Red Eye Theater announces the appointment of seven artistic directors, who will guide the organization into its next phase as multidisciplinary creative laboratory for boundary-breaking performance work. Red Eye’s new leadership includes Andrew Lee Dolan, Hayley Finn, Emily Gastineau, Rachel Jendrzejewski, Theo Langason, Valerie Oliveiro, and Jeffrey Wells.
Continuing the artist-led model established and sustained by co-founders Steve Busa and Miriam Must, the group of artistic directors will guide equally the artistic vision and organizational management of Red Eye. They will also work to establish a new performance space, as a long-term home for Red Eye and a hub for contemporary performance in the Twin Cities. Red Eye will continue to champion experimentation, collaboration, and critical discourse, igniting new connections between artists, audiences, and ideas.
Since 1983, Red Eye Theater has supported the development of new work by Busa and Must, along with a myriad of other artists working in theater, dance, music, performance art, and new interdisciplinary forms. Busa and Must stepped down at the end of 2018, completing a planned leadership transition more than two years in the making. They say, “We are proud and excited to pass the torch to the seven new artistic directors. We have been inspired by this group’s commitment to collaboration, and their drive to envision fresh models that will support the development of new work. We look forward to seeing how their vision manifests, as well as the dynamic work that will undoubtedly be coming out of Red Eye in the years to come.”
The group of artistic directors share: “The Twin Cities performance community is going through a major transitional period, with the loss of several key spaces, as well as a generational handover in many arts organizations. The moment is ripe for new vision, networks, and artistic practices. We are excited for Red Eye to activate an increasingly diverse and expansive group of artists, to amplify rigorous exchange among performing artists, and to share the vitality of contemporary performance with broad audiences in Minnesota and beyond.”
Red Eye’s long-time commitment to collaboration is manifested in the move to a collective administrative model. Each member of the group has developed work at Red Eye and experienced Red Eye’s unique protocols for critical feedback; each brings a strong background in arts administration and production, as well as extensive relationships with local, national, and international performance communities. In addition to their independent practices, the group has worked with organizations including Mn Artists, Blackout Improv, The Cowles Center, Bedlam Theatre, Project Success, SuperGroup, Fire Drill, DanceMN, The Playwrights’ Center, Sandbox Theatre, Walker Art Center, and Upstream Arts. On behalf of the Red Eye Board of Directors, Board Chair Diana Konopka says, “We are thrilled beyond measure to be embarking on this collaboration. Individually, the artistic directors are accomplished artists and administrators. As a collective, they bring an exciting vision for the future of the company, and are increasing its capacity to position it for healthy growth. They are taking the tremendous legacy of Red Eye and carrying it forward with strength into the future.”
Red Eye is currently working towards the establishment of a new space and long-term home, after vacating its long-time Loring Park home in fall 2018. Red Eye will host the New Works 4 Weeks Festival at the TEK BOX at The Cowles Center from May 30-June 22, 2019, completing its 35th anniversary season. Tickets go on sale May 1 at www.redeyetheater.org.
About the Red Eye Theater artistic directors:
Andrew Lee Dolan (he/him/his) is a multidisciplinary performance artist whose work has premiered in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Austin, and Ireland. He has served guest artist residencies with Fairfield University (CT) and Century College (MN), and has worked with Teatr Biuro Podrozy (Poland), Rude Mechs (TX), Town Hall Theatre (Ireland), Red Eye Theater, Sandbox Theater, MN Jewish Theatre, The Playwrights' Center, and many others. His work has been commissioned by the Red Eye’s New Works 4 Weeks festival in 2013, 2014, and 2015. As the Venue Manager for Bedlam Lowertown (2014-2016) he co-produced/co-presented 150+ theater and dance productions, concerts, and special events. He is a company member of the award-winning Forklift Danceworks (TX), where he serves as Institutional Giving Manager, and is the Associate Director of Development for The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts. As an arts administrator and development professional for multiple organizations, he manages an annual combined portfolio of $1.5 million. He graduated with an MA in Performance from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and holds an MFA in Directing and Public Dialogue from Virginia Tech; his work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Hayley Finn (she/her/hers) is a director, writer, producer and advocate for playwrights and new work. She has directed nationally and internationally including at Cherry Lane Theatre, Curious Theatre Company, Edinburgh Fringe, Ellis Island, Guthrie Theatre, HERE Arts Center, History Theatre, Flea Theater, The Kitchen, Labyrinth Theater Company, Marin Theater Company, New Dramatists, O’Neill Theater Center, Pillsbury House, People’s Light, Public Theater, Playwrights’ Horizons, Red Eye Theater, South Coast Repertory Theater, and the Nine Gates Festival in Prague. Her play WHILE YOU WERE OUT was commissioned by Red Eye and she is currently working on a commission of a new play for the Minnesota Jewish Theatre. Additionally, Finn is the Associate Artistic Director at the Playwrights’ Center, where she has produced approximately 900 new play workshops by established and emerging writers and has produced development workshops in partnership Arena Stage, the Goodman, Seattle Rep, ERS, Tectonic Theatre Company, Denver Center, and the Walker Art Center, among others. There she also produces the annual McKnight Theatre Artists Works-In-Progress event which features new work by three celebrated theater artists, and curates and moderates cultural conversations with formative artists including Paula Vogel, Taylor Mac, and Migdalia Cruz. Finn is a recipient of the Ruth Easton Fellowship, TCG Future Leader Grant, National Endowment for the Arts support, and a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant. She served on the Minneapolis Arts Commission for six years and is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. She received her BA and MA from Brown University.
