New Works in Progress

Category: stage 98

Solo Chicken Productions’ the coop will offer a sneak peek at two works in progress with a performance, November 1 at the Open Space Theatre.

Matt Carter

Solo Chicken Productions will offer the public a chance to check out new works in progress next month when they host in-development performances of two new physical theatre creations, PIG and Fruit Machine, at Theatre New Brunswick’s Open Space Theatre.

PIG is a new physical/visual cross disciplinary collaboration between Solo Chicken Productions’s founder Lisa Anne Ross and visual artist Danielle Hogan that aims to foster beauty from the cesspool of hateful anti-feminist rhetoric.  Guided by the theme – beauty from shit, the creative process for this new work began in the winter of 2018.

“In putting this piece together Danielle and I did a lot of research together and had a lot of conversations and then she went away and did her own private artistic practice,” said Ross. “She created these wonderful pieces of wearable art and then I took them into the studio and just played around with them and some further ideas came from that.”

Solo Chicken are currently Theatre New Brunswick’s Company in Residence, where this and other works are being explored.

PIG will be directed by Ross who will also perform this piece with Mariana Amero, Kira Chisholm, Naomi McGowan and Sydney Hallett with videography and music composed by Zak Rogers.

“The genesis for this project is this horrible anti-feminist crap, but what has resulted from all of this is a really beautiful, interesting, dynamic feminist conversation so we’re excited to share that.”

Fruit Machine is a new work created by coop artists Alex Rioux and Samuel Crowell. Using physical theatre to interpret historical text and quotes, this new work focuses on the questionable practices of the RCMP that targeted the LGBTQ+ community in the 50’s and 60’s. One such questionable practice was the fruit machine, which was said to be capable of determining if an individual was interested in homosexual activity. Fruit Machine strives to shine a light on the unfair treatment of queer individuals in Canadian history.  

This production also marks Solo Chicken’s first time hosting an artist residency of its own.

“Alex and Samuel conceived this idea of doing a physical theatre piece about the questionable RCMP practices against the LGTB community,” said Ross. “They presented their first in-development performance of this work in the spring as part of Connection Dance Works’ Perspective series. We’re very excited about this because it’s our first hosting of a residency so we have been supporting the creation of this project but we’re just outside eyes.”

The piece will be directed by Rioux and performed by Samuel Crowell, Dustyn Forbes, Sydney Hallett, Miguel Roy and Esther Soucoup.

Solo Chicken have been facilitating the coop as an artist development tool welcoming new and emerging artists into the fold each year for the past four years. The project has resulted in a number of uniquely inspiring performances most notably, A Record of Us, a work of physical theatre inspired by with writing of author David Adams Richards. A Record of Us debuted as part of the NotaBle Acts Theatre Festival in 2016.  This past summer the show was remounted for a tour of New Brunswick.

“We have all these amazing coop artists who are now transitioning out of being emerging artists and are now developing their own practices,” said Ross. “This is exactly what we hoped the coop would be but you never really know, when you start something, if it’s going to have the impact you intended.

“Emerging artist voices are so clear and important,” she said. “Whenever I collaborate with young artists I learn so much. It keeps my practice fresh and dynamic and it keeps me listening to the changes that are happening and being open to working in new ways.”

The November 1 show at the Open Space Theatre will be followed by a post-performance chat with many of the artists involved.

PIG and Fruit Machine | November 1 | Open Space Theatre – 55 Whiting Road | 7:30 p.m. | View Event

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