Well, two things. I’m working on a play that’s based on a work of art I did several years ago called “Mapping the Dark: A Museum of Ambient Disorders.” Fran Smith and I are doing this together—she’s directing it and we are developing a stage presentation for the 10 characters that I created for the original work of art. So it will be a multimedia affair. I’ve enlisted 10 different writers to contribute an extended life to each of the characters I’ve developed, and we’re in the process of workshopping it.
Asked her guilty pleasure, Rosamond Casey, member artist at McGuffey Arts Center, says, “Eating pickled herring… I can’t stand looking at it, so I have to eat one piece a day out of the jar in a darkened room, so that I can’t see what it looks like.”
I’m also working on a science and art project that was launched about a year ago, with a psychologist named David Waters. We’re developing a set of images that will function as a card game, which can be used to stimulate verbal communication between two players with the minimum amount of emotional static. It’s a fun game; it takes people a little bit to the edge, but it also places people into kind of a pleasant state of interaction. It’ll be used in therapeutic environments, but also between any two people—friends, husband/wife, mother/child, and so on.
Tell us about your day job.
I go to the McGuffey Arts Center every day in the morning and come home in the afternoon. My whole life is there except for the life I have at home—which is a good life too. At McGuffey I’m pulled by a lot of different projects, both through the teaching that I do and McGuffey obligations, meetings and so on. But I pretty much hole up in there and get my work done.
When you’re in a creative mood, what is your favorite snack food?
Once a day, I take a walk down the hall to our executive secretary’s office. I sneak in there, reach my arm in, and pull out a mini-Mars bar from her candy bowl. That keeps me going for an hour or two.
Who is your favorite creative artist?
Francis Bacon, as a painter—something about the way he kind of hacks through the unknown with paint, so you never seem to have a clear idea of a destination, or as to where he’ll end up. His work seems more like a process than an outcome.
Tell us about a big idea that you’ve been carrying around with you.
There used to be a strange theme in my life, regarding psychological issues—the “Mapping the Dark” play is nothing but that, and so is this game, and working with David Waters has been very inspiring. But I’ve also created a class called “Art in Character,” in which I’ve asked people to develop a character over an eight-week period. I’ve taught this once already and it was really incredible…the extent to which people were really willing to shave off a little corner of what they know to be themselves, and to build a character from that. I gave them a series of exercises and things to do to activate that character’s creativity, to make things in the persona of this other character. I think it’s just endlessly fascinating, how this enlarges a person’s sense of who they are.
What would you say is inspiring about Charlottesville right now?
McGuffey Arts Center is inspiring to me right now. It’s kind of in its heyday, I think—I’ve never seen such good art emanating from that place. I think it’s alive through a lot of different programs and activities. Sometimes I see McGuffey through the eyes of someone who has never been to McGuffey, and it’s amazing how you have the opportunity to walk down the corridors and see artists at work in their open studios.
