Program Type: 
Performance
Young Jean Lee's Theater Company

UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW

January 30, 2014 - February 01, 2014
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater

Overview

Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company
UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW
Thu–Sat, Jan 30–Feb 1, 8 PM
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater
General: $30 in Advance / $35 at the Door
Student, Senior, Teacher: $25 in Advance / $30 at the Door
YBCA Member: $25 / YBCA:You FREE
Post-show Q&A with the artists on Fri, Jan 31, moderated by Michelle Tea

"... one of the more moving and imaginative works I have ever seen on the American stage…” —The New Yorker

"Who said the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak? Both are pretty damn fierce in director Young Jean Lee's all-female, all-nude dance suite…” —Time Out New York

UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW is the latest experiment by Obie award-winning playwright and director Young Jean Lee, who has been called “the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation” by The New York Times and “one of the best experimental playwrights in America” by Time Out New York. In UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW, six charismatic stars of New York City's downtown theater, dance, cabaret, and burlesque worlds come together to create an exhilarating—and irreverent—celebration of a fluid and limitless sense of identity.

A blend of comic vignettes, contemporary dance sequences, and evocative video images, what inhabits the stage are a series of ideas echoed in the characteristics of the performers who are liberated from the constraints of pre-defined roles and are meant to resist categorization. With the absence of words (and clothes), the performance twists and turns in hilarious ways that both reveal and challenge the viewers’ assumptions about gender politics.

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Events

  • Field of Inquiry: Body Politic Edition
    Jan 30, 2014 6:00pm – 7:30pm
    Jan 31, 2014 6:00pm – 7:30pm
    Feb 1, 2014 4:00pm – 7:30pm
    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater

    Open to Gallery visitors and Young Jean Lee ticketholders on Thu–Fri, 6–7:30 PM
    FREE and open to the public on Sat, Feb 1, 4–7:30 PM

    YBCA presents our second Think Tank in the Creative Ecosystem: the Body Politic. The Body Politic Think Tank engages the following questions: “What is on the other side of your body's shame? What is on the other side of your body's joy?” Body Politic Think Tank members include yoga practitioners, LGBTQ activists, trauma survivors, as well as artist/healers who fill the YBCA Theater building with “physical responses”—interactive visual and performative installations—that invite you to explore and re-imagine shame, joy, and empowerment in the body.

  • UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW
    Jan 30, 2014 8:00pm
    Jan 31, 2014 8:00pm
    Feb 1, 2014 8:00pm
    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater
    General: $30 in Advance / $35 at the Door; Student, Senior, Teacher: $25 in Advance / $30 at the Door; YBCA Member: $25 / YBCA:You FREE

    Post-show Q&A with the artists on Fri, Jan 31, moderated by Michelle Tea

  • Women in Jazz: Myra Melford, Miya Masaoka, & Zeena Parkins
    Feb 1, 2014 9:30pm
    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater
    FREE with Paid Admission

    After the closing performance of Young Jean Lee’s UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW, experience some of the Jazz world’s fiercest female experimentalists: Myra Melford on piano, Miya Masaoka on koto, and Zeena Parkins on harp.

    Part of the Jazz@YBCA program, a series of programmatic pilots testing innovative ways to strengthen the Bay Area jazz ecology and attract new audiences.

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Artist Bio

YOUNG JEAN LEE (Artistic Director) is an Obie Award-winning playwright and director who has been called “the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation” by The New York Times and “one of the best experimental playwrights in America” by Time Out New York. She has written and directed nine shows in New York with Young Jean Lee's Theater Company and toured her work to over 20 cities around the world. Her plays have been published by Theatre Communications Group (Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven and Other Plays, The Shipment, and Lear) and by Samuel French (Three Plays by Young Jean Lee). Lee is currently under commission from Plan B/Paramount Pictures, Lincoln Center Theater, Playwrights Horizons, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She is a member of New Dramatists and 13P and has an MFA from Mac Wellman's playwriting program at Brooklyn College. She has received grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Creative Capital, NYFA, NEA, NYSCA, the Jerome Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation, and the Rockefeller MAP Foundation. She is also the recipient of two Obie Awards, the Festival Prize of the Zuercher Theater Spektakel, a 2010 Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship, and a 2012 Doris Duke Artist Award.

Artist Statement

I cast my shows before I write them, and then write them based on conversations with my cast. For UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW, I put together a group of stars of the downtown theater, dance, and cabaret worlds. I knew early on that I wanted to make a feminist show that was fun, inspiring, and uplifting, so we decided to present a world in which people with female bodies weren’t constrained into particular roles and felt free to embody whatever identities they wanted at any given moment. Rather than trying to define feminism, say something new about it, or make a feminist argument, we wanted to create a utopian feminist experience.

We discovered early on that uninterrupted nudity—far from being shocking or titillating—made the audience less likely to impose limiting identities on the cast members. Not all of our cast members identify as female, and it was important to us to show that one’s body doesn’t have to determine one’s identity.

We also found that the performers communicated so much through their movement and expressions that words felt extraneous. Faye Driscoll, Morgan Gould, and I made the choreography in collaboration with the cast. However, we don’t think of UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW as a dance piece. Like the performers themselves, the show is meant to resist categorization.

—Young Jean Lee

UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW was commissioned by the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), and is a co-production of the Walker Art Center, Steirischer Herbst (Graz), Kunstenfestivaldesartes (Brussels), the Spalding Gray Award (Performance Space 122, New York; Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; On the Boards, Seattle), and Young Jean Lee's Theater Company. Originally developed in association with Caleb Hammons. Funding support provided by the MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation; the Greenwall Foundation; the Fox/ Samuels Foundation; the MAP/Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Creative Explorations Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts; and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Residency support from the Park Avenue Armory, New Museum, Mount Tremper Arts, and the Baryshnikov Arts Center.

YBCA's programs are made possible in part by:
Adobe
Koret Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.

YBCA Performance 13-14 is made possible in part by:
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Salesforce

Additional Funding for YBCA Performance 13-14:
Zellerbach Family Foundation
Panta Rhea Foundation
New England Foundation for the Arts
and Members of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Media Sponsor:
SF Bay Guardian