Events Preview: CAP UCLA’S 20-21 SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT (UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance)

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by Tony Frankel on June 24, 2020

in Theater-Los Angeles

UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance
Reimagines a 2020–21 Season for COVID-19 Realities
CAP UCLA Develops New Commissions and Opportunities
to Support Artists Facing Uncertainty and Instability
UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA), a leading West Coast presenter dedicated to the advancement of the contemporary performing arts in all disciplines, reimagines a 2020-21 season with COVID-19 realities. CAP UCLA remains constant in prioritizing the safety and health of artists, audiences and staff. Therefore, this will be the first season with an online stage. The new season focuses on rebuilding financial stability for artists, expanding opportunities of support with five new commissions, seven online stage programs, 20 performances and The Tune In Festival featuring 20 different artists and ensembles.

Since the remainder of 2020 offers little to no live North American touring, CAP UCLA facilitated a collaboration with the National YoungArts Foundation for The Sidewalk Sessions: L.A., which provides opportunities for L.A. residents to bring an artist to perform on their sidewalk or driveway and invite friends, neighbors and family to enjoy— at a distance. To host a session is $50 with all proceeds given to the performing artist. Sessions are now available to book for July, August and September.

The four remaining commissions include Constance Hockaday’s Artist-in-Presidents, a reimagining of FDR’s “fireside chats;” The Choreographers’ Scores: 2020, a micro-commission project to share documentation of world-renowned choreographers’ process before setting it on dancers; Notes on Napkins: 2020, which functions similarly for composers sharing their works; and Chris Doyle’s Memento Vivere, made with the help of 60 UCLA students, each recorded for 60 seconds and compiled as time keepers of the future. More than 300 artists – locally, nationally and internationally – will benefit from these micro-commissions.

“The truth is, this season is the most epic project we have undertaken in our lifetimes — to collaborate with artists on a future that will not be as unevenly distributed as the past has been,” said executive and artistic director Kristy Edmunds. “Theater has lasted through the ages, and in this time of digital access we may have an opportunity to connect the work of performance creators to more people than our house seats enable.”

Projects adapted specifically for the online stage include a four-day celebration of Grace, a work about God’s grace and the legacy of Alvin Ailey by Choreographer Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE. Grace @ 20 features a filmed presentation, discussions and at-home master classes; Forced Entertainment’s Table Top Shakespeare: At Home Edition, a condensed at-home version of all 36 Shakespeare plays told with found objects offered over two months; an online concert by the famed Quinteto Astor Piazzolla filmed in Buenos Aires specifically for CAP UCLA audiences; Robin Frohardt: The Plastic Bag Store: A Film, a puppet-led virtual tour of an absurdist retail space installation currently on lockdown in Times Square, whose objects are all produced from plastic bags; she is called, a concert by the highly acclaimed Brooklyn Youth Chorus featuring new compositions by women composers; and returning favorite Kid Koala who will livestream an online-at-home communal experience for CAP UCLA audiences with Music to Draw To, 4-5 hours of creative quiet time accompanied by inspirational music.

While in residence last season, Nadia Sirota and Suzanne Bocanegra further developed their works to be featured this season; Living Music Live with Nadia Sirota and Honor: An Artist Lecture by Suzanne Bocanegra. Sirota will continue to be in residence and will be joined by Annie Saunders with Emma O’Halloran, Christopher Rountree and Wild Up; Eiko Otake; Dan Siegler; Daniel Alexander Jones; and Edgar Arceneaux. CAP UCLA 2020-21 fellows include Ann Hamilton, Antonio Sanchez, Helen Molesworth and Eighth Blackbird.

The highlight of the 2020-21 season is The Tune In Festival; a convergence of music and poetry in the time of change, a five-day convening of artists from across the U.S., Canada and Latin America. More than 20 artists and ensembles are coming together in cross-cultural solidarity to pay respect to the time-honored tradition of music and poetry as a source of resilience, protest and inspiration. Participating artists range from Kronos Quartet with an homage to the legendary Pete Seeger; a capella favorites Sweet Honey In the Rock; Ethiopian-American vocalist Meklit; Peruvian folk singer Nano Stern; Canadian duo The Small Glories; and other surprise guest artists. The Tune In Festival was made possible by a generous gift from composer Rachel Fuller (Animal Requiem) and her husband, Peter Townshend (The Who).

The aforementioned programming allows CAP UCLA to respond to what the national arts ecosystem needs the most: financial stability, creative development and contractual support. This support is carried out as in past seasons — with performances across genres. All fall 2020 performances, including The Tune In Festival, will be released as digital versions recorded live on CAP UCLA stages. Once live performances are able to resume, CAP UCLA will continue to offer digital versions of each performance (with the exception of David Sedaris) for patrons who cannot or prefer not to attend large events. Online patrons will have digital access a week after the scheduled performance date.

This performance season also includes three West Coast premieres; Ted Hearne’s In Your Mouth, an intensely complicated and intimate 12-song suite; Piano Sonata by Philip Glass, composed by an indisputably great master of contemporary classical music and performed by long-time collaborator Maki Namekawa; and from Antonio Sanchez, one of the most admired drummers of his generation, Bad Hombre, a response and reflection on the 45th commander-in-chief and immigration policies around the world.

