A Letter Compiled From All Letters (work-in-progress)
Kelly Strayhorn Theater Fresh Works Residency Showing
December 1, 2017
In November 2017, my collaborators and I are began working on the project A Letter Compiled from All Letters through Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s Fresh Works Residency. The residency provides artists with space to research, explore and play, as well as offering production support to develop and present new works-in-progress. We resume work in May 2018 through PearlArts Studios Pearl Diving Residency.
Maree ReMalia (PA) collaborates with lens-based visual artist Gigi Gatewood (NY) and performer Lillian Cho (DC) to create the evening-length, contemporary dance work, A Letter Compiled From All Letters. They work with Pittsburgh-based artists David Bernabo, Moriah Ella Mason, and Jil Stifel to merge live performance and video works incorporating movement, sound, and text. Corresponding through letter writing, the artists break the fourth wall to spark meaningful connections with people beyond the artistic team and seek creative antidotes to the divisive tone of our national climate and fleeting trends in telecommunication. The project welcomes voices not typically part of creative process to incite stories shared amongst the artists and influence elements of performance. Individuals from the artists personal networks and beyond are invited to write them letters recounting significant moments from their lives; participants range from youth to adult across diverse identifications. The physicality, pace, and content of analog letter writing contrasts fleeting communication of our digital age. Contributors stories influence stories shared amongst the artists, that are developed like a call and response, collapsed together, excerpted, told by new voices, or used to generate movement, mood, or scene. Content from letters help bring varied forms of narrative to the body reflective of a broad range of experiences that are eccentric, honest, hilarious, pedestrian and virtuosic and inform larger than life-size video imagery and portal-shaped, macro projections magnifying intimate human details and drawing connections with place. These elements interact with poetic readings, word battles, and musical blends of syllabic sounds. The inclusion of multiple mediums and voices beyond the artistic team demonstrate ReMalia’s interests in working across disciplines and connecting communities through creative experience.
Concept by Maree ReMalia, Gigi Gatewood, and Lillian Cho
Directed by Maree ReMalia
Movement created by Maree ReMalia in collaboration with the performers
Performed by David Bernabo, Lillian Cho, Gigi Gatewood, Moriah Ella Mason, Maree ReMalia, Jil Stifel, and ShaQjuan Tyler
Videography and Set Design by Gigi Gatewood and David Bernabo
Sound by David Bernabo
Production Manager Shane Richardson
Lighting Matt Washil
Video Documentation Stefano Ceccarelli + Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Anders Johnson
Video Editing Gigi Gatewood
Letter Contributions by Ann, Anna, Candace, Courtney, Dee, Donnie, Heather, Huirong, Jim, Lorenzo, Lynn, Michael, Pam, PinLing, Rachel, Taylor, Will
Special Thank you Kelly Strayhorn Theater/The Alloy Studios Staff and Production Team, Siena College, letter contributors, cast and collaborators, Burch Fisher, Cathy and Robert Gatewood, Anders Johnson, Michael J. Morris, Lola Sadai, ShaQjuan Tyler, Point Park University Modern III, VII, VIII students.