Curious at the MCA
Jenny Magnus / Curious Theatre Branch Development Residency
At MCA's invitation, and deepening the commitment to collaborations by artists in Chicago and abroad, Jenny Magnus is creating a large-scale interdisciplinary work for the Curious Theatre Branch. Conceived as an insider's view of theater making, both in its vision and its heartache, the finished work Untitled Curious Show will be performed by the Curious Theatre Branch with Crooked Mouth String Band, one of the ensemble's music arms. The world premiere is planned for fall 2011.
Housed in the MCA theater on five separate months coursing a year, Magnus's residency is organized as a circular progression of experimentation, cross-disciplinary training, and building by the ensemble. She plans to draw additional material from community engagement, e.g. public workshops with Diego Piñon, Office Hours, and roundtables for theater artists.
Office Hours takes place with Jenny seated at a table in the lobby area of the second and fourth floor galleries as part of the MCA's Out of Galleries—and other times on the 1st floor. In the spirit of Lucy's booth in Charles Schulz' Peanuts, Jenny will be available to MCA staff and museum visitors for conversation, consultation, or any kind of exchanged discourse during her 60 minutes. Germane topics to the development of new work include:
- the notion of the theater as a place of work, not only physical but intellectual as well
- a sustained ecology of art making, staying in the process over a lifetime, and "retarding decay"
- the stress between parenting and being an artist, and how being a "good enough" mother and a "good enough" artist can work
- the sculpting of attention, and how an artist can compose attention on a stage
- the ensemble as tribe and clan, and how to maintain generational working relationships
Magnus's development residency at the MCA is being filmed by ensemble member Jeffrey Bivens for a future documentary. The music of Untitled Curious Show, by Crooked Mouth String Band, is being recorded in the MCA theater during December 2010 for a late 2011 release by UvuLittle Records.