· Two new pieces of theatre presented by Theatre Absolute as part of Are We Where We Are premiere at the Shop Front Theatre this autumn.
· The Things We Tell Ourselves written and performed by Cristina Catalina and Don’t Cry for Me written and performed by Stephanie Ridings open for one night only on 11 October.
· Are We Where We Are is a two-year project created by Theatre Absolute which explores where we are now, telling stories of the personal and the political.
Two new pieces of theatre commissioned as part of award-winning Theatre Absolute’s two-year project Are We Where We Are? will premiere at the Shop Front Theatre this autumn. Taking American novelist Henry David Thoreau’s provocation ‘We are not where we are, but in a false position’ as a central theme, these new commissions explore stories of the personal and the political.
The Things We Tell Ourselves written and performed by Cristina Catalina is the seventh in a series of 9 new pieces commissioned for the stage. This short form piece premieres on Thursday 11 October along with the eighth new commission Don’t Cry for Me written and performed by Stephanie Ridings. Whilst both respond to the central provocation each piece was written in isolation reflecting and sharing with the audience the world as these writers see it.
Cristina Catalina is an actor, producer, writer and translator. She regularly works with devising ensembles and theatre-makers to research and develop new work and international collaborations. She is a member of award-winning ensemble Tangled Feet and Associate Artist at Theatre Absolute. As a producer she has over 7 years’ experience delivering international performance projects and is currently Associate Producer at Dash Arts.
Stephanie Ridings’ recent solo show, The Fear of Fear, premieres in the Autumn at Warwick Arts Centre before touring in 2019. Her previous play The Road to Huntsville, received a Bitesize commission in 2015, won an Arts Voice award, was featured on BBC2’s Edinburgh Nights and has been published by Nick Hern Books as part of the anthology, Women Centre Stage.
Chris O’Connell artistic director Theatre Absolute said: “Thoreau’s quote, ‘We are not where we are, but in a false position’ seems particularly apt at this moment in the 21st Century. It’s a provocative call for theatre makers to explore peoples’ experiences today. It includes headline issues such as politics, economics and migration but reflects much wider perspectives offered by exciting new and established writers and artists. We look forward to sharing these two new pieces as all of the previously commissioned pieces have proved epic in their intensity, and the conversations they have provoked.”
In November Theatre Absolute will stage the final commission SPHERE, which will see seven artists and writers thrown together on the stage, surrounded by the remnants and detritus of the previous 8 works, and pass a baton between them as they respond for one final time to the thematic provocation: Are We Where We Are?
The Things We Tell Ourselves by Cristina Catalina and Don’t Cry for Me by Stephanie Ridings premiere at The Shop Front Theatre, Coventry on Thursday 11 October. The evening starts at 7.30pm and each piece is approx. 20mins with an interval between.
The project is supported by Arts Council England, Coventry City Council, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Talking Birds, The Belgrade Theatre and Warwick Arts Centre.