli Khalezin and Fuel Theatre Company (UK). It was first presented at the Pleasance Theater during the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and received the Fringe First Award by Scotsman newspaper.
Belarus Free Theatre was founded in 2005 by husband-and-wife team Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai
Khalezin, joined shortly afterwards by Vladimir Shcherban. All company members have been arrested,
lost their jobs, been forced into hiding or exile for making theatre. Despite this, the Belarus Free Theatre
continues to develop award-winning work with the support of artists around the world. In 2011, the
company received the OBIE’s Ross Wetzsteon Award for its productions of Being Harold Pinter, Zone of Silence and Discover Love, which were performed in repertory with the Public Theatre and LaMama in New York. Their Global Artistic Campaign has attracted the support of thousands of artists internationally, including Tom Stoppard, Steven Spielberg, Jude Law, Kevin Spacey, Mick Jagger and Václav Havel. Minsk 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker was co-produced by Theatre Group Fuel of the United Kingdom.
Moving Arts LA: The Car Plays
January 25 – 27 and February 1 and 2 on the Arts Plaza
“Being in the same car as the actors made for an intensely intimate performance
setting….Gimmicky? Sure. Novel and clever? Sure. Effective and mind-blowing?
Definitely.” – OC Weekly
Truly a show back by popular demand, The Car Plays was a triumph at the first Off Center Festival.
Conceived by Paul Stein and produced by Moving Arts, The Car Plays is an environmental theater event. This year’s festival will include several new works, including seven world premieres, four cocommissioned by South Coast Repertory with the Center. All 15 plays are performed simultaneously
inside parked cars. Audiences of two move from vehicle to vehicle, experiencing works by different
playwrights in an intimate setting all too familiar to Southern Californians – the inside of a car. For Stein, who lives in Los Angeles, his car was a haven of solitary moments of reflection, long talks with friends, an occasional breakup or two and much more. Drawing on those memories, Stein collaborated with playwrights to create an experience that engages audience members in a new “performance model” of voyeuristic intimacy due to proximity. Audiences will experience five plays in one hour, as “car hops” usher patrons from car to car. There are three different tracks of five plays each. Each play lasts approximately nine minutes.
Doug Varone and Dancers: Stripped/Dressed
January 25 and 26 in Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
“Varone’s ability to convey depths of emotion through highly charged, physically
exciting choreography has made him a rarity among his generation.” The New
Award-winning choreographer and director Doug Varone works in dance, theater, opera, film, television and fashion. He is a passionate educator and articulate advocate for dance. In Stripped, Varone’sinsightful way of dissecting his choreography for dance audiences helps to demystify the art form for many viewers, and provides an overture for experiencing his work. The first half of the evening, with Varone as MC, provides an intimate look at his creative process. The company, dressed in only rehearsal clothes, under simple lights, presents a detailed look into the intricacies of how dances are created and performed. After a brief Q&A and an intermission, the company returns with Dressed, presenting the works, fully staged with lights and costumes.
Indie Band Concert:
Opening with The Donnys The Amys
January 28 in Founders Hall
Sea Wolf is back – the Los Angeles-based indie band holds the distinction of opening the Center’s Indie Band Series in 2008. Earlier this year, the band released its third album, Old World Romance, on Dangerbird Records. It is the highly anticipated follow-up to Sea Wolf’s successful sophomore LP, White Water, White Bloom. While the gorgeous full-band arrangements coupled with often dark yet buoyant lyrics are sometimes reminiscent of White Water, White Bloom, Church delves into new territory with Old World Romance. Joining Alex Brown Church on Old World Romance are Lisa Fendelander (Keyboards), Joey Ficken (Drums), Ted Liscinski (Bass) and multi-instrumentalist Zac Rae.
The group’s debut LP, Leaves in the River earned the band a place among 2007’s top ten “new and
notable” Southern California bands. They rocked on Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel and the video for
“You’re a Wolf” can be seen on MTV. They’ve played LA’s Greek Theater alongside electronic French duo Air. Sea Wolf has performed at The Troubadour in Los Angeles, the Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco, the Mercury Lounge in New York City and the Belly Up Tavern in San Diego. They have been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Flaunt, Paste and Magnet.
