The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2011 Residency Grant: Portland, Oregon, theatre company Hand2Mouth and dramaturg Kate Bredeson. LMDA offers a $2,000 stipend for a dramaturgical residency within a theater project, program and/or community that seeks an on-site dramaturgical presence but is unable to fund a dramaturg at this time. This round of grants saw fifteen applications, and the selection process was overseen by the Chair of LMDA’s Committee on Programs, Stephen Colella, along with committee members Joanna Falck and Diane Brewer. LMDA’s Residency program is designed to foster partnerships between dramaturgs and theater communities that will grow into strong, well-defined, ongoing dramaturgical relationships and positions within the world of theater at large.
Hand2Mouth is a theatre ensemble committed to creating original work. Described by The Seattle Times as having "the kind of promise, fearlessness and energy that the American theater needs, and should encourage," Hand2Mouth is a permanent ensemble of performers led by Artistic Director Jonathan Walters. Founded in 2000, the company has created 18 major pieces. The six company members create and develop new performances, function as the administrative core, and work with a team of associate artists and long-term collaborating designers.
Bredeson will collaborate with the company on Uncanny Valley, described as “a pop-epic exploration into memory and the power of recollection.” Part science fiction, part lyrical dance, part techno-opera, Uncanny Valley represents a new phase in the company’s work, as they move into larger-scale productions and experiment with more complex technology. Bredeson will work extensively with the company during its artistic residency at Caldera Arts Organization, where they will devise the short improvisational pieces that will eventually evolve into the “script” for the piece. She will go on to see the production through the final script creation process to its premiere.
Kate Bredeson holds an MFA and a DFA in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from the Yale School of Drama. She is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. She came to Reed after working in Chicago as Resident Dramaturg at Court Theatre and Lecturer in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Chicago. Her awards include a Fulbright in Paris, a residency at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, and fellowships from the Killam Foundation, Mellon Foundation, and the Institut Français de Washington. She is currently working on a book about theatre and performance surrounding the May 1968 events in France, and a series of translations of 1960s French plays.
According to Hand2Mouth artistic director Jonathan Walters, the company is looking forward to its first collaboration with a professional dramaturg. “Different company members have done textual and research work with us,” says Walters, “but we crave the experience and collaboration of working with a professional dramaturg on our ensemble-created work. We find the role of dramaturg especially key in this kind of devised creation, and we look forward to learning from Kate’s experience, and to developing a longstanding relationship with her.”