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  • For Immediate Release:  May 6, 2010

    Overtone Industries Invites the Public to
    Extensive Community Arts Project
    “Songs & Dances Craftacular Weekend Workshops”
    Eco-Friendly Collaborations to Create Props & Costumes
    From Recycled Materials for Upcoming Contemporary Opera
    Songs & Dances of Imaginary Lands
    Weekends in Culver City through June 20, 2010

    LOS ANGELES, CA – Overtone Industries is engaged in a massive community arts project, currently underway, to create props and costumes from recycled materials for their July site-specific contemporary opera, Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands directed by O-Lan Jones. In May and June, creative volunteers are invited to Overtone’s “Songs & Dances Craftacular Weekend Workshops,” a series of free public art workshops where donated recyclables are being transformed into sets and costumes for the innovative music theater production. Overtone Industries is looking for crafters, artists, knitters, and the general public of all ages to collaborate on the project by participating in the art-making process via the community workshops. Workshops are being held Saturdays and Sundays, 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., through June 20, 2010 at the Songs & Dances Warehouse, 8840 Washington Street, Culver City, CA 90232 (with the exception of Sunday May, 9, 2010 – there will be no workshop on that date). Free lot parking is available on site. Children must be accompanied by an adult. RSVP is requested, but not required, at songdancesworkshop.eventbrite.com/?ref=ecal. All levels of experience, from beginners to professionals, are encouraged to drop by for the fun. Additional community art workshop and recycling program details are at www.overtoneindustries.org/sdworkshops.php. For questions, please call 323-655-2410 during business hours, Monday through Friday.

    Under the artistic direction of Costume and Scenic Designer Snezana Petrovic, with the support of Vibrant Production Management, a vacant 25,000-square-foot Culver City car dealership is being transformed into an adventurous performance space. Through the creation of 21 art installations of the titular imaginary lands, each dramatically different from one another, and wild, native costumes of invented cultures, volunteers will help set the stage for this epic music and dance extravaganza. Participants will create props, textures, and aspects of the sets and costumes for the production while also learning new art-making techniques. Local residents, nonprofit groups, service organizations, and senior centers are expected to take part.

    “The community is an essential ingredient to the creation of these lands; everyone’s experience will be literally glued, twisted, and knitted into the environments we create together,” says Director O-Lan Jones, “This collaboration is a metaphor for the existential point of the opera — in other words, we all make the world that we live in together.”

    The public can participate in two ways:
    –  donate recyclables to the project
    –  join in at the community art workshops to create the sets, props & costumes

    Recyclables can be dropped off at the Songs and Dances Warehouse on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 12noon through June 20, 2010. Overtone Industries is specifically looking for donations of plastic bottles, newspapers, corrugated cardboard, plastic shopping bags, catalogs, junk mail, magazines, can tabs, bottle caps, clean white socks, packaging peanuts, and CDs. For details, see: www.overtoneindustries.org/files/sdrecyclingprogramflyer.pdf

    “Songs & Dances Craftacular Weekend Workshops”
    Recycle Drop-Off & Art-Making Schedule:

    • 11:00 a.m. – 12:00noon – drop off recyclables
    • 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. – workshops

    ~workshop focus/featured materials noted~

    Sat. 5/08/10 (Combination)
    Sat. 5/15/10 (Combination)
    Sun. 5/16/10 (Cardboard)
    Sat. 5/22/10 (Plastic Water Bottles)
    Sun. 5/23/10 (Plastic Water Bottles)
    Sat. 5/29/10 (Metal & Aluminum)
    Sun. 5/30/10 (Metal & Aluminum)
    Sat. 6/05/10 (Paper Mache)
    Sun. 6/06/10 (Paper Mache)
    Sat. 6/12/10 (Assembling)
    Sun. 6/13/10 (Assembling)
    Sat. 6/19/10 (Assembling)
    Sun. 6/20/10 (Assembling)

    “Songs & Dances Craftacular Weekend Workshops” Video
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH-pVrkd4co
    (video credit: Halldor Enard)

    Real estate developer Joseph Miller, owner and president of The Runyon Group, donated the use of the vacant Culver City car dealership for the production. Miller provided the space to Overtone Industries so that it could be used creatively, in a way that would benefit the community, instead of standing vacant. The development of this production has been supported by The Annenberg Foundation since 2006. Overtone Industries also receives support from The Ahmanson Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and The National Endowment for the Arts.

    Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands
    After seven years in development, non-profit organization Overtone Industries is set to launch their site-specific theatricale Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands, with two weeks of performances opening Thursday, July 8, 2010. Billed as a contemporary opera, the genre-bending production integrates art installation, dance, voice, live and recorded music, projected video, costuming, community participation, and theater. Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands was conceptualized by Jones in an extensive collaboration that involves twenty one librettists, eleven composers, Costume and Scenic Designer Petrovic, Musical Director David O, and many others. The performances will run from Thursday, July 8 to Sunday, July 18, 2010 with five weekly performances (Thursdays through Sundays, 8:00 p.m. nightly with 2:00 p.m. matinees on Sundays). Additional preview performances will run the week prior, from Thursday, July 1 to Sunday, July 4, 2010 (matinee only on July 4). Ticket prices start at $25 and go on sale in May on Overtone’s site at www.overtoneindustries.org.

    Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands takes the audience on a journey with working class Tom and aristocratic Sue, who have lost their identities. The couple reclaims their story by means of a device that allows them to inhabit the “lands” that hold the pivotal experiences of their lives embodied in songs, dances, pledges of allegiance, and rituals indigenous to those turning points.

    “Sounds heavy, but the show is a blast,” says Producer Scott Cargle, “It’s a large-scale extravaganza full of colorful art, an amazing array of music, wild costumes, and innovative choreography – but with a profound story as well.”

