The first time Grottesco lost an important ensemble member, we panicked. Same thing with an important administrator. Then we got used to it. That's life for a small ensemble creating original theatre in the USA.
By 2010, our beloved first Santa Fe ensemble had all but drifted on: responsibilities, kids, bills to pay. Although Grottesco pays artists, it's nowhere near enough to live on.
A big change was in the works. We had spent our first 15 Santa Fe years doing large cast shows with big sets, rigging, projections and turning empty buildings into theaters. Our budget took a hit with the Great Recession. It was an invitation to return to our roots - well trained actors on an empty stage taking audiences on a journey.
Our first show in this new phase wasCONSIDER THIS…, a lecture performance to, well, share our theatrical roots. Then cameThe Moment of YES!
The whole ensemble forCONSIDER THIS…was Danielle Reddick and John Flax. Then Tara Khozein, a local Santa Fean, who had just finished Lecoq’s school in Paris, showed up. Eric Kupers, one of the dancers from 2005’s A Dream Inside Another, was able to carve out the time. Apollo Garcia, a teen aged intern in the 2006 show Wenowmadmen, returned from traveling the world (and graduating from the Lecoq school). We reeled in Kent Kirkpatrick from the old gang and suddenly we had our next ensemble.
Starting anew, we paid tribute to Peter Brook with 4 actors in an empty space. We over laid simple storytelling with chorus and gesture based dance, not realizing that storytelling would become a deeper research in this new artistic phase.The Moment of YES! is an abridged version of the story of humanity from the first human encounters, through creating a common culture and leading to our crowning achievement: society — a complex, unwinnable game that no one person understands.
“Everything in the world began with a yes. One molecule said yes to another molecule and life was born.”Clarice Lispector, The Hour of the Star
“I remember our small company sitting around and telling stories—mostly about ourselves. These stories were sad, scary or funny, but all were somehow profound and touching. We edited our way through this, trimming the weeds to keep the flowers. And there was a structure, believe it or not. Then the fun was the group discovering what each story wanted to be, whether a scene, a dance, or a goofy game. We laughed at each other a little too hard creating the game at the end of the show. Performing the show was an exciting proposition every time, as we intentionally worked to surprise and challenge the audience—which resulted in all kinds of reactions. It was probably the most immediate and alive show I’ve ever been a part of, since it was different each night as it slyly offered itself up, then reflected the energy of each new audience.” —Kent Kirkpatrick
“It was a joy to be part of The Moment of Yes. Such an inspiring and fun group of artists to work with. Our differences pushed me into interesting places and stretched my artistic approaches and skills in exciting ways. I loved being in a primarily "theatrical" process, and figuring out what parts of "dance" to bring in. I loved the "choreography" of theatrical intimacy. In this crazy time we're living through, A "moment of Yes" feels so important. How do we say "Yes" to all that's going on, even as we strive to change so much of it? What does ensemble mean now? How will experimental theater and dance collisions, like we were exploring, live and thrive in this new reality of virtual living connections?” Eric Kupers