Tru Ruts Endeavors and Intermedia Arts present the WORLD PREMIERE of
A Daring and Provocative Performance by Shá Cage
Evening Performances: January 22 – 24, 2015 | 7:30PM
Matinee Performance: January 24, 2015 | 4:30PM
Don’t miss Shá Cage’s highly anticipated, stirring, and culturally-charged new work: U/G/L/Y. U/G/L/Y is the second in a three-part trilogy examining identity; the first was “N-Word” which premiered to sold out audiences in March of 2013. With U/G/L/Y, Cage’s voice is stronger than ever, seeking to challenge stereotypes of beauty while illuminating popular ideologies with this daring and provocative 80-minute integration of drama, poetic verse, movement, and elements of clown.
With Cage seamlessly inhabiting multiple characters, U/G/L/Y builds a narrative from national and global cases, telling a story that is both personal and universal, exploring aging, eating disorders, postpartum depression, and the color complex through multiple female lenses.
“U/G/L/Y conjures a rare immediacy while invoking laughter, tears, and hollers all in the same breath”
Cage has gained a reputation for risk-taking over the past ten years through her solo performances and community collaborations, such as her recent curation The Blacker the Berry … which featured more than 50 female artists of color at Intermedia Arts. Cage’s fearless and gut-wrenching portrayal of a fighter pilot in Frank Theater’s recent Grounded captivated audiences, and her performances at the Guthrie, Penumbra, and Mixed Blood have garnered rave reviews as a performer, playwright, spoken word poet, and performance artist. She has cultivated a loyal following for her ritually based diasporic signature work.
Intermedia Arts and Tru Ruts present this first performance in an NPN Creation Fund year-long tour. This exciting opportunity will allow Cage an unprecedented national platform of exposure to her work. Purchasing advanced tickets is encouraged!
U/G/L/Y features a stellar team of collaborators including E.G. Bailey (Director), Chastity Brown (Vocalist/Musician), Ananya Chatterjea (Movement Advisor), Kenna Cottman (Movement Advisor), Katherine Horowitz (Sound Assistant), Sherine Onukwuwe (Videographer), Katherine Pehrson (Violinist/Vocalist), Janaki Ranpura (Installation Advisor), and Farrington Starnes (Videographer).
Sneak Peek! U/G/L/Y – A Daring and Provocative Performance by Shá Cage from Intermedia Arts on Vimeo.
DIG DEEPER …
Thursday, January 22
Post-Show Dialogue with Dr. Joi Lewis and Danielle Mkali following the 7:30PM performance
Friday, January 23
Post-Show Dialogue with Karla Nweje and Sun Yung Shin
Saturday, January 24
Community Chat & Chew sponsored by the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota
Launched in 1983 as the very first statewide women’s foundation in the country, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota invests in social change to achieve equality for all women and girls in Minnesota.
IN THE NEWS …
“We started out U/G/L/Y with a certain clarity and lens. I realized that it’s more complicated than that for me. I really want to honor that.”
READ MORE | Shá Cage Interviewed by Sheila Regan for City Pages
“As these protests, community actions, and calls for pulbic institutions to reform take place, what obligation do artists have to engage with events in Ferguson, Staten Island, and here in MN?”
LISTEN | Shá Cage in a Conversation with Sarah Bellamy and Ananya Chatterjea on Art and Race in the Community
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Katherine Pehrson (Violinist/Vocalist) is an instrumentalist, vocalist, writer, student, actor, educator, and critic. Kate’s work has been featured on stage, on page, on film, on air, and in front of the class. Kate’s career began at the age of 4 learning violin through the Suzuki method, eventually expanding into the areas of vocal and piano studies as well. Her academic background is in history, theater and education, with a B.A. from St. Olaf College and an M.A.T. from the University of St. Thomas. As an arts educator, Kate spent several years working in visual arts education at metro-area schools and museums, including the Weisman Art Museum and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.Kate self-produced two music albums, and has contributed to several other collaborative recorded works, most recently with Minneapolis’s own J. Otis Powell?!. Kate has performed in numerous live theater, choral, orchestral, and spoken word performances. She has written and contributed to a range of publications and anthologies, most recently serving as a film critic for Southern Minnesota Scene. She is a founding member of local band Prairie Dog Fight Club and the Minnesota Poetry Slam (SlamMN!). Kate lives in the suburbs with her husband and two daughters.
