Naked Stages


December 11 - 20, 2014
7:30 pm, Thursday - Saturday
: PaviElle French & B Billy Xiong
4:00 pm, Sunday: Eric F. Avery
Post-Show Discussions with the artists: Fridays, December 12 & 19

Tickets: Buy tickets online or call 612-825-0459.
Pay-What-You-Want. Pick your own price for every performance, every night.
(Regular price is $16. Anything above $16 is considered a donation.)



Marisa R. Carr, Junauda Petrus, and Eliza Rasheed

The 2015 Naked Stages fellows are: Marisa R. Carr, Juanda Petris, and Eliza Rasheed. Marisa R. Carr is a composer, playwright, and activist who was named “Best New Political Playwright” by Lavender Magazine earlier this year. She will create a performance piece inspired by her police officer father. Junauda Petris is a dancer, writer, and aerial artist who will be installing ritualistic and artistic spaces around the building, outside of the theatre. Finally, Eliza Rasheed is an actor, dancer, playwright, and director who will use her lens as an Asian multiracial woman to guide her work.

Naked Stages, a 9-month Jerome Fellowship for emerging performance artists at Pillsbury House Theatre, is now accepting applications for 2015. Three emerging artists will be selected: two will create a performance for the stage and one will be creating a performance-based installation of their design in or around PHT’s building.

Announcing the Naked Stages Fellows 2014

The 2014 Naked Stages artists are Eric F. Avery, PaviElle French, and B Billy Xiong. Eric F. Avery will experiment with installation art in spaces around the building excluding the theatre. He is an interdisciplinary artist also currently working on a commission for Northern Spark as well as a Cultural Community Partnership Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. B Billy Xiong is an up-and-coming Hmong artist with eight years experience as a competitive dancer who uses dance, singing, writing, and acting in his work. Finally, PaviElle French is best known locally for her dynamic live performances of spirit-filled, hip-hop/soul music. They were chosen by a panel of artists including past Naked Stages recipients and other professional artists: Sharon Bridgforth, Kurt Kwan, Jeffry Lusiak, and Natasha Pestich.

A creative opportunity unlike any other in Minnesota, Naked Stages is a 7 month development program that provides time, financial support, and mentoring to three artists to develop their unique voices as performance artists and creators.

Unlike past years, Naked Stages 2014 finally implements changes discussed for a few years—where only two of the three fellowships will be for performance work. In the past, the fellowship has culminated in two weekends of performances with two different artists performing each week. This year, two artists will perform their work over the course of two weeks (December 11-20, 2014) while a third artist will create an installation in the Pillsbury House + Theatre building that will be open to the public overlapping the December performances. In addition, artist acclaimed artist Sharon Bridgforth (River See) will be working more closely with all the artists over the course of the fellowship, increasing her participation from one workshop to three.

About the 2013 projects
Eric F. Avery’s WHITE [people] installation is an examination of “Blackness” through critiquing the kind of privilege that exists by simply seeming “White” and adhering to the conventions of the dominant culture. It is not an indictment of any group; it is an invitation to explore the life of someone you are not.

B Billy Xiong’s project will continue his transformation from just a “dancer who acts” to creator of performance that uses multiple medium and raises awareness about the voices in his Hmong community.

PaviElle French’s Runnin’ reflects on the lessons learned growing up as a young Black woman in the Rondo Community during the height of the Reagan Era.

More Information
Molly Van Avery continues in her second year as Director of Naked Stages (taking over from seminal artist Laurie Carlos. “As the program continues, we are working to broaden the possibilities of performance through encouraging installation pieces, creating a script library of past projects that highlights the incredible work of Naked Stages artists, and also entering into a conversation with other theatres throughout the country who are interested in supporting original performance art that is unpredictable, edgy, and exciting.”

In addition to regular feedback sessions and money to support development, hiring other artists, and material requirements, the artists work with local creators like Hijack, Late Nite Series Artists and Naked Stages Alums Juma B Essie, Katie Vang, Moe Lionel, Gabrielle Civil, and Julia Babb as well as nationally renowned artists, Sharon Bridgforth and Daniel Alexander Jones. Once a month, they also participate in production meetings focused on the business side of art, from audience development to technical support, helping to develop their unique voice into a sustainable, artistic career.

Naked Stages performances will be December 11-20, 2014.

Eric F. Avery’s installation dates TBA.

All tickets are Pick Your Price. (Regular price = $15). Performances begin at 7:30 Wednesday thru Saturday. Post-show discussions with the artists following every Thursday performance.

BOX OFFICE AND MORE INFO: 612-825-0459 or

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WHAT IS Naked Stages?

Pillsbury House Theatre, with support from the Jerome Foundation, seeks to provide a mentorship opportunity for emerging performance artists in Minnesota.

Three emerging artists, funded by the Jerome Foundation, use multiple media, puppetry, storytelling, satire, and movement to present their work to the public.

A creative opportunity unlike any other in Minnesota, Naked Stages is the culmination of a 7 month training fellowship that provides four emerging performance artists with the time, resources, and mentorship they need to bring their distinctive visions to life on stage. In addition to regular feedback sessions, the artists participate in workshops with local creators like Hijack and Pramila Vasudevan, as well as more intensive workshops with nationally-renowned artist Sharon Bridgforth. Once a month, they also participate in production meetings focused on the business side of art, from audience development to technical support, helping to develop their unique voice into a sustainable, artistic career.

Naked Stages performances are the final step of a multi-layered program designed to empower artists to be their most bold and creative and to challenge artists and audiences alike to push past their previous boundaries.

What is Performance Art?

Below is a summary adapted from the essay "Fluid Landscapes," by Lois Keidan and Daniel Brine.

“Performance Art is not a singular form of art, but an umbrella term for work that pushes the boundaries of diverse disciplines. Disrupting borders, breaking rules, defying traditions, resisting definition, asking questions and activating audiences, Performance Art is a research engine where the limits of art and ideas are tested and new possibilities imagined.”






All 2010 Naked Stages artist photos by Craig VanDerSchaegen. 2009 and 2011 photos by Ann Marsden.