The World at Your Feet
The Revolutions International Theatre Festival
By Steven Robert Allen
If you're a lefty anarchist, you're invited. If you're a right-wing corporatist, you're invited. If you know as much about politics as Eminem knows about Gustav Mahler, you're also invited.
"Because of the title of the festival," says Joe Perrachio, the artistic director of the Revolutions International Theatre Festival, "people often ask if this is a left-wing event. This festival has no wing. There are many definitions of the word ’revolution.' In this case, we're talking about revolutionary art, art that changes the way people view the world."
The festival kicks off this week at venues all over Albuquerque and Santa Fe, bringing some of the best experimental performers from around the world right here to New Mexico. Every year it's been claimed that the festival is bigger and better than ever, and every year it's been true. This year will likely be no exception. As part of Albuquerque's year-long 300th birthday celebration, this sixth annual installment is called "a Tricentennial celebration of world theater."
While most other Tricentennial events highlight our city's distinguished Hispanic heritage, Revolutions is bringing in acts from Canada, Thailand, Israel, South Africa and across the U.S., as well as performers from Mexico and Spain. As such, the festival celebrates Albuquerque's cultural history in the broadest, most egalitarian sense.
"If we had millions of dollars," says Perrachio, "we'd have people from everywhere, but we had to do this in broad strokes. The festival opens with a Native American troupe and closes with a Spanish one. Even chronologically, this says something about the heritage of our area, by bookending Revolutions with the two dominant cultures that identify the region. In between, there are works from a multitude of cultures."
Even more important, he says, is that these are new works, not traditional works. In this way, the festival glances back at the roots of Albuquerque's cultural heritage but also looks toward the future. "We can't escape the fact," says Perrachio, "that this is becoming an integrated world. By presenting Revolutions, we simply want to inspire creative people from different cultures into a dialogue with each other."
Over its short lifespan, Revolutions has quite possibly become the best show in town. This is cutting-edge performance in the truest sense. Watch your fingers—some of this stuff will slice right through the bone. Below you'll find a roundup of events with some tips from Perrachio for making the most of the next three weeks.
Vivian Cruz and Hebe Rosell
Acco Theatre Centre of Acco, Israel
Billy the Mime
Albuquerque Youth Poetry Slam-Off
Kevin R. Elder
Boyzie Cekwana's The Floating Outfit Project
Witness Relocation Company/Patravadi Theatre
Go to www.tricklock.com for the latest information about the festival. Advance credit card ticket orders for all Albuquerque performances (except the Reptilian Lounge, which only accepts cash at the door) can be made by calling 254-8393 up to four hours prior to the start of each event. Ordered tickets will then be available at Will Call at each venue. See individual listings for Santa Fe ticket information. Tickets are also available for cash at each venue starting one hour prior to each performance. Due to demand, advance purchases are the best way to ensure seats. Multi-show passports can also be purchased for $85 general/$50 students (five shows) and $160 general/$90 students (10 shows).
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