The Short Version
OPTION 1: Buy tickets via Kickstarter to see Known Mass No. 3, "St. Maurice."
Performances run May 9-11, 2019, at Happyland (New Orleans), and May 17-18, 2019, at minicine? (Shreveport). Tickets are $20. Choose the date and time that suits your schedule below. Tickets are limited to 30 per show. New Orleans: Doors open at 7:15pm; show starts at 7:40pm with no late entry. (Saturday matinee: 2:15pm doors; 2:40pm start time.)
OPTION 2: Won't be in town for the show but want to be there in spirit? Your solidarity is very much appreciated. You can buy a metaphysical ticket to the show by selecting the "There in Spirit" option.
OPTION 3: We are also offering a behind-the-scenes look at the venue and the creative process for this show through 2 community classes: one in New Orleans, on May 5, 2019, and one in Shreveport, on May 18, 2019. You do not need any dance skills to participate. The director will provide a tour of the set and background about the show, lead participants through some basic movement improvisation skills (which, again, require no previous training or special knowledge), and teach a section of the show. Open to adults, with students in high school and college welcome. Class is $30 and includes a ticket to the show, date of your choice; limit of 20 attendees per class. Advance purchase required through this page.
What's It About?
About Known Mass: Known Mass, established in 2013, is an ongoing collaboration between New Orleans dancers and artists in other disciplines, aesthetically and ethically motivated by devised-theatre and DIY (do-it-yourself) performance traditions. Director Ann Glaviano recruits professional dancers, the ultra-classically trained and the twenty-first-century contemporary weirdos, to perform alongside Ultimate Frisbee athletes and roller-derby bruisers; she invites musicians who are typically more oriented to the rock-club scene to create lush noisescapes for the dancers to inhabit. The resulting pieces tend to be preoccupied with community – how it’s built and how it’s dismantled – and foreground the fine line between the banal and the absurd, playing out with both humor and poignancy what the writer and dance-maker Deborah Hay calls “the full, the sensuous, and the completely unremarkable.”
About "St. Maurice": This performance is a consideration – and re-creation – of St. Maurice Church in the Lower Ninth Ward, which was the spiritual home and community hub for director Ann Glaviano's family in Arabi, Louisiana. After Katrina, the Archdiocese of New Orleans determined that the St. Maurice Church community was not worth the cost of repairing the church building. The 151-year-old building had, of course, been constructed and maintained through the efforts and funds of the parishioners – including a $2.1 million capital campaign completed the year before the storm. The Archdiocese shuttered and sold the church.
In May 2019, six women will reconstruct St. Maurice Church – marking, occupying, and activating, with their bodies and their memories, key sites of physical objects and personal narratives from the church. Dancers include Kylie Arceneaux, Virginia Byron, Katya Chizayeva, Ann Glaviano (director), and Catherine Nelson. The audience is invited to tour the church while musician and New Orleans native Melissa Guion (MJ Guider) performs an experimental Mass in Latin. When the dance is over, the church will disappear.
Tell Me More! What Can I Expect?
1) You do not need to know anything about dance to enjoy this show. You already have all the skills necessary to follow along, because you are a human being with a body. Never seen a dance performance? Intimidated by live performance? We understand, and you are welcome here with us. We will say hello before the performance and set you up in the space. The vibe is informal (and reverent, and absurd). Also, the music is really beautiful.
2) Instead of being trapped in a row of chairs facing the stage for an hour, you are encouraged to walk around during the show, exploring the space and what's happening in it from multiple vantage points. Seating is provided throughout the venue to make sure that whenever you want to settle in, you can make yourself comfortable.
3) There will be multiple things happening in the space at once, so you can focus on whatever grabs your interest at any given moment. This also means that you and your friends might arrive together but end up having radically different experiences of the show. (Interesting fodder for post-show conversation over dinner or drinks!)
4) Some elements of the show are pre-determined, but some parts will be determined spontaneously and by chance – and the dancers will be performing different parts each night. This means each performance will be unique. You're welcome to come see the show more than once. (You won't be able to buy tickets to multiple shows via the Kickstarter, but send us a message via Kickstarter or our personal contact info if you have it, and we can work it out.)
5) The director was baptized at St. Maurice Church; her parents were married there. Everyone in her mom's family was baptized there; everyone was married there. We have constructed the show by drawing on her memories, the recollections of her family and other St. Maurice parishioners, and conversations with the rest of the performers. We are thinking about faith, ritual, power, and what happens to a community when the anchorpoint of that community – in this case, the church – is taken away. What endures?
6) A work-in-progress showing was performed in February 2018 at Art Klub as part of Prospect.4's satellite programming. The May 2019 production represents a substantial revision of the material, so if you saw the first draft of the show last year, you can safely buy a ticket to this show without fear that you'll have seen it all already.
Why Use Kickstarter? A Note from Director Ann Glaviano
After last year's work-in-progress showing, I received grants from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the New Orleans Theatre Association, and a family foundation in Shreveport to mount a full production of Known Mass No. 3, "St. Maurice." These grants only cover a portion of the production cost, which is normal; I of course expect to sell tickets to the show to make up the difference. This means, however, that I am personally on the hook – I, Ann Glaviano, a normal person and not a fancy art institution – I am on the hook for the rest of the production costs until we sell 100 tickets to this show across the 6 performances.
My solution to this dilemma - because I cannot afford to be personally on the hook for the remaining production costs - is to do a Kickstarter to "raise money," but instead of offering karmic rewards or internet high-fives or a customized beer koozy, I thought I would just offer the tickets themselves. Contribute $20 to raise the necessary funds to complete this performance project, and receive ... a ticket to see the show! It's a tidy exchange.
It also underscores an important point: This art cannot be produced and presented unless the community wants it and shows up for it. We cannot make this work without having an audience to come see it. So if you want to invest in, or have any curiosity about, this project, the creation of new art, or the availability of dance and music performance in Louisiana, please buy a ticket. We literally cannot do this without you. (And we'll put your name in the program with a note saying that your support made it possible.)
Risks and challenges
Fortunately, the reward is easy to deliver and does not require shipping. We will have your name on a list at will-call. We will email you at the email address you provide to Kickstarter in advance of the performance (and community class), with information about parking and venue access, what time doors will open, etc.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING ACCESSIBILITY:
The New Orleans venue has several steps up to the performance area, and no ramp. We can provide help lifting non-electric wheelchairs up the stairs. One restroom, labeled the men's room but available for use by people of any gender, has a 32"-wide corridor for access. There are no grab bars in the restroom. The show is meant to be viewed installation style (i.e., moving through the space instead of watching the whole show from a static position); there is seating throughout the venue, at various vantage points, for people who prefer to be seated. There is no designated passenger zone or accessible parking in front of the venue; however, immediately in front of the entrance is a wide driveway, and you can use this space for drop-offs and pick-ups. Street parking is free. If you have any other questions about accessibility, please feel free to send me a private message through this site!
The Shreveport venue entryway and bathrooms are accessible; the bathrooms have grab rails. The show is meant to be viewed installation style (i.e., moving through the space instead of watching the whole show from a static position); there is seating throughout the venue, at various vantage points, for people who prefer to be seated. There is no designated passenger zone or accessible parking in front of the venue; however, if you need accessible parking, the venue can set out cones to reserve space in front. Please send me a private message through this site to request accessible parking. Street parking is free. If you have any other questions about accessibility, please feel free to send me a private message through this site!
--AnnLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (15 days)