The title of this project is derived from a line in the Walt Whitman poem Song of Myself, which for me both addresses the mystery of existence and the connectivity of all things in life and death. —Natasha Pestich
The installation is up during the run of Mercy Killers, April 23 – May 4, 2014.
Join us for an Opening Reception on Wednesday, April 23.
I create fictional archives, artifacts and site-based interventions that address social realities, such as the drawbacks of progress, the effects of institutional frameworks on cultural production and the influence of publicly held ideals on private values. My images and objects are often amassed together representing complex mythologies that take up an entire gallery, or intervene in a public place, often mimicking forms of communication we are familiar with, such as newspaper spreads, a collection of posters or a museum archive.
My process begins by imagining how I or we relate to a given place or situation. This is usually a collective process, where people describe how a given issue or environment effects their lives, feelings and thoughts. Conversations evolve into discussions about what we want or need from the place in question; or sometimes it is a specific issue that affects the community inhabiting the place that we want to make visible. After these discussions, I or we invent ways to make the conversation have some type of presence in the place like a wall painting, a mural, posters or a performative gesture. The intention is to facilitate an experience that builds community among participants and/or supports community initiatives, and also move, surprise, inform or delight the person who will see the art.
Natasha Pestich is a local Minneapolis artist, educator and community artist. She received her Bachelorof Fine Arts from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, and her Master of Fine Arts in Printmakingfrom Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Working primarily in site-specificinstallation and works on paper, her work has been showcased in alternative spaces, churches, social service centers andmuseums in the United States, Rome and Scotland. She is the recipient of a number of awards includinga McKnight Artist Fellowship, an Institute for Creative Community Leadership fellowship,a State Arts Board grant and a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council grant. She is currently working onarts-based community partnerships.
I And This Mystery Here We Stand and Pillsbury House + Theatre are participants in the Audience (R)Evolution Program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and administered by the Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the professional not-for-profit American theatre.
written and performed by Michael Milligan
directed by Tom Oppenheim
In the tradition of solo performance like No Child, Michael Milligan brings his internationally acclaimed show to the Pillsbury House Theatre stage. Joe, a blue collar mechanic with a red state perspective, recounts the lengths he will go to care for his beloved wife. A detailed and emotional journey, Mercy Killers is an unflinching look at health care in the United States.
Awards and Accolades:
Winner of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival’s Fringe First Award
★★★★★ —The Scotsman
“beautifully moving and thought-provoking” —ThreeWeeks
“If you love to be challenged by the theatre you’re watching and leave the theatre willing to ask the questions that make a difference then Mercy Killers is a shining example of provocative theatre and production you don’t want to miss out on.” —BroadwayBaby.com
“Milligan manages to strip down the arguments by humanizing them to a frustrating, but immensely profound degree” —Manhattan Digest
“Michael Milligan’s Mercy Killers is a powerful play that illustrates the urgency of replacing our dysfunctional health insurance system. In this painfully accurate portrayal of the personal struggles of one couple, Milligan makes public the suffering that thousands of American families experience in private. I was inspired by the performance, and energized to move our state from health insurance for some, to health care for all.” —Minnesota State Senator John Marty
April 23 – May 4, 2014
Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 26 at 3:00 p.m.
*Sunday, May 4 at 7:00 p.m.
Additional Important Dates:
- Post-Show Discussions with our Community Partner, Physicians for a National Health Program Minnesota: Thursday, April 24; Saturday, April 26; Sunday, April 27; Wednesday, April 30; Friday, May 2; Saturday, May 3
- Free Child Care: Sunday, April 27 at 3:00 p.m. and Friday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. (Call 612-825-0459 for reservations.)
- ASL Interpreted Performance: Saturday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m.
- Audio-Described Performance: Wednesday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m.
- Opening Reception: Celebrate the opening of the show and the opening of Natasha Pestich’s installation, I And This Mystery Here We Stand, following the Wednesday, April 23rd performance.
Buy tickets online or call 612-825-0459.
Pay-What-You-Want. Pick your own price for every performance, every night. (Regular price: $25)
Mercy Killers-inspiredInstallation: I And This Mystery Here We Stand
I And This Mystery Here We Stand is a print-based public art installation by Natasha Pestich that responds to Pillsbury House + Theatre’s production of Michael Milligan’s play Mercy Killers. Based on interviews with health care providers, volunteers and patients, Pestich designed, printed, and installed a series of screen-printed posters in and around Pillsbury House + Theatre and the surrounding neighborhoods. Reflecting concerns and questions about the current health care system, the aim of these posters is to make visible the personal challenges ordinary citizens face, and to make public personal expressions of empathy, care and love. Learn more »
‘Gidion’s Knot’ review: Play is tough, uncomfortable, well-wrought
by Dominic P. Papatola, Pioneer Press
“There are many things to admire about Johnna Adams’ play, “Gidion’s Knot,” now on stage at Pillsbury House Theatre. It’s a brave, disturbing but accessible piece of theater that offers contemporary resonances and eschews easy answers.” Read the full review »
‘Gidion’s Knot,’ Johnna Adams’ tense drama, makes Minnesota premiere at Pillsbury House
by Rohan Preston, Star Tribune
“A topical two-hander about free speech, violence and the effects of bullying, Adams’ play is a study in tragic tension.” Read the full review »
“Gidion’s Knot” at Pillsbury House Theater – Review by Cherry and Spoon
“All you need to know is that it’s an intense 90 minutes of theater dealing with issues that face kids and parents and teachers today, well-written and brilliantly acted.” Read the full review »
Kapil and Esping Give Riveting Performances in Gidion’s Knot
by John Townsend, Lavender Magazine
“A masterful play masterfully executed.” Read the full review »
A violent acts haunts the characters in Gidion’s Knot
by Ed Huyck, City Pages
“The two spar for more than an hour, giving the two actors, Laura Esping as Ms. Clark and Aditi Kapil as Corryn, a challenging platform on which to thrive. Johnna Adams’ script provides them both a chance to create characters with real depth and plenty of rough edges to create friction” Read the full review »
Artscape: On “Matisse” at MIA, “Gidion’s Knot” at Pillsbury, and ticket-buying issues at Orchestra Hall
by Pamela Espeland, MinnPost
“Laura Esping and Aditi Kapil are two strong actors in difficult roles’” Read the full review »
The Current’s Weekend Arts Round-Up, March 13, 2014
Playwright Johnna Adams makes Minn. debut with ‘Gidion’s Knot’
by Rohan Preston, Star Tribune
“It has taken Johnna Adams two decades and a similar number of plays to achieve a taste of the commercial success of which most American playwrights dream. And she is one of the lucky ones.” Read the full story »
You’re not looking at this in the right light
by Allison Bolah
You’re not looking at this in the right light is a multi-media installation by artist Allison Bolah in response to the play Gidion’s Knot. The installation considers both Pillsbury House’s community and facilities as it explores young people’s experiences of miscommunication. Through video, still photographs, ‘classroom’ installations, and web-based pieces, this project engages youth and adults who use the Pillsbury House space.