    O-Lan Jones, Director and Co-Choreographer
    O-Lan Jones is an award-winning actress, composer, sound designer, and writer. Her work as an actress, originating female roles in plays by Sam Shepard, Beth Henley, Murray Mednick, and John Steppling, among others, has made her something of a cultural icon. Named for the character in Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth, Jones was raised by a free-spirited mother in various ghettos across America (Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, New York) with stops in London and the jungles of the Yucatan where they lived in a hut in a village of 80 Mayan Indians. She began her professional acting career at 16 in New York’s off-off Broadway scene in the late ’60s and early ’70s. In 1969, Jones married playwright Sam Shepard with whom she has a son. Shepard and Jones divorced in 1983.

    Of the more than 80 plays she has acted in, only two have been performed prior to her involvement in them — part of her lot in life is as accomplice to new/experimental projects. Since moving to Los Angeles in 1990, she has had a broad range of roles in film and television. In features, she has worked with directors Tim Burton, Jonathan Demme, Ivan Reitman, Paul Schrader, John Schlesinger, Oliver Stone, Peter Weir, and Paul Bartel who directed Shelf Life, a movie she wrote and starred in. She is perhaps best known for playing Esmeralda, the reclusive Christian organist in Edward Scissorhands, and numerous waitress roles (Seinfeld, Shoot the Moon, Miracle Mile, Natural Born Killers, and The Truman Show). A repeat member of Burton’s ensemble casts, she also played hick trailer-dwelling mama Sue Ann Norris in Mars Attacks! Television credits also include Lonesome Dove and The X-Files; and she was a series regular on CBS’s Harts of the West.

    She has composed three short operas; five musicals; created original music, songs, and sound designs for more than 30 theatrical productions; and has scored two short films. She was also the musical director and arranger of Joel Lipman’s rock-‘n’-roll extravaganza Celebration of the Lizard, which features 49 Doors songs. Jones is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Overtone Industries, which the Los Angeles Times called “… audaciously experimental entertainment.”

    Scott Cargle, Producer
    Scott Cargle has been an actor, writer, director, and producer for decades. He was the founder and artistic director of The Shakespeare Project in New York City, where he presented 11 seasons of free outdoor productions in parks and public spaces for more than 40,000 people. He produced two annual Play Outside! Festivals of Free Outdoor Theater, with more than 20 theater companies and performance artists presenting 120 shows in 30 parks, all in the course of 21 days. He served on funding panels for the New York Times Foundation, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, City of LA Department of Cultural Affairs, NY Foundation for the Arts and many others. He teaches seminars on fundraising, grant writing, nonprofit business planning, and project development at the Center for Nonprofit Management and CalArts.

    Snezana Petrovic, Costume and Scenic Designer
    A freelance designer for 230 theatrical productions, 22 television series, and eight feature films, Snezana Petrovic is a pioneer in set design using computer-aided technology and was the first art director to design sets on the FLAIR computer in her native Yugoslavia. In the US, she was the first graduate student in theater design to earn an interactive MFA (from UC Irvine), submitting her thesis on CD-ROM. She has served as resident designer at the Redlands Theater Festival for 15 seasons, and taught theater design and visual arts at the university level for 14 years. She was the recipient of the award in production design at the International Film Festival in Pula as well as six national awards for theater set and costume design in Yugoslavia. Petrovic’s paintings, video, and installation works have been exhibited both nationally and internationally in museums and galleries in Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Belgrade, and Prague. She has exhibited in 34 group exhibitions and had eight solo exhibitions. Currently she is serving as the Fine Arts Department Chair and Professor of Arts at Crafton Hills College.

    Overtone Industries
    Emmy and Dramalogue award-winning Overtone Industries cultivates new talent for music theater by providing opportunities for composers, writers, and performers to collaborate in the creation of new musical works. By drawing on artists that spring from the diverse community, Overtone productions speak to and attract a wide-ranging spectrum of people. Overtone believes that culture is enriched and revitalized not only by the differences and variety of expression, but also by the underlying experiences that connect us all. The organization strives to create myths and fables that will illuminate the eternal forces that reverberate in our contemporary lives. By exploring new relationships among words, acting, movement, and music, the nonprofit seeks to make the invisible visible and bring audiences, casts and production crews closer to understanding some of life’s mysteries. Overtone Industries’ work has been performed in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and in New York at the Kurt Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall.

    Vibrant Production Management
    Vibrant Production Management works with artists of various disciplines to create and manage original, vivid artistic experiences. Vibrant offers comprehensive production services from concept to completion. Beginning with a shared vision or need, the firm assembles teams of artists and managers to provide energy and movement to a project. The firm handles logistics, allowing the artistic product to be presented as high-quality, seamless entertainment. Recent projects include: Ecosystems Gala at California Science Center, Meet Me @ Metro for Watts Village Theater Company, Shakespeare by the Sea’s 13th season and ensemble strategic planning for Impro Theatre.  Vibrant Production Management is a partnership between Sara Adelman and Michelle Magaldi. Adelman and Magaldi are experienced producers and managers of live events working in and around Los Angeles for over a decade as independent contractors and employees of award-winning arts organizations.

    “This is not just an opera. It’s an event,” says Cargle in summing up Songs & Dances of Imaginary Lands, “It asks the artists and the audience to reconsider: What is theater? What is opera? Where does it happen? What does it look like? Who makes it happen?”

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    For more information, photos, or to arrange an interview, please contact Green Galactic’s Lynn Hasty at 213.840.1201 and lynn@greengalactic.com

    Posted on May 6th, 2010 lynn-hasty No comments

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