This week, “State of Wonder” steps right up to awkward. Embarrassing situations don’t always result in great inspiration — but we wonder if some artists actually benefit from their fiascos. Doesn’t a debacle make us feel a kind of fearlessness for whatever may come next? This week, creative sparks fly from truly cringe-worthy inspiration.
Worst. Beowulf. Ever. — :04
We start out with a quick story from artist keyon gaskin. Choreographing a modern dance interpretation of “Beowulf” among college performers with no dance experience? What could possibly go wrong?
This weekend at Portland’s Artists Repertory Theatre, Mike Lew’s play “Teenage Dick” gets its West Coast premiere. A retelling of William Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” the play sets the classic 15th century story in a modern-day high school setting. It premiered off Broadway and won great reviews for its pointed critique of high school cruelties, and the experiences of people with disabilities. The role of Richard is played by Christopher Imbrosciano, an actor who, like the character, lives with cerebral palsy.
If you’ve read the New Yorker, or have friends that do, you might have seen his satire column, “The Borowitz Report,” posted and shared on your feed. Satire is so close to reality in our current political climate, that the New Yorker actually renamed his column on their site, “Satire From the Borowitz Report” and added as a subhead, “not the news.” But even then, it can feel much too real. Borowitz talks to us about his method for converting the cringe-worthy to hilarious. Andy Borowitz will be in Portland for an evening of storytelling and conversation Jan. 18.
The Art They Survived Together — 39:20
keyon gaskin and Nadia Buyse are good friends whose paths sometimes intersect on the global art festival circuit. Their multimedia and performance works take them all over the globe. They’ve seen some crazy stuff. But one trip to a festival at Železný Brod in the Czech Republic might just take the title for most breathtakingly awkward performance art ever.