Ben Randle

THEATRE DIRECTOR

'Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionysus' at CounterPULSE now on sale

Tickets are now on sale for the CounterPULSE production of Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionysus by trixxie carr and directed by Ben Randle, playing February 17-19, 2012.

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The production is part of CounterPULSE Winter Special and will feature trixxie carr, Talia Lipskind, Norm Munoz, Angelica Roque, Travis Santell Rowland, and Jarrad Webster.

Set in contemporary San Francisco, Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionysus is the story of "Tiny Dionysus, a god banished from Mount Olympus, who is called a upon by a group of unemployed San Francisco artists to teach them how to survive The Great Recession. Exploding from their adventures are lavish production numbers, eruptions of classic rock and pop songs, drag, puppetry, and original music by trixxie carr."

According to press notes, "Dionysus (dy-uh-NY-suhs) was the Greek God of wine, and ancient festivals in his honor were the driving force behind the development of Greek Theater. He was also a liberator, whose wine, music and ecstatic dance freed his followers from fear and care, and subverted the oppressive restraints of the powerful."

Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionysus is a response to the economic and political turmoil today and unrest that ripples from the headlines. “It is about our society, right now, this city, this country,” says director Ben Randle. “In the times we’re living in, and the anxiety and fear that surrounds everything we do, we need art that not only takes us away from reality, but springs from it and acknowledges it. Only then, can it heal us.” The success of a workshop production in 2009 at Mama Calizo Voice Factory as part of Randle’s DIY Residency encouraged him to further develop the political heart of the piece. “When we did it a couple of years ago, the response was beyond anything we could have imagined. People were hungry for this material. People would say to us, ‘You’re telling my life onstage’! And so, we made revisions to hopefully deepen that connection. Now, with the Occupy movements around the world and a society losing faith in its leaders, I think we need Tiny Dionysus more than ever.”

The production will features performers and design artists from a variety of performance backgrounds, such as dance, theatre, drag, and clowning. “And because the pains of this Recession affect all of us, it was important to bring many communities together to work on this show,” Randle explains. In each performance, there will be a cameo made by a different celebrated local legend, drag queen or performer. Puppets featured in the production, including a 7-foot, festival-style Minotaur puppet - were made by visual artists experienced in making large-scale festival puppets, but never for a theatrical production. “Tiny Dionysus is starting that conversation”, says playwright trixxie carr, “of who you want to be regardless of your gender, regardless of your class status, regardless of where you came from, or your race, or your religion. ”

CounterPULSE calls Winter Special "an experiment in offering radically affordable and accessible performance opportunities to a diverse array of emerging performance-makers.  Ten lead artists present eight weeks of contemporary dance, experimental theater, multimedia performance, provocative drag and more."  Ranging from raw experiments to polished premieres, Winter Special features productions by Miriam Wolodarski and Rosemary Hannon, CatherineMarie Davalos, Kitka, Mohamed Lamine Bangoura, Erin Malley, Ben Randle with trixxie carr, and Katsura Kan and Shoshana Green.

Tickets are available here. More information at counterpulse.org