Wickets.copy.jpgCulturemart, the annual “hybrid” performance festival, is now in full swing at HERE. The festival gives HERE’s resident artists a chance to share the fruit of their year-long residencies. Although the shows are still “in progress” and rough around the edges, the work is typically more engaging than a lot of “finished” productions. Here’s a sampling of some projects yet to be performed:

Conceived by Lenora Champagne, TRACES/fades is an “intergenerational movement theatre work” with projected images. Described as “a meditation on Alzheimer's and our national inability to remember history, the performance space will evoke the day room of an assisted living facility. (Four of the 7 performers are senior citizens.) Alzheimer’s becomes a metaphor for Americans’ short-term historical memory loss: our national tendency to forget history and accept dubious explanations from those in authority.” (January 16-17)

With live music and “video-inspired staging”, The Theater of a Two-headed Calf will explore similarities between 1970s punk and 18th-century Kabuki in Drum of the Waves of Horikawa. “In approaching the Kabuki text, the company would like to resist the 1940s incidental system of codifying every movement and gesture in Kabuki; they do not desire to create a ‘museum piece.’ Instead they want to employ their own tools to help them engage the text in the spirit of early Kabuki artists.” (January 18-19)

Just in time for Dubya’s double down, The Juggernaut Theatre Company surges forth with Oh What War: “Part clown show, part musical review, Oh What War is a soldier’s fantasy of flagrant disobedience that follows a band of deserters stuck in No Man's Land. A mash-up of mud, vintage war songs, b/w video footage and battle noise, the production zeros in on the great war machine that holds us captive.” (January 20-21)

Wickets, conceived by Jenny Rogers and Clove Galilee, is a “celestial rock-opera” re-imagining of Maria Irene Fornes’s Fefu and Her Friends. Set aboard a trans-Atlantic flight, eight 1970s stewardesses find themselves split between the private self and the public persona. Here’s an intriguing mouthful: “Wickets takes as its play space the space-time continuum, more specifically a 35 year-ish gap between the year that the play takes place & our current date. It shares this dislocation with the original play, Fornes writing in the late 70’s looking back on the proto-feminist, pre-Freudian moment of 1935, and our play taking place in 1971 at the rise of the modern feminist & civil rights movements, as seen from the vantage point of the aughts, (and our present day backlash to, and reclamation of, contemporary feminism).” (January 25-28)

Most shows run for just a couple of days and often sell out, so buy tickets ($15) in advance. For further reading, Alexis Soloski has an in-depth profile on the past, present and future of HERE in this week’s Village Voice.

Photo of Wickets by Jenny Rogers