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a canary torsi | Yanira Castro, Last Audience: a performance manual,

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Purchase the printed or PDF version of the manual and receive access to the project’s final meal on Dec 13.

Featured images

Video Still of devynn emory from Dust, a score in Last Audience: a performance manual
Video Still of devynn emory from Dust, a score in Last Audience: a performance manual
Last Audience at New York Live Arts, 2019
Photo by Maria Baranova
Last Audience at New York Live Arts, 2019
Photo by Maria Baranova
Last Audience at New York Live Arts, 2019
Photo: Simon Courchel
Last Audience at New York Live Arts, 2019
Photo: Simon Courchel
Leslie Cuyjet for a score in Last Audience: a performance manual
Photo: Simon Courchel
a score in Last Audience: a performance manual
Photo: Simon Courchel
Last Audience at New York Live Arts, 2019
Photo by Simon Courchel
a score in Last Audience: a performance manual
Photo by Simon Courchel

About this event

Join the creative team behind Last Audience online for a culminating meal on December 13, based on Yanira Castro’s family recipe for arroz con gandules. Make the meal wherever you are in the world along with Castro, Kathy Couch, Stephan Moore, Leslie Cuyjet, devynn emory, David Thomson, Chicago community curator and artist Jorge Felix, and other audience members. Purchase the manual to receive access to this exclusive event, plus many other scores you can enact at home. Connect with fellow performers by sharing images on the online archive at lastaudience.com or with #LastAudience.

The event is moderated by Tara Aisha Willis, MCA Associate Curator, and Gibran Villalobos, MCA Assistant Curator.

Video

This program was presented virtually on October 24, 2020, and featured the artists of a canary torsi in a sneak peek of Last Audience: a performance manual. Joining the artists in conversation were Marshall Hatch, Jr., Executive Director of The MAAFA Redemption Project, an organization that works with young men in Chicago's West Garfield Park neighborhood, and MCA curators Tara Aisha Willis and Gibran Villalobos to answer questions about the project and hold thought-provoking conversation about how rituals of judgment and reckoning shape our society and our collective future.

a canary torsi Artistic Team: Concept, Direction & Original Scores by Yanira Castro Manuals Written, Compiled and Designed by Yanira Castro & Kathy Couch Audio & Video Performed by devynn emory & David Thomson Music and Audio Design by Stephan Moore Photographs by Simon Courchel Project Coordination by LD DeArmon

About the publication

Bessie-award winning collaborative, a canary torsi, reimagines performance for an era of social distance. Delivered in the mail as a series of printed booklets or digitally as a PDF, Last Audience transforms audience members into performers in their own homes, guided by the artists’ voices through rituals of mercy, judgment, communion and blessing. As participants stage their own interpretation of the artwork, they become both witness and creator, giver and receiver in an at-home performance of reckoning and transformation.

Who are we when we’re in a community? How do we assemble in today’s faltering democracy? What is our responsibility to judge, liberate, and have mercy on others? How do we move and make choices as a group, separated by physical and cultural distance? How can we reimagine the intimacy of theater for a new future?

Curator Credit

This project was organized by Tara Aisha Willis, Associate Curator, Performance and Public Practice with Laura Paige Kyber, Curatorial Assistant. The project is developed and produced by MCA Chicago and programming is presented in collaboration with Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.

Additional programming for Last Audience: a performance manual can be found at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.

Funding

Lead support for the New Works Initiative is provided by Elizabeth A. Liebman. Lead support for the 2020–21 season of MCA Performance and Public Programs is also provided by Elizabeth A. Liebman.

Major support is provided by the Alphawood Foundation and Julie and Larry Bernstein. Generous support is also provided by Lois and Steve Eisen and The Eisen Family Foundation; Ginger Farley and Bob Shapiro/the Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley Jr. Family Foundation; Susan Manning and Doug Doetsch; and Carol Prins and John Hart/The Jessica Fund. Additional generous support for MCA Stage is provided by Enact, the MCA’s performance affinity group. The MCA is a proud member of the Museums in the Park and receives major support from the Chicago Park District.

Foundation Season Sponsor

Hotel Season Sponsor

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The New Works Initiative puts the creative process at the heart of MCA’s relationship with Chicago by supporting the development of new performances and creative projects that foster connection between artists, audiences, and community.

Your gift ensures that Chicago’s living artists remain central to the MCA’s programs and fosters community among artists and audiences.

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“[T]his is the palpable sensation of art up-close and personal.”

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“I approach performance as a radical practice for democracy. It is not a spectator sport. It is a communal act and it requires us.”