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An Exploration of Age: Cheat Day’s Interdisciplinary Process and Performance

A macro workshopping process produces a micro interdisciplinary music performance in partnership with three communities of different ages.

Overview

Cheat Day is an interdisciplinary theater company comprised of artistic director/composer Katie Jacobson, director Gavin Reub, dramaturge Erin Bednarz and choreographer Allison Burke. In October of 2018 Cheat Day premiered a grant funded work entitled “Honey Noble’s Last Show Ever,” which was the culmination of two years of interdisciplinary “experiments” in workshop settings. With the help of New Music USA we hope to facilitate workshops with communities of different ages and artistic backgrounds and create and perform a new interdisciplinary music work.

Our process for this piece:

(a) We will facilitate workshops alongside 3 New York communities of different ages:

  1. One high school community
  2. One community of 20 – 40 year olds
  3. One community of 60+ year olds

Each workshop will involve 12 participants. Each workshop will involve self identified non-artists as well as artists.

(b) We will host a 4th culminating workshop. Individuals from all communities will join together during this time to create. Workshops will take place between September 2019 and September 2020.

(c) Based on the experiences and discussions in these workshops, Cheat Day will create a 45min new music work for 1 actor, 1 dancer, 1 musician and 1 non-artist to be performed at a music venue in New York City in December of 2020. Each performer will be of a different age and will be chosen from our workshop participants. The piece will be devised using content created (a) by our participants in workshops and (b) by the performers and directors during final formation of the piece.

Interdisciplinary work is predicated upon the idea that we create best when we are open to difference; that we are both student and teacher in this life. Artists bring something special to the process but I have also experienced equally inspiring work from self identified “non-artists.” Non-artists often feel that they do not have permission to create because they don’t study the craft. I have great respect for studying a craft, however, I also believe every person can and should make things if they desire to, as art has many forms and purposes in our world.

Individuals of different ages also bring different insights to the work. When we hosted an interdisciplinary workshop at a high school this fall the students told us stories of paranoia, gossip and uncertainty. The pieces they made were so steeped in their experience as 16 – 18 year olds, and those stories touched our hearts as we confronted our own paranoia and uncertainty as 30 year olds with fresh voices in our ears. It brought back memories, it carried wisdom, and we walked away changed.

If awarded we will use this grant to explore stories with individuals of different ages and artistic backgrounds. The insights of our participants will help us further devise a work for music, dance and theater involving many ages and artist/non-artist backgrounds. We will rehearse and finally perform our work in December 2020 as a culmination of our process. All tickets will be pay what you can.

 

Project Media

Honey Noble’s Last Show Ever
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Select footage from Cheat Day’s most recent two hour interdisciplinary performance set in a multi-room DIY music venue and featuring 13 total performers.

Interdisciplinary Workshop Footage
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Clip #1: Footage from a 3 day interdisciplinary workshop held Seattle, Washington for dancers, musicians and actors.
Clip #2: Footage from an interdisciplinary workshop held in Lima, Peru for dancers, musicians and actors.

You’re A Liar
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Features: Katie Jacobson

A rough recording of an original composition for midi-controlled processed voice and EWI. I am singing the main vocal part and controlling the harmony vocals with a midi keyboard. I composed all vocal parts and wrote the lyrics. EWI part composed by Greg Sinibaldi.

Start and End Dates

09/01/201901/01/2021

Location

New York, New York

Project Created By

In Collaboration With

Director
Choreographer
Dramaturge

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