Chastity Brown (Musician/ Vocalist on Thursday & Friday) She’ll put a spell on you. Sweet as molasses and woodsmoke, clear and burning as summer sun, Chastity Brown casts magic. Her voice brings you to the crossroads with every turn, warms, comforts and challenges you. She is the inheritor of Leadbelly, Nina Simone, Bonnie Raitt and Roberta Flack. She is past, present and future. She is fire, earth, air and water. She’s a natural.Throw all the genres and hyphenates together you want to describe her – gospel, roots & soul, jazz, blues & country – they are all right, and also not enough. Chastity channels songs that are borne deep in the American bone, the hunger, desperation and confidence that runs through our times. Coming from Tennessee to Minnesota, touring the country, she has had half her own lifetime and million lifetimes gone before to concoct her powerful sound. Ignite it all with love, and the rest is rapture. With her fourth full-length record, Back-Road Highways, Chastity pushes her own natural talent even farther, to stunning effect. Back-Road Highways was recorded at the venerable Helsinki South studios in Nashville, Tennessee with the support of her new label C & D Music Network, giving Chastity a return to Southern warmth and a roster of heavyweight studio musicians with credits such as Mavis Staples, Garth Brooks and BeBe & CeCe Winans to lay down tracks. Also on Back-Road Highways is guitarist Robert Mulrennan of No Bird Sing, who plays with Chastity in her live band. Chastity pulls from a diverse cross-section of talent for her live shows, playing with percussionist Michael X, keyboardist deVon Gray (Heiruspecs) and bass player Jef Sundquist (Hildur Victoria), resulting in restless, electrifying and completely enveloping performances that never want to stop and linger long after the last note has quieted. Back-Road Highways is the best yet from Chastity. She opens with the slow, pulsing insistence of “House Been Burnin”, a cry out for our needs, then follows it up with the rocking blues of “When We Get There” and the plaintive, moving roots of “Solely”. Chastity turns it all around and brings out the joys and sorrows of love with the enormous, pleading, “Say It”, and throughout Back-Road Highways, Chastity sings it all out, gives us all a reason to keep on going one more day. A talent like this doesn’t appear overnight. It takes travel, it takes guts. It takes chance, work and luck. It takes love. Get ready to love Chastity Brown.
Katherine Horowitz (Sound Assistant) has been designing sound since the turn of the century. Her work has been heard regionally at Pillsbury House Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, Penumbra Theatre, Park Square Theatre, Walking Shadow Theatre Company, Mu Performing Arts, Torch Theater, Gremlin Theatre, Girl Friday Productions, and nationally at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre (Wellfleet, MA) and the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival (Provincetown, MA). A graduate of the University of Iowa, Katharine also teaches sound design workshops to young professionals. More information can be found at www.katsound.com.
Zenzele Isoke(Community Facilitator) is an Associate Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Joi Lewis (Community Facilitator) is a Freedom Fighter, Healer, Life Coach, Consultant, Part-Time Professor and CEO of Joi Unlimited, LLC that holds space for radical self care, restorative social justice and mindful leadership.
Brianna McCurry (Production Assistant)is an alum of the Penumbra Summer Institute and Mama Mosaic’s Conservatory for Women. She is an actor and stage manager and is active in the community around social justice issues. She recently managed The Blacker the Berry… production at Intermedia Arts.
Danielle Mkali (Community Facilitator) is a community organizer and Program Officer at Nexus Community Partners.
Karla Nweje (Community Facilitator) is a Dance Professional and Arts Educator.
Sherine Onukwuwe (Filmmaker and Videographer) is founder of Souleyefilms; a multi-media company that produces creative work for artists, small businesses, organizations and individuals seeking to create professional and powerful content.
Janaki Ranpura (Installation Advisor) unites technology with the traditional tricks of puppet theater. She is a playwright, performer, and public artist developing the interaction between the human body and the spaces and objects that surround it. This manifests in large-scale civic spectacle, platforms for public dreaming, and work for the stage. She has designed and led parades in Taiwan, South Korea, and the United States, received awards from many organizations, including the Playwrights’ Center of Minneapolis (2011-3 Many Voices Fellow), Forecast Public Art (for The Movable City), the Henson Foundation (for research and production of “The God Box”), and a Citation of Excellence for her large-scale shadow theater piece “Lovesick Sea Play” from the international puppetry organization UNIMA. She has exhibited at Art Basel Parcours and the Walker Art Center with Pedro Reyes, and was a 2010 Artist on the Verge fellow through Steve Dietz’s Northern Lights.MN. She trained with Larry Reed’s company Shadowlight, at École Lecoq, and at Yale University.
Sun Yung Shin (Community Facilitator) is an author of poetry, co-editor and educator.
U/G/L/Y is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by Intermedia Arts and NPN. The Creation Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). The Forth Fund is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. For more information: www.npnweb.org
This presentation is also made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.