Avery & Friends
For years I’ve been a bit anti-theatre company. Even when Savage Umbrella was starting I was constantly overstating that “we’re not a theatre company. we’re a partnership.” My resistance came from a few places. Structures can be tricky. With that same support solid rules, regulations, and ways of operating can empower us they can also trap up. They can sap innovation and push us towards conservative approaches to the work. I’ve also been a bit wary of codifying the production, creation, and presentation of my work. I like that in each new context I produce there’s a new puzzle to figure out, a new way to consider the viewer, and new faces.
It wasn’t until I became familiar with an artist like Young Jean Lee that I was convinced a theatre company could find a balance between innovation and stability. The difference, and key, is it’s wholly one person’s vision. Not just an artistic director choosing what plays etc, but one person’s vision for what everything ever put onstage is. I know it seems counterintuitive, but imagine a model not reliant on appealing to the broadest range of the population, but imagine one centered on an artist. At the helm is a human with a personality, values, ideas, flaws, etc. In this advanced stage of capitalism we find ourselves operating in, the human connection is more important than ever.
So that said, I’ve started a theatre company. Obviously, I don’t think of it as a company. To me it’s a vehicle to aide producing my work. The basic structure puts me at the center of each project in collaborations with one other primary artist. For instance, this fall I’ll be working with Justin Knudsen on my one man show and this winter with Julia M. Smith and I will begin work on our immersive piece bout hoarding at a residency. There are other projects in the works, but it’s a bit too early at this point to announce them. Anywho, more and more info will be coming down the pike… pipe? pie cake?. as things develops.