Emily Gastineau (she/her/hers) is a choreographer, performer, writer, and arts administrator. Her work has been presented at Frascati (Amsterdam), On the Boards (Seattle), Garage29 (Brussels), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), and Red Eye Theater (Minneapolis), among others. She collaborates with Billy Mullaney (US/NL) under the name Fire Drill, and their work has been shown in Amsterdam, Minneapolis, St. Paul, New York, San Francisco, Portland, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Chicago. Her collaboration with Vilma Pitrinaite (LT/BE) has been supported by workspacebrussels, SE.S.TA (Prague), and the Lithuanian Council for Culture. Emily co-founded the performance writing platform Criticism Exchange, curates performances at Fresh Oysters Performance Research (Minneapolis) and elsewhere, and produced RELAY RELAY, an interview marathon and publication on contemporary performance. Emily has worked for Mn Artists at the Walker Art Center since 2014, and has been Program Manager since 2016. Through Mn Artists, she works with guest artist-curators to produce multidisciplinary performance programs at the Walker Art Center, and coordinates guest editors to commission original arts writing for mnartists.org. For the past two years, she has been based between Minneapolis and Amsterdam as she completes a masters at DAS Choreography, Amsterdam University of the Arts. www.emilygastineau.com www.fire-drill.org
Rachel Jendrzejewski (she/her/hers) is a writer, performance maker, producer, and administrator who works throughout the U.S. and internationally. She frequently collaborates with choreographers, musicians, and visual artists to explore new performative vocabularies. Her works have been developed and/or presented by the Red Eye, Walker Art Center, Public Functionary, In the Heart of the Beast, Padua Playwrights, Los Angeles Performance Practice, Tricklock Company, Wild Project, Conflux Festival, ICA/Boston, and Adam Mickiewicz Institute, among others. Honors include a Playwrights’ Center McKnight Fellowship, Jerome Fellowship, and Core Writer Residency; residencies at the Weisman Art Museum and MASS MoCA; and project support from the Network of Ensemble Theaters, Minnesota State Arts Board, Dramatists Guild Foundation, PEN America, and Foundation for Contemporary Arts, among others. Jendrzejewski has held staff positions at Cornerstone Theater Company (Los Angeles), The Grotowski Institute (Poland), and Upstream Arts (Minneapolis). She is a member of The Playwrights’ Center Artistic Committee; previously she served on the Soap Factory’s Program Committee, in the Arts on Chicago Bush Community Innovation Cohort, and in the Creative Engagement work group for the City of Minneapolis Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy program. Alumni, Arts Midwest Future Leaders Network. MFA Playwriting, Brown University. www.rachelka.com
Theo Langason (he/him/his) is a multidisciplinary theatre artist and teaching artist based in Minneapolis. A graduate of Rutgers University–Camden with a degree in Theatre Arts, Theo has been working in the Twin Cities as an actor, director, musician, composer, improviser, poet, and teaching artist for a decade. In addition to his work with Red Eye, Theo is a company member of Sandbox Theatre, a member of Blackout Improv, and a cast member of The Theater of Public Policy. As a teaching artist, Theo works regularly with Guthrie Theater, Penumbra Theatre, and Upstream Arts. Theo has also worked with Ten Thousand Things, Park Square Theatre, Pillsbury House + Theater, and Theatre Pro Rata, among others.
Valerie Oliveiro (she/her/hers) is an artist born in Singapore and based in Minneapolis, MN. She is a performer, designer, photographer and manager. Most recently she has performed in projects by Jennifer Monson (Live Dancing Archive, In Tow), Morgan Thorson (Still Life) and Bouchra Ouizguen (Corbeaux). She is currently performing in Public Love by Morgan Thorson and Weave by Rosy Simas. Thorson’s and Simas’s work tour through 2020. This winter, she started working with Pramila Vasudevan for her new project 1/30. Her recent lighting design projects include Parking Ramp Project by Pramila Vasudevan (September 2018) and Yam, Potatoe an Fish! by Alanna Morris Van-Tassel (October 2018). She also recently started a photo series of dances (photo-solos), which is photographed, printed and distributed individually to an audience as the only available object of the dance. Her photographic work has been shown at Indigo (Champaign, IL), the University YWCA (Urbana, IL). Schneider Gallery (Chicago, IL), OBJECTIFS (Singapore), Murmur Gallery (Atlanta, GA). In the last year, she has managed projects by Bebe Miller and Cynthia Oliver. An excerpt of her dance work was performed at the Walker Art Center in November 2018 and a full version will be performed for the Red Eye’s New Work 4 Weeks Festival in June 2019.
Jeffrey Wells (he/him/his) is an interdisciplinary performance creator and producer working in Minneapolis for the past 12 years. Jeffrey is a co-founder of the performance ensemble SuperGroup, which has created over 30 performance projects since its inception in 2008. SuperGroup has performed throughout the Twin Cities and nationally and is the recipient of a 2017 McKnight Choreographer Fellowship. Aside from SuperGroup, Jeffrey has worked with several arts organizations in a producing and administrative capacity. Along with being the administrative associate at Red Eye since 2016, Jeffrey has worked at the educational organization Project Success in their middle school theater program, sat on the board of DanceMN as the chair of the financial committee, and has worked extensively with Cornerstone Theater in Los Angeles both as company manager and as associate director of their summer institute program from 2004 to 2011. Jeffrey is an accomplished performer and has worked with Rosy Simas, Pramila Vasudevan, Karen Sherman, Fire Drill, and Judith Howard, among others, and has served as a directorial consultant on projects for Anat Shinar and Laura Holway. Jeffrey is currently in year two of training to become a certified Feldenkrais Method® practitioner as part of the Santa Fe 6 training program.