PRESS RELEASE - Here and Now

Our Own Voice Theatre Troupe will close its twelfth season with an original production entitled Here & Now, May 30 through June 8 at TheatreWorks.  This dance/theatre event, created by the ensemble under the direction of Kimberly Baker, will be unique each time it is performed, drawing on the experience of the performers, the presence of the audience and the spontaneous responses of each to their specific encounter. 
     Here & Now is another stage in Our Own Voice's ongoing project of expanding the way that performer and spectator relate in the theatre.  Through a series of workshops, the six ensemble members (Linley Schmidt, Sarah Rushakoff, Claire Rutkauskas, Alanna Stew
art, Elise Masur and Morgan Stewart) have explored the construction of dance phrases and theatrical images from their own memories and imaginings. 
     Dancer/choreographer Baker has fashioned a "score" from these images and phrases which will enable the ensemble to pull the audience into their experience in the moment of performance.  Using not so much "audience participation" as "audience inclusion", the production will strive to build from the choreographed images of the ensemble's memories and dreams to a shared awareness of the connection of both actor and spectator to the "here and now" of the performance.
     Kimberly Baker began choreographing with Our Own Voice in 1994.  She has directed four dance/theatre productions for the troupe:  Rituals (1998), Common Ground (2000), experiMENTAL Movement (2001) and Ecstatic Disco Nights (2001).  In every production, she has worked with dancers and non-dancers, building on the movement vocabularies she finds in each ensemble to create dance that is original, vital and accessible to all. 
     Much of the inspiration for her approach to dance has come from the writings of the noted choreographer, Anna Halprin.  Kimberly had the opportunity to study with Ms. Halprin last summer in the San Francisco area, and Here & Now has grown from seeds planted in that encounter.  She is excited to bring to the Our Own Voice troupe and to its audience, through this production, the vision of dance she shares with Halprin; dance as a celebration of life and human connection.