Anyone with even a passing interest in the arts should find time to swing into the Red Eye Theater this weekend for RELAY RELAY, an interview series where twenty of MPLS + STPL’s top notch artists who work in dance, theater, music, and performance join each other in a round-robin discussion of their work, their process, their backgrounds, and much much more.
Before the interviews, we asked Emily Gastineau, RELAY RELAY co-organizer and herself a local notable in the performance community, some quick questions about the discussion groupings, the takeaway publication, and the complementary snacks—although in hindsight, to be more in line with the series, we should’ve had her relay questions back to us, too.
Secrets of the City: How did you select and then pair the artists? Were you considering their works as complementing/contrasting? Give me a specific example of the method to your partnering madness.
Emily Gastineau: RELAY RELAY was organized via chain curation, which I now think is magic! Along with my co-organizers Rachel Jendrzejewski and Jeffrey Wells, we selected five artists to begin, and invited them to select the artist that they most wanted to interview, and so on. So for example, we selected Karen Sherman, who chose to interview Samantha Johns, who picked Emmett Ramstad, who invited Martin Gonzales–but then that session will end with Martin interviewing Karen, who he did not previously know. I’m particularly excited about those chance pairings, because the artists are getting to know each other’s work for the first time, and finding
unexpected connection points—which in Martin’s and Karen’s case is tools!
The lineup includes artists with a range of disciplines, aesthetics, backgrounds, career stages, some who know each other really well, some who are new to each other . . . it really runs the gamut.
How much of the original conversation in each grouping do you think will guide the
entire group’s discussion? Will, for example, Chantal Pavageaux be asking Sonya
Berlovitz questions that she hopes to answer later?
We’ve left that choice up to the interviewer in each case! The content and format of the interview
is totally driven by the interviewer’s personal curiosity, which of course varies widely. Some
discussions are highly structured and others are more improvisational, but I’m sure some
common threads will emerge.
Tell us more about the complementary snacks.
Anyone who’s attended a post-show reception hosted by the brilliant Miriam Must will be
pleased to know that, yes, there will be cream puffs. But really, aren’t snacks are just an excuse
to get Minnesotans to talk to each other?
These types of events are important since, one, it’s really an amazing snapshot of not
only our current moment in performance from the performers themselves and, two, also
where art is at in it’s teleological development. Is that where the super exciting
publication comes in?
Absolutely. We have referred to the event itself as a kind of timestamp on performance practice
in the Twin Cities. For the publication, we’ve commissioned the writers Alessandra Williams,
Anna Marie Shogren, Charles Campbell, Danielle Jackson, and Sun Yung Shin—who are all
sharp thinkers embedded in the arts scene—to respond to the event in whatever way they
choose, even and especially if it causes them to venture off on some totally different line of
thinking. So the publication is in part a record of the event, but it’s also a way to continue the
conversation, carry the questions forward, and proliferate new ideas and practices.
Red Eye Theater, 15 W 14th St, MPLS; redeyetheater.org