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Monday, January 05, 2009

New Chapters

After the close of our well-received Legendary Times of Bulgakov in June and the recognition of nearly two and a half years of continuous work together, the four active long-term members of Artel decided it was time for a necessary break.

It was clear that a period of gestation, review and reorganization, of not only our labour collective, but of our individual lives was in order.

After some rich meditation, we decided that the collective needs were not sustaining the individual needs, and so, a New Stage in Artel is developing.

Artel, as a laboratory, is continuously proposing lines of research, evaluating how they are or are not being carried out, and adapting our actions to suit new methods of inquiry. The stage of an administrative collective based on consenus of each member of the performance collective has come to an end. We are proposing a return to a slightly more familiar theatrical model - that of Artistic Directors, Director, Members and Associates - but with the insight of our previous Stage and within the framework of an ensemble theater laboratory, exactly how this model will be adapted is still in process.

In fact a reevaluation of where and what Artel is, as well as what it can be, is also in process as we negotiate the continued building of community and associates in Los Angeles with the internal need for developing working relations with practitioners in Europe and Russia.

We recognize a need for our investigatory ensemble processes as defined and provided by [via]Corpora - Centre for Performance Research and Development, the intensive collaborative and performance opportunities provided by Artel, and the support and recognition of new work provided by Artworks Theater. At the same time, we recognize the need for our own work to enter a new phase of challenge - one that promises a deeper knowledge of research methods allowing for more engaging and relevant performance to be generated as well as an ability to articulate and contextualize our work in a language that may provide new models for American theater in the 21 century.

Towards this end, Bryan completed a PhD application to the University of Leeds under Jonathan Pitches (author of the keen description of a Theater Laboratory that serves as inspiration for Artel - posted elsewhere on this blog).

And so, Artel grows in unsuspected and exciting ways. Recently Bryan has made the move to Leeds while Olya remains in Los Angeles, organizing a new production, new workshops and new possibilites for our home, ArtWorks Theater, to expand beyond Artel and [via]Corpora to support and sustain other local artists.

While the research in England provides more opportunity to work with practitioners in Europe and to realize our goal of building relations and working with practitioners in Russia, we have a strong sapling growing in Los Angeles and are nurturing it towards the vision of an orchard.

Thank you for your continued support, involvement and excitement.