Composed by Jimi Cabeza de Vaca and Joel Jerome
Leo Garcia is an award-winning playwright, filmmaker, performance curator, producer, visual artist, and actor and has served as Highways Performance Space's Artistic Director and Executive Director since 2003 where he has developed and presented over 800 performance works. His work is Influenced by the didactic of agitprop and inspired by the optimism of naiveté.
As a playwright, Garcia has chronicled his family’s genealogy, ten-generations plus of New Mexican family history, in his cycle of plays entitled The Abduction of Hernan Cortes: The New Mexico Cycle. The cycle explores the themes of abduction: of land, of self, and of alien abduction, and follows the lives of five New Mexican families from 1598 to present.
Garcia’s plays have won awards from The National Endowment for the Arts, Theatre Communications Group, New York Foundation for the Arts, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, The National Hispanic Media Coalition, and MCA/Universal. His works have been developed and presented by numerous nationally-established companies and presenters, including The New York Shakespeare Public Festival (The Public), The Jewish Repertory Theatre, International Arts Relations Theatre (INTAR), The Los Angeles Theater Center, The South Coast Repertory Theatre, The Tiffany Theatre, and Santa Fe Stages, among many others.
Garcia worked for many years with his mentor internationally acclaimed playwright and director Maria Irene Fornes. He has the unique and distinct honor of being a member of the orginal writers in Fornes' playwright residency program at INTAR in NYC. He worked with Fornes as both a writer and actor. He has been directed by her in her plays in New York, Los Angeles and Siena, Italy at the Dionysia World Festival. Notably, Fornes also directed Garcia's play, Dogs, at West Coast Ensemble Theater in Los Angeles. Garcia is one of two living playwrights whose work Fornes chose to direct.
Leo has appeared in over 30 off-Broadway and regional theatre works and hosted the Emmy nominated NBC Special, Another American, followed by television work in Los Angeles, where he guest starred in episodic television, including his favorite, Star Trek the Next Generation, and was a regular on the daytime drama serial Santa Barbara.
While in Los Angeles, Garcia wrote, produced and directed his first film, A Rainy Day, which was distributed by Universal Television and shown in festivals nationally and internationally.
Garcia recently produced the independent full length feature Excess Flesh, a psychological thriller with tones of body horror: " a modern day Los Angeles. the entrapment of dreams. the prison of self. a la Polanski, Zulawski, von Trier." Excess Flesh premiered at SXSW on Friday, March 13, 2015. Theatrically, Excess Flesh was released for a one-week Limited Engagement in Los Angeles in October, 2015. The film is distributed by Midnight Releasing and is available on VOD/DVD on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and others.
Garcia also produced ten minutes is two hours, a short-form documentary video shot in South Sudan. ten minutes is two hours is both a work of and a commentary on cultural exploitation. It is a self-consciously “cinematic” re-creation of a journey through a land plagued by the ghosts of colonialism and the present anxiety of conﬂicting religious and political agendas – both of which can often seem one and the same. Evoking a surreal sense of place, both very present and very distant, the video depicts the hazy lines between notions of “foreign aid” “missionary practice” and “colonialism,” and shows the ways history has of recycling itself. The essayistic, experimental nature of the work is inspired by the politically charged silent-era montage of Dovzhenko, Vertov, and Eisenstein and the later impressionistic ﬁlm and video works of Marker and Godard.
He served as an artist, teacher, director and producer for numerous productions and classes at Highways Performance Space; resident playwright with the Mark Taper Forum's Latino Theatre Initiative; and project artistic director and playwright with the community-based San Diego Playwrights Project.
Garcia has also been a fixture on the Los Angeles alternative performing arts scene for many years, one of a handful of artists who represent a fully developed, professional approach to multi-disciplinary work. His solo performance works include "My Alien Abduction" and "Leo Garcia is Dead."
The Los Angeles Stage Raw Theater Awards awarded Garcia with the 2016 Queen of the Angels Award. Garcia was "honored for his tenacity and skill while serving as artistic director for Highways in Santa Monica – recognition that his social media supporters described as “long overdue.”"
Out Magazine recognized Garcia as one of the OUT 100 of 2005, a list of the year's most interesting, influential, and newsworthy LGBTQ people as a result of his many contributions to the arts as well as his indefatigable activism on behalf of alternative artists and the alternative arts community through the support and presentation of their performance works and in service to the community at large.
