Ground Floor Theatre's Revised 2020 - 2021 Performance Season
Ground Floor Theatre (GFT) announces the return to live theatre with an updated 2021 season schedule along with two titles for the 2022 season, and the second quarter GFT In Residence Artist.
After moving rain falls special on me and Anna in the Tropics from the 2020 season, GFT has now set dates for both. rain falls special on me directed by Patti Neff-Tiven will play this August 2021 with the addition of the Tony-Award® winning musical Memphis directed by Matrex Kilgore for December 2021.
"I'm so excited to finally bring rain falls special on me to GFT audiences! This is the longest I have ever been involved with a show in any capacity and been able to watch it blossom and change not just because of the metamorphosis involved with an original work, but also the outside forces that caused us to look at it in vastly different ways,” said director and GFT Co-Artistic Director Patti Neff-Tiven on returning to live performance. “I'm thrilled that we will be able to give rain the full production it deserves, as it speaks so much to our present moment and the issues and struggles houseless folks are experiencing right now."
Directed by Carl Gonzalez, Anna in the Tropics will now move to the 2022 Season with new season addition of Colman Domingo’s Dot directed by Lisa B. Thompson.
Lisa B. Thompson director of Dot for the 2022 season says, “I'm thrilled about making my directorial debut at the Ground Floor Theatre with Colman Domingo's DOT. It means so much to me to be taking the helm of a show that is so near and dear to my heart. I can't wait until Austin sees this remarkable story about the importance of family, love, acceptance and the power of memory.”
GFT In Residence new quarterly artist is siri gurudev, a multi-disciplinary artist from Bogotá, Columbia. siri is a trans, pansexual, nonbinary, writer, performance artist, kundalini yoga instructor, and wound-healer. Their work orbits around the questioning and destabilization of gender binarism, visualization of racialized gender violence, and the quest of how (being a mestizx from the “third world”) they can connect with their ancestry while finding traces of queerness in the archive. siri’s GFT In Residence supported art “En el nombre del padre” will stream live in June.
Changes and updates to the 2021 and 2022 Season for Ground Floor Theatre are noted below:
rain falls special on me August 19 – September 4, 2021
Memphis December 2 – 19, 2021
Anna in the Tropics February 17 – March 5, 2022
Dot May 12 – 28, 2022
rain falls special on me | August 19 – September 4, 2021
by Lane Michael Stanley | Directed by Patti Neff-Tiven
When it rains in Austin, Texas, the best place to stay dry through the night is behind the theater. Weather and circumstance bring together Mikey, Snake, Miss Candace, Motor, Mac, and Julie – all of whom are on the street for different reasons, here now to navigate their relationships, dreams, and often, survival.
ABOUT Patti Neff-Tiven
Co-Artistic Director of Ground Floor Theatre. Patti grew up in San Antonio, TX and graduated with a degree in theatre from St. Edward's University in Austin. She interned at Plano Repertory Theatre learning all aspects of theatre production, later becoming their full-time Production Manager. Returning to Austin in 2001, Patti began her freelance career as a director, production manager, actor, and designer for companies including Rude Mechs, ScriptWorks, Fusebox Festival, FronteraFest and Zilker Summer Musicals.
Memphis | December 2 – 19, 2021
Book and Lyrics by Joe DiPietro; Music and Lyrics by David Bryan | Directed by Matrex Kilgore
Broadway’s smash hit musical Memphis, winner of four Tony Awards® including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, and Best Orchestrations. Memphis is the story of Huey Calhoun (loosely based on real-life 1950s disc jockey Dewey Phillips) and his mission to bring blues and soul music to a white southern audience. In a time of segregation, Huey optimistically believes that music can transcend race, and with him on his journey is aspiring singer Felicia Farrell. The two fall in love, but must contend with social barriers, a prejudiced mother, and an overprotective brother. With a soulful score and vibrant dance numbers, Memphis is a crowd-pleasing adventure of music and love in the 1950s South.
“I am overjoyed to be directing Memphis the Musical. I have had trouble finding the words to describe the feeling of joy I get thinking about the magic we are going to create. This will be the first time that I will have the opportunity to direct a show that I saw on Broadway with the original cast. I can't wait to tell the stories of Felicia Farrell and Huey Calhoun. To explore the impact Memphis has had on live music and how impactful music has been in bringing people together.” – Matrex Kilgore, director of Memphis.
ABOUT Matrex Kilgore
Matrex Kilgore is an award-winning international performer, director, and teaching artist based in Austin, Texas. A graduate from The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Theatre and Dance, Matrex has trained with Oscar winning Actress Marcia Gay Harden, Obie Award winning director Katie Pearl, Keene Prize for Literature and The David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award winner George Brant, and three-time Helen Hayes Award winner Franchelle Stewart Dorn. He also teaches theatre for social change to students ranging in age from elementary to college level. Internationally, Matrex collaborated with the late award-winning globalist theatre practitioner and scholar Stephen Gerald performing and creating bilingual performances based on classical pieces of theatre including the works of Chekov and Shakespeare. In South Korea, he partnered with the prestigious theatrical Korean university, Chung Ang University, to create bilingual pieces of theatre that represent both American and Korean Culture. Matrex serves on the Board of Directors for Ground Floor Theatre and is a company member of The Vortex Repertory Theatre Company, En Route Productions, Spectrum Theatre Company, and Shrew Productions. Some of his directing credits include black do crack, TWENTYEIGHT, Cracked by COVID, “A” (What The Black Girl Found While Searching For God), Single Black Female, and Devour.
