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Works & Process at the Guggenheim Presents The World Premiere of John Jarboe’s Rose: You Are Who You Eat, co-presented by La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club

March 26, 2022

Works & Process, the performing arts series at the Guggenheim, is proud to present the world premiere of John Jarboe’s Rose: You Are Who You Eat on March 26, 2022 at 7:30 pm. Taking place in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designedPeter B. Lewis Theater at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, all programs invite audiences to embrace artistic process and uniquely blend performance highlights with insightful artists discussions. See video preview: WPA Virtual Commissions: “Rose: a true story and song” by John Jarboe on YouTube.

Rose: You Are Who You Eat is a true story set to music. Artist John Jarboe writes:

In 2018 my aunt revealed I had a twin in the womb.
She said, “You know you had a twin in the womb?”
I didn’t know.
She said, “You ate her. That’s why you are the way you are.”
This was a lot to swallow.
My aunt’s pronouncement that my gender stemmed from an act of fetal cannibalism is the seed for this piece: a celebration and “digestion” of this newfound twin, who I later learned would have been named “Rose.”

Commissioned by Works & Process, Rose is a shrine of music, image, objects, and text, that brings together a team of queer artists, including composers and musicians Emily Bate, Daniel de Jesús, Pax Ressler, and Be Steadwell with director Mary Tuomanen, to tell the legend of John and Rose. Jarboe, known as the founding artistic director of the Bearded Ladies Cabaret, explores this tale through musical styles ranging from art song to 1980s pop ballad, elaborate floral-inspired costumes made by Rebecca Kanach, intimate storytelling, and a feast of wordplay. This evening will feature a concert of original songs performed by a live band and set alongside a garden of images made with filmmaker Christopher Ash. After this event, the project will continue to evolve into films and an art installation in which fellow genderqueers can nourish their own idiosyncratic identities.

“It’s not every day you learn that you are a gender cannibal,” said John Jarboe. “I’ve been working on this project with Works & Process since spring 2020, but in a way, I have been working on it since conception. It’s been a long process of digestion and one I’m ready to share with people in live space. It’s a healing ritual of sorts that I hope will do for the audience what it is doing for me. As queer folx, however we identify, we are always in dynamic tension between being who we are authentically and the tyranny of respectability: fitting in by making ourselves more palatable, more recognizable to a cis-het society in order to get through the day, escape harassment, and for some of us, just to survive. I don’t pass. I don’t fit into a clean, commercialized narrative of transition. What I love about the story of Rose, is that it is unmistakably disrespectful, pretty tasteless, and entirely me.”

Following the Works & Process premiere on March 26, the concert experience of Rose can be seen at CulturalDC’s Source Theatre on April 1-2. Over the next 18 months, CulturalDC will work with Jarboe to realize the evolution of Roseinto an immersive, multidisciplinary installation.

Conceived, Written, and Performed by John Jarboe
Director: Mary Tuomanen
Producer: Emily Schreiner
Music Director: Emily Bate
Video and Scenic Designer: Christopher Ash
Costume Designer: Rebecca Kanach
Stage Manager: Nic Labadie-Bartz
Production Manager: Calvin Anderson
Lighting Design: Evelyn Swift Shuker
Sound Designer: Taylor Jedlinski
Props & Wardrobe: Scott McMaster
Video Engineer: Yōsuke Araki

Musician – Keys: Pax Ressler
Musician – Cello: Daniel de Jesús
Musician – Drums: Mel Regn

Music by: Emily Bate, Daniel de Jesús, Pax Ressler, Be Steadwell
Lyrics and some melodies by John Jarboe

Rose first came to life in Jarboe’s Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commission, an initiative launched by Works & Process in the early days of the pandemic to provide artists with creative and financial support during a period of uncertainty. Working towards shaping a more inclusive, fair, and representative and colorful world, Works & Process commissioned the live performance of Rose and provided the project with a bubble residency at Mount Tremper Arts in fall 2020. In spring 2021 the project also received a Works & Process bubble residency at Bethany Arts Community, made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Throughout the pandemic, Works & Process continued to provide opportunities for artists and pioneered the bubble residency to support their work safely. The spring 2022 season will feature the official world premieres of works created by New York artists – many representing historically marginalized performing art cultures – and incubated during the peak of the pandemic inside 2020-21 Works & Process bubble residencies. Alongside the commissions, Works & Process will present performance excerpts of and artists discussions about new works prior to their premieres at leading organizations including BAAD!, BAM, Boston Ballet, Federal Hall, Glimmerglass Festival, The Metropolitan Opera, and New York City Ballet.

