12th ANNUAL KO FESTIVAL OF PERFORMANCE
SATURDAY, JULY 20th at 2:00
THE MIDSUMMER PARADE:
A Topsy-Turvy Celebration of the Ko Festival’s 11th Anniversary and of the Arts in Amherst
Midsummer’s Day has traditionally been celebrated as the triumph of the sun over the winter darkness. In many cultures, costumes are worn and dances performed to celebrate the spirit of light, life and love. Spirits are said to be abroad, making mischief and turning things upside down. It is in this spirit of the joy of summer light, the mystery of the world of the unseen, and the magic of the arts that the Ko Festival presents this parade of giant puppets and collaborations between local artists and community members. Downtown Amherst. FREE!
SATURDAY, JULY 20th at 8:00
THE MONKEY KING
Ralph Lee’s Mettawee River Company
Drawn from Chinese folklore, Ralph Lee’s production uses an array of puppets and live music to portray the adventures of the Monkey King. Outdoors on the Amherst College Observatory Lawn off Snell Street.
Adults $5.00, Children $3.00
FRIDAY-SUNDAY, JULY 26-28
Through movement, personal narratives, historical facts and recent case histories, New Orleans artist Kathy Randels explores anger, aggression and violence in women. The piece tells the storie of why women, usually thought of as the more docile sex, become violent and sometimes kill. Through the Illinois Clemency Project for Battered Women, Randels interviewed two women incarcerated for killing their abusive partners. By weaving her conversations with these women with the testimony of a female gang member and text from Anne Jones’historical account of women who murder Women Who Kill, with original poetry and prose, Randals has created a performance that has been performed to great acclaim in Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Denmark, New Zealand, Scotland, Slovenia and throughout the United States.
“…rising far above the simplistic and polarozing platitudes that usually characterize media discussions of topics like domestic abuse…Rage Within/Without refuses to provide easy answers to deeply disturbing questions…Rage is a thrill to watch thanks to her sophisticated acting style and penchant for finding humor in the most harrowing moments”
–Chicago Reader, Chicago, IL-
FRIDAY-SUNDAY, AUGUST 2-4
Internationally renowned physical theatre performer Joan Schirle, co-Artistic Director of the Dell’Arte Company, presents her solo mask theatre performance, drawn in-part from her extensive studies in Bali. For over twenty years Schirle has intrigued and entertained audences all around the world. In Second Skin, Schirle’s virtuoso transformations shine through the world of theatrical masks, allowing the characters themselves to create a spirited world of obsession, desire and luminosity. With humor, movement, music, and a group of half and full masks, her stories of wildly disparate characters coalesce around the threshold of the afterlife, as Schirle weaves multiple character portraits into an all-souls’ journey full of passion and humor.
“…Joan Schirle has a way of combining beauty, poetry, laughter , and transformation in
performances that show her not only as a master of her craft, but as a poet of the stage.”
— Eureka Times Standard, Eureka, CA
FRIDAY-SUNDAY, AUGUST 9-11
IT’S A SMALL HOUSE AND WE’VE LIVED IN IT. ALWAYS
Split Britches/The Clod Ensemble
Fresh from their run at La MaMa in New York, the acclaimed lesbian theatre company, Split Britches in their new duet. Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw return to the Valley with their production about long-term relationships. This piece was commissioned by the British Festival of Visual Theatre and premiered at the Purcell Room of the South Bank Arts Complex in London. Directed by SuzyWilson, it features original music by Paul Clark of Britain’s Clod Ensemble. Peggy Shaw explains: “Two explorers lay claim to the some territory. These people have known each other for a long time. They occupy a house the size of a small stage. A house that has been divided and subdivided by time and bad habits. They sit on a porch, watch the horizon, and wait for the weather to change. Their only hope is an audience.”