PROVIDENCE – FirstWorks has announced the lineup for its 2015-2016 season, set to kick off the week of Nov. 16, featuring artists across the genres of music, dance, spoken word and interactive performance.
“We’re entering our second decade and Rhode Islanders remain ready to be dazzled by something new, innovative and exciting. That’s exactly what we’ll deliver with the diverse array of stunning talents on deck for our 2015-16 season,” Kathleen Pletcher, executive artistic director of the nonprofit FirstWorks, said in a news release.
The 2015-2016 season will commence with the performance of the Los Angeles-based, multimedia performance art troupe Cloud Eye Control in their East Coast debut of “Half Life” on Nov. 21.
“Half Life” is a blend of projected animation, theater and music that examines the psychological fallout of global disaster.
This inaugural performance also marks the beginning of FirstWorks’ new cross-promotional partnership with the historic Columbus Theatre, where “Half-Life” will be staged.
During the week leading up to the performance, members of Cloud Eye Control will share their inventive hybrid art of animation, experimental theatre, pop music and puppetry with FirstWorks Arts Learning students and university students through workshops, talks and a performance lab.
The Artistic Icons Series will begin with a return performance by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra under the direction of Wynton Marsalis, bringing the holiday spirit to The Vets with “Big Band Holidays,” a night of holiday favorites and New Orleans inflections, featuring the vocal stylings of special guest Denzal Sinclaire, as well as student ensembles in the lobby and gallery. This is Jazz at Lincoln Center’s fourth year partnering with FirstWorks.
On Jan. 31, London’s BalletBoyz will make their Rhode Island debut as part of the Artistic Icons Series at The Vets. BalletBoyz is an all-male ballet troupe founded in 2001 by Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt, two former principals with the Royal Ballet.
The Artistic Icons Series will continue on Feb. 27 with Urban Bush Women’s tour of “Walking with ‘Trane,’” a dance salute to John Coltrane’s landmark album “A Love Supreme.”
In the fall, FirstWorks will launch Widening the Circle, a series of programs designed to engage audiences with dance at clubs, in schools and in the community. The series is a collaboration between FirstWorks, American Dance Legacy Initiative and Rites and Reason Theatre, featuring the Urban Bush Women, as well as other dance artists and innovators.
The upcoming FirstWorks season will feature a second world premiere: R.I.’s Aurea Ensemble will premiere “Chromatic Fantasy: The World Of ?iurlionis” on March 12 and 13 at a venue to be announced. Aurea Ensemble is a string quartet exploring art, poetry and music.
The season will come to a close on April 10 with artistic icon and legendary singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash and her full band, performing at The Vets for a multimedia celebration of Americana music and a concert of her career-crowning album, “The River & The Thread.”
On April 11, FirstWorks Arts Learning students will have the chance to engage with Cash as she shares her cultural legacy and what led to her examination of the geographic, emotional, musical and historic landscape of the American South.
“Each FirstWorks season proves more exciting than the last, and each performance of the 2015-16 season builds on the artistic and creative momentum we have established over the past 10 years,” Pletcher said. “We are thrilled to begin our next decade of presenting Rhode Islanders with new, exhilarating, and challenging works.”
Tickets for the FirstWorks Artistic Icons Series at The Vets and Cloud Eye Control: “Half Life” at the Columbus Theatre are on sale now. The full Artistic Icons Series is available now as a package offer with 25 percent savings on select tickets. More details and the full schedule are available at www.first-works.org.