To Rogue Supporters Near and Far,
This year Rogue Artists Ensemble celebrates our 14th year of making original theater, having started when scheming our production of The Poe Play when we, the founding fathers, were undergrads at the University of California, Irvine in 2001. In non-profit life spans, 14 years is an incredible success but also an epic-undertaking, a strain and a joy and I would not have any other way. Making the sort of work Rogue does and electing to make collaboration our fulcrum has resulted in generating incredible theater that has been acknowledged with dozens of awards and seen by over 100,000 people. #nosmallfeat
This November marks the completion of our Pinocchio project, the project we have worked on the longest on and off for over ten years and, despite the challenges inherent with adapting this sort of material, we have persevered. Pinocchio will be a return to larger scale work that has taken a back seat for the past few years while the company focused on our Shakspeare(ish) production (which toured through California and up to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival) and our all ages project Zen Shorts (which performed in Portland this past February) to great acclaim. Touring helps to share our work that is home-brewed in Los Angeles with far and distant lands and provides incredible opportunities to pay artists. Yes! However, we’ve put touring on hold throughout the remainder of 2015 to focus on one of largest undertakings to date.
We’re ready to realize a full scale production and a fearless work of Hyper-theater that is for our mature audience members who aren’t afraid of succumbing to a dimly lit theater to witness real magic conjured. Over the years Pinocchio has changed dramatically and now it needs a new name to differentiate the piece from other Pinocchio adaptations. Our Pinocchio is something new, modern, chaotic, breathy and full of pathos. It’s a space opera for the stage with dozens of puppets large and small, masks, video projections and so much more and will take your breath away. Come on opening night Friday November 13th and you’ll see what’s kept so many of us up at night scheming and dreaming.
Looking ahead, Rogue has a few exciting projects in the cooker, some large, some small, but one thing connects them all: a keen desire to never take our audience for granted. We want to create experiences that are memorable, helping to bring audience and performer closer together to share in the magic which is live theater. Audiences are smart and in this day of near consumer-level virtual reality head gear, live theater has an even more important role because it IS REAL.
I’m looking forward to seeing you at the Rogue Gala on July 19, and at the premiere of Pinocchio in November.
Sean T. Cawelti
Rogue Artists Ensemble