The Genesee Center for the Arts opens its spring season with The Neo-Futurists, a Chicago-based ensemble of artists who write, direct, and perform their own work. Their signature piece, "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind," will be performed on Friday, February 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the Stuart Steiner Theatre in Batavia, NY. This event is produced in conjunction with SUNY Brockport, which is hosting a similar show on February 12th.
Originally created as an ensemble to perform a specific show, The Neo-Futurists have grown to become one of the most highly regarded experimental theatre companies in the country. "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind" is an ever-changing program where the ensemble attempts to perform 30 plays in just 60 minutes. Each high-energy short play is written by a performer, perfected by the ensemble and presented along with 29 other pieces that emphasize audience participation. Embracing themes that are personal, political, satirical, social, comic, tragic and experimental, The Neo-Futurists strive to strengthen the human bond between performer and audience through interactive conceptual theatre.
The Chicago Reader says The Neo-Futurists "give the term ?interactive' a whole new spin. The result is unashamedly live and democratic theatre?the Neo-Futurists aren't allergic to serious topics. The actors aren't afraid to get personal, to crowd as much real life onto their stage as possible."
Ms. Marcia Morrison, Director of Fine and Performing Arts at Genesee worked with SUNY Brockport's theatre department to bring The Neo-Futurists back to western New York. "I was lucky enough to see this group in Chicago, after waiting in line, rolling a die to determine my ticket price, receiving a name tag that was definitely not my name, and eventually, eating a slice of pizza provided by the cast," Ms. Morrison recalls. The Neo-Futurists order a celebratory pizza and share it with the audience if they have a sold-out house. "I was determined to bring their brand of adventurous, smart, interactive theatre to Genesee."
The cost of "adventurous, smart" theatre can be pricey, however, so Ms. Morrison contacted P. Ralph Gibson, Theatre Arts Department Chair at SUNY Brockport to see if they were interested in "piggy-backing" this event and sharing the tab. As a result, The Neo-Futurists will appear on Thursday, February 12 at Tower Fine Arts Center in the village of Brockport. "It's important for our students to see that this type of performance art is out there," Ms. Morrison added. "Indeed, Backstage magazine says that ?Lucas and Spielberg combined couldn't gas up their thrill-o-meters to this level'. It's that level of energy that helps to create an active and engaged, not to mention, well-rounded student."
Tickets for The Neo-Futurists are $6.00 for adults, $3.00 for students and senior citizens, and $2.00 for Genesee students with a current ID. For more information or to make reservations, call the Genesee Center for the Arts Box Office at 585-345-6814. To learn more about the Neo-Futurists go to: http://www.neofuturists.org/
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