$35, $15 partial view. Pay-what-you-wish tickets are available for purchase online only at worksandprocess.org. House seats may be available for $1,000+ Friends of Works & Process. To purchase house seats, email friends@worksandprocess.org. House seats may be released to the public before performances.

Health and Safety Information
Every audience member must be fully vaccinated and will be required to show proof in person of vaccination authorized by the FDA or WHO against COVID-19 before entering the theater. Proof of vaccination may include a CDC Vaccination Card (or photo), NYC COVID Safe app, New York State Excelsior Pass, NYC Vaccination Record, or an official immunization record from outside New York City or the United States. Full vaccination is defined as being two weeks or more after receipt of the second dose in a two-dose series, or two weeks or more after receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine.
Visitors over the age of 18 will also be asked to show a photo ID.
At this time, children under the age of 5, for whom there is currently no available vaccination, will not be permitted to attend this performance regardless of the vaccination status of their guardian.
Bring your three-ply face mask, N-95, or equivalent to keep yourself and one another safe. All individuals will be required to wear a face mask at all times.
There is no coat check; please do not bring bags.
Do not attend if in the ten days leading up to the performance, you have tested positive or experienced COVID-19 symptoms or come into close or proximate contact with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case. If you are unable to attend due to COVID-19 exposure, please contact boxoffice@guggenheim.org in advance of the performance.
An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public environment where people are present. Those visiting the museum do so at their own risk of exposure.

Lead funding for Works & Process season is provided by Stephen Kroll Reidy with additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, Christian Humann Foundation, Leon Levy Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Evelyn Sharp Foundation, The Geraldine Stutz Trust with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Works & Process has received support from the U.S. Small Business Administration Shuttered Venue Operators Grant and Paycheck Protection Program and NYC Employee Retention Grant Program. Rose began as a commission and presentation from Works & Process at the Guggenheim through a bubble residency at Mount Tremper Arts in Fall 2020 at Bethany Arts Community in Spring 2021. The spring 2022 performances are developed with support from Works & Process, CulturalDC and FringeArts. Rose has also received support from The Bearded Ladies Cabaret via the John S and James L.Knight Foundation and individual donors.

John Jarboe
John Jarboe (she/her) is a director, singer, writer, producer and host serving you revolution, herstory, queer community making, and a whole lot of glitter. She is the founding artistic director of The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, a Philadelphia-based company, now eleven years old. She has directed and written original work performed at La Mama ETC, Joe’s Pub, and for Opera Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Wilma Theater, Works & Process at the Guggenheim, and Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Series. As a writer and performer Jarboe has toured to Paris, Poland, New Zealand. As a director Jarboe has directed and helped create shows for Cookie Diorio, legendary Mezzo Stephanie Blythe, and for Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo.

Works & Process at the Guggenheim
Described by The New York Times as “forward thinking” and “an exceptional opportunity to understand something of the creative process,” since 1984 Works & Process has welcomed New Yorkers to see, hear, and meet the most acclaimed performers and creators of the performing arts. Led by Producer Caroline Cronson and Executive Director Duke Dang, Works & Process nurtures and champions new works, shapes representation, amplifies underrepresented voices and performing arts cultures, and offers audiences unprecedented access to generations of leading creators and performers. Artist-driven programs blending performance highlights with insightful discussions are, when permitted, followed by receptions in the rotunda, producing an opportunity for collective learning and community building while also helping to cultivate a more inclusive, fair, and representative world. Approximately fifty performances take place annually in the Guggenheim’s Frank Lloyd Wright–designed, 273-seat Peter B. Lewis Theater. Annually Works & Process produces a program at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain as well. In 2017 Works & Process established a residency program inviting artists to create newly commissioned performances made in and for the iconic Guggenheim rotunda. In 2020 Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions was created financially support 84 new works and over 280 artists and nurture their creative process during the pandemic. To forge a path for artists to safely gather, create, and perform during the pandemic from summer 2020 through spring 2021, Works & Process pioneered and produced 250 bubble residencies supporting 247 artists, made possible through the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. On March 20, 2021, after over a year of shuttered indoor performances and with special guidance from New York State’s Department of Health, Works & Process was the first cultural organization to reopen live, indoor ticketed performances in the rotunda of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. worksandprocess.org


March 26, 2022


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