A Tennessee Williams play, a Guadalajaran jazz band and the construction and deconstruction of a forest are just some of the performing arts pieces that will come to the Contemporary Arts Center this season.
From October to March, the CAC’s calendar includes performances of the string quartet Ethel, “How to Build a Forest,” Tennessee Williams’ “The Mutilated,” the Guadalajaran band Troker, a civil rights movement piece called “Soundtrack ’63” and violinist Regina Carter.
“There are curators who grocery shop, which means they make a list of what they need,” CAC Curator of Performing Arts Raelle Myrick-Hodges said. “Like, ‘I need a black play. I need a gay dance choreographer.’ It’s about filling holes. The way that we do it here is like putting on an outfit. Everything needs to match in a season.”
This matching and interconnectedness come from our strangeness, according to Myrick-Hodges. The selections bring together local, national and international performers, directors and crews.
“ ‘The Mutilated’ is our best example,” Myrick-Hodges said. “The director is Romanian and he resides in New York, as well. The lead actress is an internationally and nationally known film actress from all the John Waters films, Mink Stole. And 95 percent, literally everyone else, is local, including the jazz band.”
Myrick-Hodges finds that there are artists outside of the city who “need to see New Orleans just as much as there are local artists that need to be supported,” and that brings the groups together.
“I look forward to all of it actually,” said CAC Director and CEO Neil Barclay, who describes himself as a performance junkie. “The thing that’s going to be the most interesting for me to see in terms of how our audiences respond to it is ‘How to Build a Forest,’ because it’s eight hours long. How they come and go, how they react to it. It’s so beautiful when it’s completed. The whole process of creating that from nothing, I think, is going to be a really stunning experience for the audience.”
“How to Build a Forest” is a collaboration of performance artists Lisa D’Amour and Katie Pearl, of the Obie-winning PearlDamour, and visual artist Shawn Hall. D’Amour’s 2012 Pulitzer finalist “Detroit” was staged at the Ashe Power House recently, and “Airline Highway” ran on Broadway in April.
Tickets for each performance range from $25 to $40 based on CAC membership and time of purchase. For more information, see www.cacno.org or call (504) 528-3800.