Join us for an Opening Reception on Friday, Feb. 23.
Installation is up through the run of Gidion’s Knot, Mar. 23
From the artist:
Because Gideon’s Knot hinges on adult interpretations of children’s texts in a public primary school setting, the central theme in You’re not looking at this in the right light is sending/receiving meaning. As a former Language Arts instructor, I have experienced the diverse ways an off-hand utterance or a poem decoded in the classroom results in ripples of tension or insight. To make full use of Pillsbury House’s space, I’ve planned installations for each floor of the building including its ‘fourth’ floor, the online presence.
In the first floor lobby, video and ‘classroom’ installations gives voice to young people from Pillsbury House + Theatre’s after school program who, like the young people mentioned in the play, are often only heard through their writing. Collected texts of being misunderstood are de- and re-contextualized in youth performances and written ‘assignments’.
The second floor–the “home” of Pillsbury House + Theatre’s after school program–features photographs taken of youth as they share their stories to maintain a connection to the ‘origin’ of some of the texts from the first floor.
On the third floor, in the Health Clinic waiting area off the elevator, is a desk, chair, and additional ‘assignments’ echoing the first floor installation.
As a public component of this project, a web installation will include excerpts from the larger installation and an interactive installation dealing with the interpretation of text similar to the ‘classroom’ installations on the first and third floors.
Allison Bolah was born in Alberta, Canada in 1975. Her interdisciplinary practice draws on experiences with literature and photography; in installations of video, sound, and paper-based objects, she documents the ways language and gesture shape identity and create complex worlds of human relationships. In awareness of W.E.B. Du Bois’ theory of double-consciousness, she is mindful that her work belongs to and ‘reads’ differently in her various communities and thus seeks opportunities to show her work in non-traditional spaces.
Prior to pursing her MFA, Allison taught high school Language Arts in South Florida for eight years. She has and continues to participate in collaborative and educational artistic endeavors that join community and academic work with her studio practice. Prior to pursing her MFA, Allison taught high school Language Arts in South Florida for eight years. She has and continues to participate in collaborative and educational artistic endeavors that join community and academic work with her studio practice. She has developed book arts projects as the Minnesota Center for Book Arts Collegiate Fellow. She was recently awarded a 2014 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant.
She will complete her MFA in Visual Studies at Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2014.
This project is made possible through the Audience (R)Evolution Program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and administered by the Theater Communications Group, the national organization for the professional not-for-profit American theatre.
Deadline for Submission:
Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 10th, 2014.
E-mail completed applications to [email protected] or deliver to:
Pillsbury House Theatre, Attn: Naked Stages
3501 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55407
February 24, 6:30 pm at CHAT, 995 University Ave W Suite #220, Saint Paul
February 25, 6:30 pm at Pillsbury House + Theatre, 3501 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis
These Info Sessions will cover the history of the program, the goals of the fellowship, and what the panel looks for in making its selections. We will also cover the difference between applying to create a performance art piece for the stage verses a performance art installation.
Contact [email protected] with any questions or help with your application process.
About the Naked Stages Program
The goal of this program is to assist artists in acquiring tools to opportunities in performance, critical response skills, marketing, and technical production. This program emphasizes the development of artistic process rather than technical production. To this end, artists are not permitted to supplement their technical budget with additional grant funds. Artists are expected to be in residence in the Twin Cities for the mentorship program and production period. This is a time intensive program and artists should consider their ability to commit to the program prior to the application process.
The selected artists meet as a group to participate in workshops and provide a critical and supportive environment for creating work. All parts of this process will be coordinated and facilitated by the Program Artistic Director. Artists receive support for marketing, technical production, and photo and video documentation from the Pillsbury House Theatre staff. Two artists will share a two-weekend run at Pillsbury House Theatre December 11th – 13th and 18th – 20th, 2014, and one instillation-based artist will set their own schedule depending on their concept.
Selections will be announced on March 22nd, 2014, and the program will begin March 23rd from 10-1 pm with a mandatory meeting.