In 2010, Garcia was honored by the HARC Foundation as a recipient of Trumpet Award for "his unique and extraordinary contributions to the Arts and to humanity."
Other representative awards:
As a young person, Garcia was influenced by the presentational, didactic, agitprop plays he discovered in a little red book of “actos” by El Teatro Campesino and was inspired by the hopes and optimism he witnessed in Shirley Temple films.
As well as working as a full-time video post-production guru (editing, sound design, coloring, post supervision), Patrick Kennelly writes, produces, directs, and curates for film & video, theater, live events and the visual arts. In his highly stylized and darkly surreal genre-infused works, Kennelly examines the prismatic nature of identity - broken, mistaken, clashed, crossed, unknown. What is unleashed is a style of extreme "raw pop."
Kennelly was a recipient of the 2008 Princess Grace Award for Theater, and has received numerous fellowship, grants, and awards for his work. He received his BFA in Film/Video at Cal Arts and an MFA in Theater Direction at UCLA.
Kennelly is Artistic Director at renowned experimental arts center Highways Performance Space & Gallery, in its 30th year, as well as serving on their board of directors.
Kennelly's debut feature film Excess Flesh, which world premiered at SXSW in March 2015 to much controversy and divisiveness (The Daily Beast called it “the most twisted movie at SXSW—and of the year.”) is distributed by Midnight Releasing and is available on VOD/DVD.
Mark Kanieff is a Set Designer and Sculptor. His most recent designs include Democracy [sic] (directed by Johnny Yoder, Art of Acting Studio, HCLAB), Il Giasone (directed by David Radamés Toro, NEO Opera), Intimate Apparel(directed by Jaye Austin Williams, Chapman University), Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (directed by Carl Weathers, Edgemar Center for the Arts), and the dance piece The Other Side(directed by Sophia Stoller, Gramercy Studios). He has also designed for a number of productions in Rome, Italy, where he worked for 20 years in the field of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He received an MFA in Scenic Design from the California Institute of The Arts and a BFA in Sculpture from Carnegie-Mellon University. His most recent sculptures and installations focus on plodding. He has also been developing a puppet piece focusing on informed consent to perform medical research on human subjects.
Pablo Santiago is originally from Chiapas, México, and designs for theatre, opera, dance and gallery work.
Theatre - Regional: Destiny of Desire (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Goodman Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Arena Stage); Valley of The Heart, Zoot Suit (Mark Taper Forum); I Am My Own Wife (Laguna Playhouse); Time Alone, Dementia, A Mexican Trilogy (Los Angeles Theatre Center); Good Grief, Citizen (Kirk Douglas Theatre); The Cake, Skeleton Crew (Geffen Playhouse).
Opera: Breaking the Waves (Perelman Theater, Philadelphia; NYU Skirball Center); Pelléas et Mélisande (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra); On the Town, Das Klagende Lied, Boris Godunov, Soundbox with San Francisco Symphony (Davies Hall); Three Penny Opera (Boston Lyric Opera); Place (Brooklyn Academy of Music); Proving Up (Opera Omaha, Miller Theatre, New York), Prism (LA Opera, BMP), Ne Quittez Pas: A Reimagined La Voix Humaine (OperaPhila/O18 Festival).
Other: Distant Vision—Live-Cinema, directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
Awards: Richard Sherwood Award (2017), Stage Raw Award (2015), Ovation Award nomination (2019, 2018, 2014), Stage Raw nomination (2018), L.A. Weekly Award (2014).
Film: please visit his imdb.com page.
Education: MFA, Lighting Design, UCLA.
Located in Santa Monica, Highways Performance Space is Southern California’s boldest center for new performance. In its 31st year, Highways continues to be an important alternative cultural center in Los Angeles that encourages radical artists from diverse communities to develop and present innovative new works.
Described by the Los Angeles Times as “a hub of experimental theater, dance, solo drama and other multimedia performance,” Highways promotes the development of contemporary socially involved artists and art forms.
Our mission is to develop and present innovative performance and visual artists, promote interaction among people of diverse cultural backgrounds and engage artists and the communities they serve in cross-cultural dialogues about social, cultural and artistic issues.
EARTH or THE MONSTER OF TIERRA AMARILLA
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