This week, REDCAT presents the 20th annual New Original Works (NOW) Festival, a celebration of Los Angeles’ vibrant community of artists creating new performance work.
Over three weekends (Aug. 17-19, Aug. 24-26, Aug. 31-Sept. 2), the NOW Festival showcases the world premieres of nine new works by Los Angeles artists redefining the boundaries of contemporary performance: JOJO ABOT, Tuixén Benet (Film/Video MFA 20), Erica Bitton (Theater BFA 10), Cade, Vanessa Hernández Cruz, Melissa Ferrari (Film/Video MFA 19), Mark Golamco, Ironstone, Huntrezz Janos (Film/Video BFA 18), Jordi, Antigoni Tsagkaropoulou, Kevin Williamson, and their collaborators.
With a sharp interest in rituals, fantasies, and memories, the works use history and technology to formulate diverse, other-worldly futures that provide a counterpart to our reality while allowing us to examine injustices around us.
NOW Festival 2023 was organized by Edgar Miramontes, REDCAT’s former deputy executive director & curator, with Administrative Manager Rolando Rodriguez. Participating artists were selected through an open application process helmed by a committee of artists and NOW Festival alumni including Sola Bamis (Theater MFA 11), Dami Spain, and CalArts Dance faculty Rosanna Tavarez.
“NOW Festival has been introducing impactful new work to the world for the past two decades,” said João Ribas, REDCAT’s Steven D. Lavine Executive Director and Vice President for Cultural Partnerships. “NOW Festival continues to be driven by experimentation and each year, artists give us an opportunity to view the world and our collective future in new and imaginative ways. Now more than ever, it is important to support the voices of artists, and we look forward to continuing this vital tradition for many years to come.”
Each year, NOW Festival premieres new and innovative work in contemporary dance, theater, music, and multimedia performance by LA-based artists. All artistic teams receive production, technical support, and artist fees. Since the first edition in 2004, NOW Festival has presented the work of more than 200 artists who continue to be seen on stages throughout the U.S. and abroad.
As artist Sara Lyons told the Los Angeles Times, “It’s one of the few places where it’s possible to get support for a new piece from the very beginning of the idea through to the premiere.” This Emancipation Thing, the work Lyons debuted at NOW Festival 2022, will be presented in full at REDCAT on Dec. 9.
Each of the three festival weekends features a triple bill of world premieres in a shared evening. Each program debuts on Thursday evening and repeats Friday and Saturday at 8:30 pm. Performances will also be livestreamed each Saturday evening during the festival’s run. Patrons can also purchase a pass to attend all three weekends of the festival, both in-person and virtually.