this photo was taken by me
On Tuesday, October 3rd, in front of the library, SFCC staff and students were treated to an amazing performance by the physical theater group known as the Carpetbag Brigade, from their show Mudfire. That evening, in the Music Auditorium, they also performed their show The Vanishing Point.
Known for the combining use of physical theater and poetic imagery, the Carpetbag Brigade was founded in Arizona in the year 1998 by Jay Ruby; co-director. According to their website, www.carpetbagbrigade.org the company is comprised of core performers including Kristen Greco; co-director, Anson Smith; demi-urge, Elizabeth Castenada, Melissa Castenada, Risa Dye, Calder McCutcheon, Breonna Noack, and Benjamin Turner.
“It’s kind of a mission, a lifestyle, and a calling,” said Jay Ruby, “which doesn’t mean I enjoy it all the time, but it’s important for people to experience theater together. Part of the reason I do it, is because of the web of relationships it creates.”
The company has also collaborated with local Arizona musicians, who have also participated in the shows.
In 2001, the company learned stilt work from David Clarkson; the founder/director of Australia's Stalker Theater Company.
“Enthralling, challenging, and inspiring,” said Kristen Greco.
]In 2002 Mudfire began as an early product of one of Clarkson's workshops. Mudfire is a dramatic portrayal of the relationship between men, gods, and other aspects of life, with the passionate element of fire. Through the interpretation of breathtaking stunts and elegant motions, the artists go through a variety of stages ranging from the beginning of time to the rebirth of a tree.
The Carpetbag Brigade’s other show, The Vanishing Point, is a performance using stilt work, poetic characterization, dance, and physical theater that tells the birth, the maturing, and the death of human nature.
In 2004, the Carpetbag Brigade launched its first tour of Mudfire, performing across the western coast of North America. In their 2005 tour, they gained some international exposure, as they brought Mudfire and The Vanishing Point shows to a couple of festivals in Colombia.
“Columbia is amazing,” said Ruby,” It has a vibrate theatrical culture.”
After it was over, fans applauded the company for their marvelous performance (on and off stage)
“It was exciting,” said Gus Morris, a student at SFCC,” I want to do it.”
“Best act on campus in a long time,” said Steve Navratil, media services.
With their 2006 summer tour finished, the Carpetbag Brigade will be taking the next few months off to polish up on their routine and skills. In 2007, they will premier Part II of the Vanishing Point entitled “The Horizon’s Lullaby.”