Fleur Elise Noble: 2 Dimensional Life for Her
January 30 – February 2 in Studio Performance Space in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
“Noble not only deconstructs her art, she shreds, incinerates and rebuilds it,
milking the full potential of today’s technology like an Andy Warhol for a new
era.” – The Adelaide Advertiser
An award‐winning and enchanting mix of drawing, animation, puppetry, projection and paper,
2 Dimensional Life of Her is a richly imagined performance installation set in an artist’s studio. Australian director/creator Fleur Elise Noble conjures a parallel world in which everything thought to be flat becomes something else. Noble’s drawings begin to reproduce themselves, drifting between surfaces and moving in and out of three dimensions. In this illusionary, captivating and cheeky work, visual tensions build and realities pile up until the artist loses control of her creations and absolutely anything becomes possible.
Marc Bamuthi Joseph/The Living Word Project: Word Becomes Flesh
January 31 – February 2 in Samueli Theater
“This is the kind of event that can act as epiphany, as a life-changing event: not
only for what it says, but how it says it.” – Cedar Rapids Gazette
Using poetry, dance and live music, a brilliant young cast presents a series of performed letters of a
father to an unborn son, documenting nine months of pregnancy from a young, single father’s
perspective. These performed letters incorporate elements of ritual, archetypes, and symbolic sites within the constructs of hip hop culture. Word Becomes Flesh evolves the realm of spoken word and realizes the form’s theatrical potential as the poet/dancer presents the complex contradictions involved in race, using the stage as an open page, and deftly writing the body as text. While women continue to fight for their right to make choices about their bodies, the legacy of patriarchy and male privilege still allow a man the social right to choose domestic absenteeism and refrain from offering either emotional or financial support. Word Becomes Flesh critically, lyrically, and choreographically examines this phenomenon. The Living Word Project is the resident theater company of Youth Speaks Inc., which is committed to producing literary performance and verse-based work that is spoken through the body, illustrated by visual and sonic scores, and in communication with the important social issues and movements of the immediate moment.
Off Center Lounge at Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge January 23 – 26 and January 23 – February 2
No Off Center Festival experience will be complete without some mixing and mingling between artists and audience. It is a rare opportunity to actually discuss the works with the creators and performers. And there will be a special low-cost menu for the artists and their fans.
Segerstrom Center for the Arts applauds Acura, Official Automotive Sponsor of the Center.
Segerstrom Center for the Arts is unique as both an acclaimed arts institution and as a multidisciplinary cultural campus. It is committed to supporting artistic excellence on all of its stages, offering
unsurpassed experiences, and engaging the entire community in new and exciting ways through the
unique power of live performance and a diverse array of inspiring programs.
Previously called the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Segerstrom Center traces its roots back to
the late 1960s when a dedicated group of community leaders decided Orange County should have its
own world-class performing arts venue.
As Orange County’s largest non-profit arts organization, Segerstrom Center for the Arts owns and
operates the 3,000-seat Segerstrom Hall and intimate 250-seat Founders Hall, which opened in 1986,
and the 2,000-seat Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, which opened in 2006 and also houses
the 500-seat Samueli Theater, the Lawrence and Kristina Dodge Education Center’s studio performance space and Boeing Education Lab. A spacious arts plaza anchors Segerstrom Center for the Arts and is home to numerous free performances throughout the year as part of Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ ongoing Free for All series.
The Center presents a broad range of programming each season for audiences of all ages from
throughout Orange County and beyond, including international ballet and dance, national tours of top Broadway shows, intimate performances of jazz and cabaret, contemporary artists, classical music
performed by renowned chamber orchestras and ensembles, family-friendly programming, free
performances open to the public from outdoor movie screenings to dancing on the plaza and many other
special events. It offers many education programs designed to inspire young people through the arts.
These programs reach hundreds of thousands of students of all ages with vital arts-in-education programs, enhancing their studies and enriching their lives well into the future.
In addition to the presenting and producing institution Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the 14-acre campus also embraces the facilities of two independent acclaimed organizations: Tony® Award-winning South Coast Repertory and a site designated as the future home of the Orange County Museum of Art. Segerstrom Center for the Arts is also proud to serve as the artistic home to three of the region’s major performing arts organizations: Pacific Symphony, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and the Pacific Chorale, who contribute greatly to the artistic life of the region with annual seasons at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.