THE RACHEL ROSENTHAL COMPANY
2847 S. ROBERTSON BLVD.
LOS ANGELES, CA 90034
phone = 310-839-0661 fax = 310-837-4511

 


Artistic Mission:

The Rachel Rosenthal Company, established in 1989, is devoted to educating professionals as well as would-be professionals within the theatrical and performance disciplines, and the public at large, about current artistic, social, environmental, technological and spiritual issues, through the performing and teaching of interdisciplinary theatrical arts. The Company's philosophy supports the belief in interconnectedness of all things, be they human, trans-human, planetary or cosmic. We hold that art and life derive from identical basic principles, and that one impacts upon the other. We teach that we must live fully in Time and Space, and that to create is to heal ourselves and the Planet. Our convictions are illustrated by our activities that enpower and liberate, unite and consolidate, and bring people, ideas, and a large range of cultural and social realities together in the ecstatic and communal ritual of art.

History: The RR Co was founded by Rachel Rosenthal, an internationally-known interdisciplinary artist, whose body of work of mostly solo performances spans a twenty year period. Ms. Rosenthal began to teach her intensive weekends, The DbD Experience, in 1979. Since then, she has added another pedagogic format, The 8-Week Class, and has designed workshops and residencies for most of the major schools in the country. The RR Co, in its brief existence, has been host to and presenter of several student performances in its space, ESPACE DbD, as well as other venues such as The Lhasa Club and the Taper Too. A special multi-ethnic workshop called SPECTRUM, as well as other special projects such as workshops for battered women and persons with HIV/AIDS, and a multi-ethic extravaganza, "Zone", presented by the UCLA Center for Performing Arts in 1994, were part of its activities. RR continues to teach, tour her solo pieces nationally and internationally, and lecture. In 1993, she began to put together a Company of players with the goal of creating a performing groupwith DbD's techniques and principles. This group is now fully formed and, in 1995-96, has gone public.

Goals:

 

1. Long-Term: We are finessing the development of the Company to achieve national and international stature. Because of the current political and economic climate, touring a large number of people, and even getting presenters interested, is going to be a challenge. As a result, we are willing to stay together at great personal hardship and sacrifice to reach a point of public recognition that will position us on the cultural map as a strong personification of theatrical innovation and excellence, as well as a mouthpiece for philosophical principles that combat the contemporary plagues of racism, sexism and speciesism.

2. Short-term: We are building our reputation very carefully in two aggressive ways: inward and outward. By inward we mean a continuous and rigorous training, workshopping a minimum of 15 hours a week, to perfect ourselves, taking master classes to hone various aspects of our instruments (voice, body), while continuing to educate ourselves in other disciplines such as history, the sciences and literature, so as to enrich our minds. By outward, we are talking about a well-orchestrated and timed build-up of visibility and public interest through public performances, literature, articles, interviews, and audience discussions after shows. Many avenues of outreach are planned in teaching, lecturing, and going out to other communities for demonstrations. Our hope is that our importance as a social and artistic force will be recognized as a result of our Company's talent and perseverence, and that a financial base can be established that will sustain and support our group.

Community development:

 

Input from audiences: RR has, for several years, established a pattern of audience input wherever she performs by interacting with those spectators who choose to remain for a Q&A period after her solos. In this way, she has been able to gage the extent of the performance's impact on audiences, what different audiences' concerns were, etc. The Company has continued this tradition and the discussions with audiences after the "TOHUBOHU!" shows have been lively and are building a community of people who believe in the power of art, and the ability of theatre to bring people together. We are only at the very first baby steps of this process, but are confident that a strong and nurturing force can be forged from these exchanges, to benefit artists and non-artists alike.

The "TOHUBOHU!" performances have been playing to sold-out houses. By popular demand,we are scheduling another series in May. People who come to the shows are typically students, professionals, scientists, writers, actors, Inner City people, i.e. a mosaic of Los Angeles society. In addition, the ethnic make-up of our Company (African-American, Latino, Filippino, Sino-Japanese, Jewish, Christian, Gay, men and women of all ages), appeals to many different groups and attracts them. When such people talk to us after the shows, we can assess their concerns and incorporate this information in our frequent Company assessments and evaluations. We are very concerned with our ability as artists to communicate with and spread the word to as many people as possible, thus opening the possibility of a greater acceptance of difference and the esthetic and ethical bases for its appreciation.

 

List of Collaborations:

 

1990: "Amazonia". Collaboration of RR with The California EAR Unit in creating and performing a performance piece incorporating Rachel (text) and 4 members of the EAR Unit (music). This piece was performed at the LA County Museum of Art, the Ojai Music Festival, and the Aspen CO Art Museum.

1991: "Spectrum". Collaboration with the Taper Too. The Theatre gave us the space free, and we produced the performance. "Spectrum" created a piece called "Viendo Oro". The workshop was a rainbow of ethnicities and the various pieces that comprised the show were developed collaboratively by the twelve members.

1993: The DbD Experience for People with HIV/AIDS was organized with the collaboration of the Gay and Lesbian Center Los Angeles.

1993-4: "Zone": Presented in collaboration with UCLA Center for the Performing Arts. Part of the funding came from UCLA and part was raised by The RR Co. "Zone" involved up to 55 players, some professional, some not. They were of all different ethnicities, and many returned to the RR Co to become students. The present Company includes several of these people. Another "Zone" collaboration was with Mehmet Sander, a Turkish dancer/choreographer based in Long Beach, who created the movement choreography for the piece.

1994: The 6-Week workshop for battered women was organized in collaboration with Prototypes a center/shelter for battered women, women dealing with substance abuse. It culminated in a performance for the straff and other residents of that shelter entitled"Floater of Feelings" (title chosen unanimously by the women in the workshop).

1995: Benefit performance for the L.A. Free Clinic Domestic Violence Project and the L.A. Commission on Assaults Against Women at GLAXA Studios in Silverlake.

1995: Benefit for the performance space HIGHWAYS. The RR Co donated a performance to support that space.

1995-6: "TOHUBOHU!" is a completely collaborative evening of theatre, totally improvised by the performers, and involving the improvisational collaboration of two musicians and a lighting person.

1996: The RR Co is doing a performance to support the UCLA Ecological Coalition, at Schoenberg Hall, a benefit in remembrance of poet-ecologist Ken Saro-Wiwa's execution by the Nigerian Government.

1996: Collaboration between The RR Co and Cal State Los Angeles. In exchange for three performances in the theatre, The RR Co will donate 10 hours of residency, teaching workshops, to Cal State LA students.


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