The Hendrix Project readies for its world premiere this week at the Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival in New York City. The CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP) production, conceived and directed at CalArts by faculty Roger Guenveur Smith, and developed in cooperation with Experience Hendrix, LLC, focuses on one special night: New Year’s Eve 1969.
Twelve disciples have gathered in the upper balcony of New York City’s Fillmore East to see Jimi Hendrix’s electronic blues trio, Band of Gypsys, play a legendarily funky concert. As “bullets fly like rain,” at home and abroad, the ensemble movingly reimagines an iconic moment in rock and roll history through the timeless power of Hendrix’s music. It’s the end of the Sixties. And Jimi Hendrix’s final New Year’s Eve.
The company is made up almost entirely of Theater students, alums and faculty and includes: Samantha Bartow (BFA 18), Morgan Camper (MFA 18), Hannah Cruz (MFA 18), Heaven Gonzalez (MFA 19), Jasmine Gatewood (MFA 18), Ariyan Kassam (BFA 18), Liam O’Donnell (BFA 19), Dante Rossi (BFA 19), Henita Telo (BFA 18), Max Udell (BFA 18), Ieva Vizgirdaite [A/18] and Christopher Wentworth (MFA 18).
The design and production team features the work of scenic designer Levi Lack (BFA 17), costume designer Maggie Clapis (BFA 18), lighting designer Cameron Pieratt (BFA 17), technical director Will Dang (BFA 18), assistant director Brian Hashimoto (MFA 16), assistant stage manager Evan Shen (BFA 20), assistant sound and video designer Daniel Gower (MFA 18), assistant technical director Brandon Mendoza (BFA 19), production managers Paul DiPietro, CalArts faculty, and Kimberly Yeoman (MFA 19), and producers Megan E. Carter and Abby Marcus, both members of the CalArts faculty.
The Hendrix Project runs on Thursday, Jan. 11 at 7:30 pm; Friday and Saturday, Jan. 12-13 at 7 and 9:30 pm; and Sunday, Jan. 14 at 4:30 and 7:30 pm. The performances take place at the BRIC House in Brooklyn. Tickets are $25+ fees for general admission and $20 for Public Theater members and partners.
A few other productions with CalArtian ties are also being mounted at Under the Radar: Panorama, with light and visual design work by Bo Sul Kim (MFA 11), and Miranda Wright’s (MFA 09) Los Angeles Performance Practice produces After by Andrew Schneider.
Under the Radar’s Incoming! festival— the “festival within a festival, featuring in-process works of artistic ambition by the wildly diverse artists of the Devised Theater Working Group” features Annie Saunders and Becca Wolfe’s Our Country with scenic design by Nina Caussa (MFA 14), with scenic and technical assistance from Aubree Lynn (MFA 16).
Special thanks to The Modular newsletter and CNP for Under the Radar updates.