Rogue Artists Ensemble is this really cool company in LA. They were mentioned in the LA Weekly Article about how ensemble based theatre is changing the LA theatre scene. Their mission statement is as follows:
Rogue Artists Ensemble is a collective of multi-disciplinary artists who create Hyper-theater, an innovative hybrid of theater traditions, puppetry, mask work, dance, music, and modern technology. Through a collaborative development process, with an emphasis on design and storytelling, the Rogues create original, thought-provoking performances. We cultivate unique audience experiences that appeal to multiple generations of theatergoers in order to expand the boundaries of contemporary American theater.
Last year, Michael Allen (BU SoT ’10) was in their new play D is for Dog, which won an Ovation Award for puppet design and was nominated for an LA Weekly Award for best Comedy Ensemble. It will be remounted this summer for the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
I stumbled upon this company through my own research and then realized it was the same company that Mike had done a show with. Over Spring break in LA through Mike I was able to have lunch with their Artistic Director Sean T. Cawelti. We had a great conversation and the prospect of working with this company, in any capacity, is one of the things that most excites me about moving to Los Angeles. They are innovative with the form their work takes, but primarily focused on the telling of a story. Most recently they did Songs of Bilitis, the story of how in the late 19th century Pierre Louys produced a collection of erotic poetry that he attributed to an ancient Greek courtesan. The command of the language, the beauty of the sensuous images sustained the popularity of the piece even after it was revealed that Louys had written it all himself. Rogue Artists Ensemble was commissioned by the J. Paul Getty Museum to mount this piece. It received a workshop production at the museum this Spring and will be remounted Spring of 2013. When I meet with the Rogues they were working on this piece and I got to go backstage and into their shop. The process by which they develop their pieces is awesome, they care immensely about the work but are willing to scratch ideas and start over. They are wonderfully multidisciplinary and always trying to move their art forward. It was incredibly exciting to meet a group, working professionally, who have no affiliation to BU SoT and find they have a vocabulary that resonates with me and I find compelling. Here is a video of Artistic Director Sean T. Cawelti giving a brief overview of the Rogues use of objects and puppets: Object Work