Why Conduit? In my theatre training, perhaps the greatest lesson I've ever learned, was two-fold: I must relax, so that an impulse can move through me; when the impulse strikes, I must respond to it.
In this way, my work as an artist is to be conduit; to remove ego and self from the equation, so that I might deliver an impulse from one destination (its metaphysical reality) to another (perceivable reality).
Connection is an important theme of my life. How our lives weave in and out of each other, the little stepping stones which can lead someone from one part of the world to another part; these are curious things I like to consider. I am interested in how we connect to one another, open up our vulnerability and share the light, expose the dark, and sit (sometimes uncomfortably) in all the shades of in-between.
So in a way, that's what Conduit is about. It is about the farthest reaches of humanity. All the riches, all the deficits. A plucking from the ethers of imagination to make manifest a poetic world, with characters capable of anything on stage.
In January 2015 I returned to Grand Forks, North Dakota after living on the West Coast (mostly in Los Angeles) for a few years. Upon my return, I found the town to be in a different place then when I left. The downtown area is beginning to prosper in a way I never saw, pre-flood or post-flood. New leaders were in several key positions across the city. The mayor had just dedicated the next two years of his term to focusing on the arts and culture elements of Grand Forks. The Public Arts Commission (PAC) had been formed. The artistic community is on the verge of a possible explosion.
A new theatre company (Empire Theatre Company) existed. The Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre at the Firehall had expanded its programming. A new improve troupe had been formed. By all accounts, some might say there was plenty of theatrical entertainment in existence. Why don't I join up with something that exists already?
I have a unique vision of the work I want to create. I am certainly interested in partnerships with all and any organization (in fact, I acted in a show at the Firehall, and am a member now of the Nine and Numb improve troupe), but I have very strong intentions towards a path involving theatre as a mechanism to bring people together. I want to explore clown, melodrama, physical theatre, and devised theatre. I want to tour my work across the world. I want to bring shows to Grand Forks. I want to bring organizations together with people that may not otherwise mix to create memorable events and experiences.
The time is ripe for such an ambition.
Lots! Come see Conduit's presentation of Box of Clown's "Mom?" A Comedy of Mourners on August 28th at the Empire Arts Center, at 7:30pm! Details are on the Conduit Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/conduittheatre).
Also in the coming months, keep an eye out for these two original shows:
Origami Swans: A Clown's Struggle with Drugs and Alcohol
In Memoriam: A Satire.
As well as more programming along the way! Stay tuned.