Anna in the Tropics | February 17 – March 5, 2022
by Nilo Cruz | Directed by Carl Gonzalez
Winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama Anna in the Tropics is a poignant and poetic play set in 1929 Florida in a Cuban American cigar factory, where cigars are still rolled by hand, and “lectors” are employed to educate and entertain the workers. The arrival of a new lector is a cause for celebration, but when he begins to read aloud from Anna Karenina, he unwittingly becomes a catalyst in the lives of his avid listeners – for whom Tolstoy, the tropics, and the American dream prove a volatile combination.
ABOUT Carl Gonzales
Carl is a master at nothing with an opinion on everything. Some of his directing credits include: Songs For A New World, Even Flowers Bloom in Hell Sometimes, and The Normal Heart. You might have seen him on stage in Doper Than Dope, Honk!, Into The Woods, and Through The Slumber Glass. He also works for Creative Action where he can combine his passion for art, social justice, and education into one.
Dot | May 12 – 28, 2022
by Colman Domingo | Directed by Lisa B. Thompson
The holidays are always a wild family affair at the Shealy house. But this year, Dotty and her three grown children gather with more than exchanging presents on their minds. As Dotty struggles to hold on to her memory, her children must fight to balance care for their mother and care for themselves. This twisted and hilarious new play grapples unflinchingly with aging parents, midlife crises, and the heart of a West Philly neighborhood.
ABOUT Lisa B. Thompson
Lisa B. Thompson is a Black feminist artist/scholar and the author of three books, Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class, Single Black Female, and Underground, Monroe, and The Mamalogues: Three Plays. Her plays have been produced off-Broadway, throughout the U.S., and internationally, and has been recognized with an Irma P. Hall Black Theatre Best Play Award, The Austin Critics Circle David Mark Cohen New Play Award, and a Broadway World Regional Award for Best Writing of an Original Work as well as a LA Weekly Theatre Award for Best Comedy nomination. Thompson is also Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin where she teaches courses on African American cultural studies, and playwrighting.
GFT IN RESIDENCE PERFOMANCE
“EN EL NOMBRE DEL PADRE” | June 2021
En el nombre del padre (In the Name of the Father) is a performance blessing in four acts. It uses poetry, movement, and storytelling to reflect on ancestral and personal wounds caused by colonization and patriarchal family dynamics. In this bilingual piece, siri gurudev asked the currently Austin-based latinx artists, intellectuals, and writers: Adriana Linares (Guatemala), Nathalia Hernández Ochoa (El Salvador), and César Iván A Ibarra (México), and the Bogotá-based Paola Correa (Colombia) to join them on a non-linear journey between grief and hope, sadness and joy, despair and collective healing.
ABOUT siri gurudev
siri uses performances as an art form and methodology for research. their tactics include their own version of “disidentification” (José Esteban Muñoz), intervening reggaeton music and pop culture with humor and political strong messages, and their version of “fabulation” (Donna Haraway, Saidiya Hartoman, etc.), imagining the past from futuristic point of view. Video art, visual art, and soundscapes are also a tool to explore their ideas and find ephemeral answers.
With two majors (one in philosophy and one in literary studies) and a Master’s in creative writing, siri is currently working on their doctorate degree in Performance Studies at University of Texas at Austin.
Trans Lives/Trans Voices – Closing Date May 20!
Thursdays this Spring | 7pm
Original Music: Rocky Lane | Scenic Design: Gary Thornsberry | Lighting Design: Sydney Smith | Technical Direction: Hank Kerston | Graphic Design: Julia Zipporah
FREE; RSVP at https://www.groundfloortheatre.org/translives
Trans and non-binary people telling their own stories from their perspective. New stories premiere every Thursday night at 7pm with a live intro and talkback. Video’s will remain on GFT’s YouTube Channel. Subscribers of GFT’s YouTube Channel will be notified each week of new stories.
Upcoming Stories: April 29: Tabitha Hamilton; May 6: World Famous *BOB*; May 13: Sam Rulon; and May 20: Lisa Scheps.
Past Stories: Adrian Lancaster, Ozma Darling, KB, Tessandra Lancaster, Sam Davis, Jessica Soukup, Faolán, Shane Whalley, Jyllian Mitchell, Remington Johnson, Queen Austin, kt shorb & siri gurudev, and Emmett Schelling.
PRESS: GFT logo and assets, including artists and performances, can be found HERE.
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Ground Floor Theatre (GFT) is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. GFT concentrates on works by and for underrepresented communities. It serves as an incubator to foster and grow new and groundbreaking works that shine a light on groups that are often overlooked. It is also a home for the Austin theatre community to come together and learn from one another in order to help Austin continue to excel as a leader in the national theatre community. For more information visit www.groundfloortheatre.org.