Getting Thru It is an experiment in remote ensemble performance making. It is mediated community and aesthetic inquiry, full of the urgent presence of pandemic living and civil protest. It is improvisation, autonomy and collective action. It is choreography, inquiry and chaos as only Great Jones Rep can do. Under the direction of La MaMa resident artist, Daniel Safer, 12 artists reconcile what it is to go live and stay alive by thinking "inside the box." Saturday's show/ing shares the current state of the company's exploration of how to make group work amidst relocations, unrest and dropped Zoom calls.
With Mattie Barber-Bockelman, Sheree V Campbell, Maura Nguyen Donohue, George Drance, eugene the poogene, John Maria Gutierrez, Kim Ima, Onni Johnson, Valois Mickens, Kim Savarino, Zishan Ugurlu and Chris Wild.
Mattie Barber-Bockelman is a performer, creator, and “handywoman” of theatre. She currently works with CultureHub, a global art and technology center based at La MaMa. She recently performed with the Great Jones Repertory Company in the 2019 revival of The Trojan Women directed by Andrei Serban. With collaborator Teresa Cruz, she has created performance works such as Ride the Wave at The Vortex, Timbuktu, USA with Sleeping Weazel at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, and The Birds with Juncture Theatre in Florence, South Carolina. She has trained with Double Edge Theatre, LAByrinth Theatre, Michael Chekhov School, Strasberg Institute, and La MaMa Umbria’s Symposium on Theater for Social Change and Community Engagement with Belarus Free Theatre. She studied Theatre and Human Rights at Connecticut College where she received awards for Theater and Activism and Feminist Collective Action.
Sheree V Campbell [@DontForgetTheV] is a multidisciplinary artist, actor, stage manager, director, mover, singer and song-writer-of-many-things. Recent performance credits: The Trojan Women Project Festival, Golden: Black Boy Joy Conceptualized. Sheree V is founder-creator of @FluxFlowGrow and member of Magis Theatre Company and Co-Op Theatre East. Education: LIU Post- MA Theatre, BS Adolescence Education- English
Maura Nguyen Donohue (she/her) has known and adored Dan since the 1900s. By day, she’s Associate Prof of Dance and Faculty Associate for Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College/CUNY. By night, she thanks the dark forces that her zoomer babies grew up to be antifa stans and abolitionists. With Great Jones Repertory since 1997, she’s toured the US, Europe and Asia in a bunch of shows. She had a company, it went places. She’s been on a lot of boards, co-chaired a couple Bessies committees, curates/co-produces for estrogenius fest and other things, and published words on pages in a thing once known as a book. She is currently editing Danspace Project’s 10th Anniversary Platforms catalogue and writing a piece on racism in the ivory tower for Gibney Dance.
George Drance has performed and directed in over twenty-five countries on five continents. He is Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed Magis Theatre Company, praised by the NY Times for its skill and daring (Great Divorce, Shakuntala, Occupy Olympus, *mark, Calderon’s Two Dreams) Theatre: Metropolitan Opera, Public Theatre/NYSF, ImprovBoston, ART. With La MaMa he was a close collaborator with Ellen, has toured with Fragments of a Greek Trilogy, and is a team member of the Trojan Women Project. He is an Artist-in Residence at Fordham Lincoln Center.
John Maria Gutierrez is a multidisciplinary actor, creator, and performer originally from Washington Heights, NY. Since finishing his BFA in Drama from NYU Tisch, John has ventured into various worlds of performance, working with directors and choreographers from around the world – recent credits include The Trojan Women at La Mama dir. Andrei Serban, performing internationally with Miguel Gutierrez (This Bridge Called My A$$, Sadonna), MOTUS (PANORAMA), and Pilobolus. He is a graduate of the Terry Knickerbocker Studio and faculty at Peridance Contemporary Dance Center. John is a proud member of the Great Jones Rep Company of La Mama and G^2, an ongoing collaboration with Beth Graczyk which recently presented work at Judson Church and the Shanghai Tower in China. www.johnmariagutierrez.com
Kim Ima first joined the Great Jones Rep family in 1996. The Trojan Women and many shows. She is so happy to be working with everyone on this project.
Onni Johnson is from New York City. She is director of the Trojan Women Project and an original member of the Great Jones Repertory Company.
