by Activate Entertainment Project
2022 Artist in Residence
Passages is an homage to our ‘extra’ordinary lives. Join Greensboro circus arts company, Activate Entertainment, as they explore how the mundane is magical and envision the world from a changed perspective. Stories of the local community and the individual artists involved in the project will inform this performance piece about childhood, change, and connection. Passages combines circus, dance, theatre, and live music into a cohesive, storytelling performance sure to delight and excite audiences of all ages.
Learn more about this artistic project, Activate Entertainment, and how to participate below!
Save the date!
Saturday, September 3rd: 'Passages' World Premiere
Performances @ 7:00PM & 8:30PM at the UNCG Great Lawn in LeBauer Park
Artistic Project Narrative
“Passages” is an homage to our ‘extra’ordinary lives. Through three different tableaux, Activate Entertainment will explore how the mundane is magical and envision the world from a changed perspective. In order to bring the work closer to the community, the performance company will utilize stories of the local community and the individual artists involved in the project and start with the following as a basis:
“Childhood Reimagined." How can we make people feel like kids again? This piece will explore the innocence of childhood, and revisit what is was like to be a kid. The goal is to inspire young audiences to dream while provoking wonder in mature audiences.
“Change as the Only Constant.” We fight for the mundane, for the same things, for normality when the door to change is the key to growth.
“The Paths We Walk in.” Every day we follow in someone else footsteps. Someone will also follow in our footsteps, how are our paths related and what happens when we make ourselves aware of the lives of those around us?
The artistic process will consist of three weeks of research and planning with one week of in-person rehearsals. Research time will be spent observing and engaging with various communities across Greensboro. Artists will listen to people’s stories, their lives, and use this as inspiration to create. The unique rehearsal process involves collective creation, with a method of creating that involves sparking inspiration in a group of artists and observing the moments that happen naturally and authentically, rather than imposing a choreography or a set of movements. This allows for each artist to retain and put forth their voice. Out of this we will find connections between each artist, who they are and how they relate. With this project, we will connect artists with the community, breaking down barriers, telling diverse stories, and moving the public with unique and profound performances.
In-park activation will begin May 1st with preliminary research, community interviews and engagements, artistic direction, and rehearsals. Community members are invited to participate to the fullest degree in the artistic process of this work. Three 15-minute pop up performances will occur over the course of the residency with one final 45-minute performance combining all of the work in the finished piece in early September. The schedule for formal community engagements is as follows:
June 3 & 4: Pop-Up Performance 1 - Childhood Reimagined
July 8 & 9: Pop-Up Performance 2 - Change as the Only Constant
August 5 & 6: Pop-Up Performance 3 - The Paths We Walk In
September 3: Final Performance - Passages, An Homage to Our Extraordinary Lives
About the Artist
The Activate Entertainment Project is a local performance company that combines circus, dance, theatre, music, and more into a meaningful, live experience that is accessible to the public. Their unique creative process empowers and brings together artists of all backgrounds and disciplines. They value making high-quality performance accessible, creating collectively, and inspiring audiences through inclusivity.
Founded by juggler and Jamestown, NC native, Houston Odum, the Activate Entertainment Project was created during the COVID-19 Pandemic as a way to present high-quality contemporary circus during a time when large gatherings were not permitted. After 7-weeks of research and development with Dr. Joseph Culpepper, a creator for Cirque Du Soleil, Houston premiered the first iteration of the project across Winston-Salem in October of 2020. Since then, Activate has created five original performances reaching over 4,000 people through 27 presentations and supporting 23 artists.
Activate Entertainment's vision is to become a game changer in the live entertainment industry by offering world-class performances to the public and elevating diverse, local artists in an imaginative and empowering process of creation. Their work is intended to activate environments in the community. They strive to reach audiences who may not be regular theatre-goers or have access to the arts. In this way, they engage and connect with the community directly, leaving no barrier between the artist and audience. In the year since the founding of Activate, their work has reflected a range of performing arts, of which many have never been combined before. Classical Violin, Bboy Dance, Contortion, Modern Accordion, Roue Cyr, Handbalancing on Canes, and Contemporary Dance are just some of the disciplines Activate has utilized to create a cohesive storytelling performance.
Special Thanks to This Project's supporters
photos by Park Photographer, Jennifer Scheib of Happy Labs Photography