9–11pm / Oct 3 / Elebash Hall


David Bruin and Sanaz Ghajar


In her 2005 book A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit writes, “It is the job of artists to open doors and invite in prophesies, the unknown, the unfamiliar; it’s where their work comes from, although its arrival signals the beginning of the long-disciplined process of making it their own.” Putting artistic practice in conversation with critical perspectives, PRELUDE 2019: Riotous Excursions brings together artists, critics, and activists at the forefront of contemporary theatre and performance who are “making it their own” in Solnit’s sense.

Whether presented as a part of the Studio Visit or Works-in-Process series, every work at PRELUDE 2019 embarks on its own odyssey. Some journey to far-flung geographies while others venture into the mysteries of the mind. Some dive into pressing issues of our moment while others inspire unfettered fantasy. While different in many respects, each work charts its own course through the intersection of artistic innovation, political subversion, and social consciousness.

As curators, we set out to explore spaces where the boundaries of the individual open up to the power of collective transformation, including public spaces, protests, and parties. The festival features the inauguration of a new initiative at the Segal Center that will encourage meaningful discourse and active participation in our democratic process through a series of events in public parks across the city.

This year marks important anniversaries of several seminal protest movements—many of which involved artists—and we have convened a panel of artists-activists to discuss the role of civil disobedience today.

Parties also provide opportunities to gather. The phrase riotous excursions comes from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, a novel infamous for its raucous shindigs. For the festival’s opening night, we have assembled a group of artists to imagine their dream party, which they will share at How to (Over)Throw a Party. The festival will conclude with a celebration at the Museum of Sex.

Thank you for joining us, and we hope our paths cross in the course of our Riotous Excursions.

—David Bruin and Sanaz Ghajar



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