After taking caution and care with the performances postponed in 2019-20 due to COVID-19, the following have been rescheduled into the forthcoming season: Anthony De Mare’s Liaisons 2020; David Sedaris; Jennifer Koh and Davóne Tines’ Everything That Rises Must Converge; Rudresh Mahanthappa and Terri Lyne Carrington’s Fly Higher: Charlie Parker at 100; John Cameron Mitchell’s The Origin of Love Tour; MK Guth’s Choreography for Reading Aloud; and Perla Batalla’s Discoteca Batalla.

The CAP UCLA 2020-21 Season Teaser is online, and more information on all upcoming programs is available at The season brochure will be sent digitally in July 2020.

The season at a glance follows below:
Artist Recovery Initiatives:
  • Chris Doyle: Memento Vivere
  • Constance Hockaday: Artist-in-Presidents
  • The Sidewalk Sessions: L.A.
  • The Choreographer’s Scores: 2020
  • Notes on Napkins: 2020
Online Stage Features:
  • Forced Entertainment: Table Top Shakespeare: At Home Edition
  • Honor: An Artist Lecture by Suzanne Bocanegra
  • Kid Koala: Music to Draw To
  • Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE: Grace @ 20
  • Robin Frohardt: The Plastic Bag Store: A Film
  • Quinteto Astor Piazzolla: En3x4
  • Brooklyn Youth Chorus: she is called
  • 600 Highwaymen: A Thousand Ways
  • Anthony De Mare: Liaisons 2020
  • Antonio Sanchez: Bad Hombre
  • Charles Lloyd: Kindred Spirits
  • DakhaBrakha
  • David Sedaris
  • Gustavo Santaolalla: Desandando el Camino
  • Israel Galván: Solo
  • Jennifer Koh & Davóne Tines: Everything That Rises Must Converge
  • John Cameron Mitchell: Origin of Love Tour
  • Living Music Live with Nadia Sirota
  • Martin Hayes Quartet
  • MK Guth: Choreography for Reading Aloud
  • Nels Cline and the Aizuri Quartet: Seven Limbs
  • Perla Batalla: Discoteca Batalla
  • Piano Sonata by Philip Glass
  • Rudresh Mahanthappa and Terri Lyne Carrington’s Fly Higher: Charlie Parker @ 100
  • Ted Hearne: In Your Mouth
  • Words & Ideas: L.A. Omnibus
  • Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion
The Tune In Festival Performers:
  • Antonio Sanchez
  • Cambalache
  • Claudia Leenear & The Ash Grove Players
  • Dan + Claudia Zanes
  • Get Lit
  • Hear Her Song
  • Kronos Quartet
  • Lee Knight
  • Magos Herrera
  • Mekilt
  • Nano Stern
  • Perla Batalla
  • Quetzal
  • Sweet Honey In The Rock
  • The People Speak
  • The Small Glories
  • Tonality
  • Toshi Reagon & Friends
  • Vijay Gupta
***Programs, prices, and performers are subject to change.

Subscriptions and Tickets:
Due to the unpredictability of the current health crisis, CAP UCLA has instituted a number of changes to the ticketing process. The goal of the new ticketing process is to remain nimble enough to quickly respond to a changing environment and to cause the least amount of inconvenience to patrons should the need arise for program changes.

Public Programs: Free, public programs offered by CAP UCLA continue through Art in Action, an on-going series that illuminates the themes and artistic forms explored by the artists in this season. Art in Action provides access to “art as a process.”Design for Sharing (DFS) CAP UCLA’s free K-12 arts-education program, providing interactive and educational arts experiences for more than 10,000 students each year. With the current distancing restrictions in place, bringing students and artists together in person won’t be possible. However, DFS remains committed to helping young people stay connected to the arts. For performance videos, hands-on activities, and educational materials for at-home or in-class learning, visit CAP UCLA.Student Committee for the Arts (SCA)SCA (CAP UCLA’s student-run producing body) supports and encourages awareness of and participation in the arts at UCLA, while providing broad access to student tickets, and hands-on experience in curation and producing. SCA also produces its own performing arts series, showcasing and creating space for the next generation of artists.

ABOUT CAP UCLA: UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA) is dedicated to the advancement of the contemporary performing arts in all disciplines — dance, music, spoken word and theater, as well as emerging digital, collaborative and cross-platforms — by leading artists from around the globe. Part of UCLA’s School of the Arts and Architecture, CAP UCLA curates and facilitates direct exposure to artists who are creating extraordinary works of art and fosters a vibrant learning community both on and off the UCLA campus. The organization invests in the creative process by providing artists with financial backing and time to experiment and expand their practices through strategic partnerships and collaborations. As an influential voice within the local, national and global arts communities, CAP UCLA connects this generation to the next in order to preserve a living archive of our culture. CAP UCLA is also a safe harbor where cultural expression and artistic exploration can thrive, giving audiences the opportunity to experience real life through characters and stories on stage, and giving artists an avenue to challenge assumptions and advance new ways of seeing and understanding the world we live in now.

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