Award-winning Chinese acrobatics meet traditional dance, theater and a blend of ancient and contemporary music onstage with the Golden Dragon Acrobats. The company, led by impresario Danny Chang and his wife and choreographer, Angela Chang, is composed of nearly 30 trained athletes, actors and
Arguably the first all-around good film to be released in time for Oscar season, Spotlight is predictably solid in most measurable ways, with one exceptional quality buried so far beneath the surface, perhaps imperceptible to anyone who does not live and work in the world of Boston media, that
The last time C-VILLE Weekly talked with Devon Sproule, she was jetting off to Germany with her husband, Paul Curreri, to pursue a musical life abroad. The couple recently returned to Charlottesville, and Sproule is feeling more adventurous than ever. “Everything that led away from Virginia
When the last slice of pie is in crumbles, and the final quarter winds down on the game, skip the La-Z-Boy kickback and get movin’ with DJ Sir RJ’s Thanksgiving Afterparty. Hip-hop grooves hosted by Blacko & Sunshine are the gravy on a night of boogie from the ’ville with a second helping
“A valence bond is when atoms are held together by the electrons they share. It seemed really fitting for how music events can bring community members together through the things they share,” says Katie Wood, describing her new endeavor, Valence Shows. Under this moniker, Wood is one of the
After exploring forms ranging from acoustic folk to electric bluesy rock, Toronto-based singer-songwriter Sarah Burton revisited her original muse, the piano, on her latest indie-pop album. Burton’s fourth release, Make Your Own Bed, features clever wordplay and powerful, balanced instrumentals
When Victory Hall Opera, Charlottesville’s newest opera company, raises the curtain on its first show, it will also unveil a world premiere inside the industry itself. “We are developing a process that doesn’t exist yet—anywhere,” says Miriam Gordon- Stewart, artistic director, soprano and one
Rousing Americana-folk duo Dave Rawlings Machine fuses elements of traditional bluegrass with modern R&B, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll flavor. Rawlings and his longtime musical partner, Gillian Welch (who performed on and helped to produce the Grammy Award-winning soundtrack of O
On Sunday, November 22, smack dab in the middle of a grueling East Coast stint on a national tour, David Wax Museum will return home to play the Southern. Fronted by husband and wife duo David Wax (guitar/vocals) and Suz Slezak (violin/vocals), the band will play songs from its new album, Guest
With a sly twist on casting, director Robert Chapel makes the most of Our Town’s minimalist appeal by putting UVA drama grad student Carolyn Demanelis in the lead role of stage manager (played notably by Paul Newman on Broadway). Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play pulls back the
Charlottesville native Lincoln Michel knows a thing or two about literature. A familiar face in the New York literary community, he received his MFA in fiction from Columbia University and is currently the editor-in-chief of electricliterature.com as well as a co-founder of Gigantic, a magazine
For many musicians, entering the music industry is like going to war. It’s a do or die field that’s filled with unpredictable circumstances and survival rates. Creativity requires constant combat and prosperity that comes through popularity, with legions of fans dictating the victories. It’s
On Tuesday, November 10, Piedmont Council for the Arts announced that executive director Gram Slaton will leave his current position effective November 15. The PCA Board of Directors hired Slaton in January. In May, Slaton was quoted in C-VILLE Weekly, saying that he hoped to avoid “constantly
Few musicians have been as profound in touching the lives of multiple generations and cultures in the way that Stevie Wonder has. Signed to Motown at age 11, Wonder has been prolific in penning masterful tunes by way of the piano for more than 50 years, and holds multiple credits for harmonica
Wild Child Fools/Dualtone Records Fools is a damn near-perfect album. From the way singers Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Beggins marry their vocals throughout, to the album’s ebullient yet thoughtful tonal scope, the experience can’t be beat. The rock-stomper “Meadows” is layered with a slightly
If you’ve ever gone into work while sick only because you ran out of paid leave, the feeling your boss had while reviewing your half-assed job is a reasonable approximation of what most Bond fans will experience while watching the once-bulletproof team of director Sam Mendes and star Daniel
Gilded beams of light break through dark clouds as an octopus wraps its tentacles around the curved tusks of two woolly mammoths. A flaming mandrill pushes his finger into the black earth and ignites a pool of gold. A small herd of ancient bulls gathers in darkness around a burning bush. An
The namesake of a colonial route that once spanned much of Central Virginia, Three Notch’d Road: The Charlottesville Baroque Ensemble was founded in 2011 by local period instrumentalists. The group performs Bach Comes to America: Virginia’s Baroque Heritage featuring guest artists Jessica
When trumpet genius John D’earth isn’t playing his weekly gig at Miller’s (Thursdays) or monthly set at Fellini’s (first Saturdays), he’s performing with The Free Bridge Quintet, UVA’s official faculty jazz outfit. This week he’s doing it all—and in conjunction with the Virginia Film Festival,
A night of local hip-hop starts off with Spititout Inc., a quartet of hardcore rap artists that has been producing since 2012. In old-school style, the collective strives for social justice and activism to be present in its music. The evening of storytelling-driven rap continues with Ben FM,