PACIFIC NORTHWEST PREMIERE Equally funny and heartbreaking, Soft Goods lays bare the beauty and brutality of backstage culture. Performed by an ensemble of stage technicians and dancers, and structured as a live load-in and technical rehearsal for a performance that never happens, the show illuminates the lonesomeness of theaters, the spectral elegance of a lighting focus, the choreography of labor, and the labor of dance. Soft Goods is a meditation on work, life, loss, and occupational self-obliteration.
Karen Sherman makes performances that incorporate her background in dance, writing, theater, music, and the handyman arts. Her work has been presented nationally by P.S. 122, Walker Art Center, PICA’s TBA Festival, Fusebox Festival, The Chocolate Factory Theater, American Realness, The Southern Theater, Dance Place, Diverseworks, Movement Research, ODC, Red Eye Theater, and many others. Her honors include a 2007 “Bessie” Award for her performance in Morgan Thorson’s Faker, multiple McKnight Foundation Fellowships in Choreography and Dance, a Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship, SAGE Awards for her work as a choreographer, performer, and scenic designer, and residencies with the MacDowell Colony, Vermont Performance Lab, Movement Research, LUMBERYARD, and the Bogliasco Foundation program in Liguria, Italy. She was a 2016-2017 Hodder Fellow in The Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University and is currently an inaugural Caroline Hearst Choreographer-in-Residence in its dance program. A freelance stage technician for over 20 years, she was Technical Director and Production Manager of NYC’s legendary Judson Church (1994-2004), Technical Director of both Movement Research (1994-1998) and Circus Amok (1995-1997), and she has been an overhire stage technician at Walker Art Center (Minneapolis) since 2005. Her writing, including essays and poetry, has been featured on many live, web, and print forums, including e-flux journal, Movement Research Performance Journal, Criticism Exchange, Culture Bodega, and The Triumph of Poverty: Poems Inspired by the Work of Nicole Eisenman. She is currently working on an interdisciplinary project about blood, astronomy, and animals. Part one, a solo visual art show opened at Hair + Nails Gallery in Minneapolis in March 2018. Part two, a dance, premieres in 2019, with part three, a book, to follow.
Run time: 70 min.
Soft Goods is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by Walker Art Center in partnership with P.S. 122, Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, and NPN. Presentation, production, and production residency support provided by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Soft Goods received production development support from LUMBERYARD’s (formerly American Dance Institute) Incubator program, Alverno Presents, Concordia University, and Walker Art Center. Soft Goods was supported by a grant from the Jerome Foundation, the McKnight Foundation Fellowship Program, as well as by The MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital, primarily supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This work is also made possible in part by a 2013 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Choreographers and a Hodder Fellowship at The Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University.