Now I feel I see my fair share of “performance art” on Metro’s rail lines, but let’s just say it tends to err on the side of amateur rather than professional. As much as I love hearing a guy playing a kazoo and banging random notes on a mini Casio keyboard as I wait for a Red Line train, something tells me what Metro and the Watts Village Theater Company have planned for May 2nd is going to be a bit more impressive – to say the least.
The rather unique performance event called Meet Me @ Metro – which consists of six short vignettes performed along various Metro Rail stations – is the brainchild of Guillermo Aviles-Rodriguez, the artistic director of the Watts Village Theater Company. He was inspired to create a traveling performance piece after learning that many youths in Watts had never traveled beyond their community and that many other Angelenos have never been to Watts.
Another unique aspect of Meet Me @ Metro is that while it was conceived by the Watts Theater Company, it’s actually a collaboration between a number of local theater organizations – something Guillermo thinks is necessary in these times of dwindling arts funding, when groups must find a way “to do more with less.”
So here are the specifics. There are two show times on May 2nd – one at 11 a.m. and another at 4 p.m. The audience meets at Union Station, where performers from the Collage Dance Theater will put on a dance performance in the Union Station tunnel after which the Watts Village Theater Company will commence the show with a performance that will set the narrative stage – the city of Los Angeles. Audience members will then board the Red Line and ride to Pershing Square where they will exit to the street to watch the next performance by the musical performance group Epic Mega Pro.
The audience will board the Red Line again and ride to 7th Street Metro Center Station, where they will be greeted with a puppet show by MooDoo Puppets. After that the audience will transfer to the Blue Line and ride to Vernon Station for a performance by East LA Rep Theater Company. The final stop is the 103rd Street Station and the Watts Tower Amphitheater, where the Watts Village Theater Company will finish the show beneath the shadows of the iconic Watts Towers.
Each vignette lasts about 10 minutes and the entire show will take about 2 hours – and the whole event is going to make for a really awesome Go Metro Weekend.
Read Metro’s full press release after the jump.
Go Metro To ‘Meet Me @ Metro’ Traveling Theater May 2
Music, live theater, puppets and poetry will be part of Meet Me @ Metro, an innovative theatrical performance piece featuring the works of six groups at six different locations along the Metro Red, Purple and Blue lines on Sunday, May 2.
Reservations are limited and required for this first-time-ever event so book early. Then grab a $5 Metro Day Pass or other valid Metro fare and experience the traveling theatrical extravaganza. Two sets of performances will begin at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., originating at Union Station and concluding at Watts Towers Amphitheater near the Metro Blue Line 103rd St. Station. The performances are free.
To experience the entire collection, the audience will gather at Union Station, board the Metro Red or Purple lines and disembark at four other stations, where additional performances will take place, before viewing the final presentation at Watts Towers Amphitheater, near 103rd St. Station.
Meet Me @ Metro was conceived by Guillermo Aviles-Rodriguez, artistic director of the Watts Village Theater Company, who invited six companies, including WVTC, to create individual 10-minute pieces relating to the individual venues that will serve as their stages. Experienced as a whole, the piece will revolve around the theme of movement in America today. It was inspired, Aviles-Rodriguez said, by interactions with the youth of Watts who, despite being in their late teens, had never traveled outside a 10-mile radius of their community, as well as by the fact that many Los Angeles residents have never traveled to Watts. It is hoped that Meet Me @ Metro will help bridge that gap.
Participating theatrical companies include: Collage Dance Theatre, East LA Rep, Epic Megalopolis Productions, MooDoo Puppets, The Nonsense Company and Watts Village Theater Company. Performance venues include Union Station East Portal, Pershing Square, 7th Street/Metro Center, Vernon and 103rd Street stations and Watts Towers Amphitheater.
Meet Me @ Metro is made possible by support from the California Arts Council, MAP Fund, The U.S. Census, The United Latino Fund and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Don’t forget to make reservations at wattsvillagetheatercompany.org. For information on getting there, go to the Metro Trip Planner at metro.net.