Victorian Mexican Indigenous mezzo soprano Julia Pastrana was billed as “The Ugliest Woman in the World.” A title given to her by her manager-husband Theodore Lent, she was exhibited by him and others in the United States and Europe during her life and after her death for 150 years. Chronicling 10 years of work to have Pastrana’s body repatriated to Mexico for burial, the renowned artist Laura Anderson Barbata conducts audiences through a series of stories, exercises, and thought experiments towards an experience of radical empathy and a re-examination of the value of a human life.
Composed of elements of TED Talk, flash workshop sessions, dance, music, and multimedia, The Eye of the Beholder is a participatory performance mashup asking audiences to close their eyes and see (re-envision) the world from a different place.
Created and Written by Laura Anderson Barbata
Developed with and Directed by Tamilla Woodard
Multimedia Design by Katherine Freer
The Eye of the Beholder was developed at Amphibian Stage Productions, 2018.
General Admission: Seated
LAURA ANDERSON BARBATA: Born in Mexico City, based in Brooklyn and Mexico City. Transdisciplinary artist working primarily in the social realm since 1992, with projects in the Venezuelan Amazon, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Norway, and the United States. Among them Julia Pastrana (2005-ongoing), and Transcommunality (2001–ongoing), a project presented at various venues, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; BRIC Arts | Media House, Brooklyn; Museo Textil Oaxaca, México and Museo Ciudad de México. Her work in collections includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museo de Arte Moderno, México D.F.; Museo Carrillo Gil, México; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Thyssen-Bornemisza Contemporary Academy TBA21. Beneficiary of the National Fund for Culture and Arts through the National System of Arts Creators (1999–2017), México. Honorary Fellow. Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program, LACIS. University of Wisconsin, MA
KATHERINE FREER is a multimedia designer working in theater, installation, and film. Her work is driven by the love of storytelling and belief in its power to shift reality. Her background in narrative film, documentary, animation, and computer science combine to generate work that is not only aesthetically beautiful, but also pushes convention boundaries. Frequent collaborators include Liz Lerman, Ping Chong, Kamilah Forbes, Tim Bond, Talvin Wilks, Suli Holum, Deborah Stein, and Tamilla Woodard. Her theatrical designs have been featured at venues across the United States including Arena Stage, CenterStage Baltimore, Arts Emerson, La Jolla Playhouse, Center Theater Group, A.C.T. San Francisco, Indiana Repertory Theatre, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, The Apollo Theater, and BAM Harvey. She is a member of United Scenic Artists Local USA 829, Wingspace Theatrical Design, and a founding member of Imaginary Media.
TAMILLA WOODARD is the recently named Associate Artistic Director of WP Theatre (the 2018 Lucille Lortel winning theater for Outstanding Body of Work, formerly The Women’s Project). She is the co-founder of PopUP Theatrics, a partnership creating immersive and participatory theatre for audiences in Europe, South America, Mexico and the US since 2007. She also serves as Artistic Director of Working Theater’s community initiative project: Five Boroughs/One City. A graduate of The Yale School of Drama; recipient of The Josephine Abady Award from The League of Professional Theatre Women and The Charles Bowden Award from New Dramatists, Tamilla is a past Time Warner Fellow at WP Theatre Director’s Lab, Alumnus of The Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, Audrey Fellow at New Georges and current Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop and member of Wingspace Theatrical Design.
The intimate, flexible studio space within BRIC House is dedicated to emerging and mid-career artists, with an audience capacity of 50-75 for rehearsals and performances in a workshop setting.
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