Valois Marie Mickens hails from, our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. She originally came to New York in ’69 to be a fashion illustrator, but met Ellen Stewart and began a career at LaMaMa experimental Theatre Club. She has worked extensively with director Andrei Serban and worked with him as assistant director at the National Theater of Romania. Valois is an Elder member of the Great Jones Rep. One film in her credits, Fender L’Indian won best film at the festival of Toulon, France. (“I don’t know why”).
eugene the poogene was an astronaut before he was a performer and was instrumental in the setting up of space station STS-111 (along with other members of Expedition Three), now famous for their work on the Biomass Production System. in his spare time, he likes to sit in the dark and repeat the word “larvae”. he keeps a scale in the bathroom to weigh himself before and after pooing to measure his displacement. eugene the poogene loooooooves ellen stewart. he also loves all of his beautiful friends, family, directors, and teachers so much it’s nauseating.. poo loves danny safer. la mama forever / great jones for life.
Dan Safer is the Artistic Director of Witness Relocation and has directed/ choreographed all of their shows, ranging from fully scripted plays to original dance/theater pieces to many things in between all over the place, from the back rooms of bars in NYC to Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris. Dan choreographed and co-directed the acclaimed UBU SINGS UBU with Tony Torn (Abrons, Slipper Room, American Rep, BB King’s, Highline Ballroom), has collaborated extensively with playwright Chuck Mee, and WR was one of the first companies to do a Toshiki Okada play in English in the US (Five Days In March, at La Mama). His work as a choreographer has been at BAM, DTW, Danspace, Ash Lawn Opera, and many other places. In 2011, he choreographed Stravinsky’s RITE OF SPRING for Philadelphia Orchestra with Obie-winners Ridge Theater. Artforum Magazine called him “pure expressionistic danger” and Time Out NY called him “a purveyor of lo-fi mayhem.” As a proud resident company at La Mama, Witness Relo has had shows presented there for around 15 years, most recently in the 2019 edition of La Mama Moves. Currently, he is faculty at MIT, after nearly two decades teaching at NYU. He got kicked out of high school for a year, used to be a go-go dancer, and once choreographed the Queen of Thailand’s Birthday Party. Somehow, despite hating zoom, this is his fourth online Covid-time project – he choreographed “Mad Forest”, directed by Ashley Tata for Bard Fisher Center/ TFANA, made a piece for Downtown Variety, and created a long distance a duet with Benoit LaChambre for choreographer / film maker / dance artist Janessa Clark’s “Communion”.
Kim Savarino is a performer and choreographer. Her work investigates movement patterns, storytelling, and mythology, and has received support from MANCC’s Forward Dialogues, Arts@Renaissance, and the WV Dance Festival. Recent performance projects include a Broadway lab choreographed by Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker, an Italian “spectacle” directed by Romeo Castellucci, and Andrei Serban’s revival of The Trojan Women with the La MaMa Great Jones Repertory Company. She started performing with Third Rail Projects in 2014 and has, among other projects, played multiple roles in their off-Broadway immersive hit Then She Fell. Kim studied dance at Florida State University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and grew up in Southern California and West Virginia. www.kimsavarino.com
Christopher Wild joined Great Jones repertory company in 2001 and has enjoyed performing and traveling around the world with these amazing people. He is so happy to be working on this project with everyone.
Zishan (Zisan) Ugurlu has worked extensively both in New York and abroad as a theater artist since 1995. She is an actress and director-in-residence at La MaMa and Great Jones Repertory Company. She has performed in numerous productions with Great Jones Repertory Company, including Panorama directed by Italian company Motus as part of The Under The Radar Festival 2018. Her recent directing credit includes Fragments, Lists, and Lacuna written by Alexandra Chasin, featuring Judith Butler performed at New York Live Arts. She is currently working on two different projects; Music Room is about the prison system and it will be performed by formerly incarcerated individuals and Truth Has Died is a devised theater piece and it is about the number of lies created by Trump administration. She is the founding artistic director of “Actors without Borders- ITONY.” She is an Associate Professor at Lang College The New School University.
Presented by La MaMa and CultureHub, La MaMa is exploring ways to respond creatively to a situation that is potentially changing how we gather as a community in our theatres. La MaMa is working with CultureHub to provide online streaming of select productions and events on Howlround Theatre Commons.