Next semester, EllaRose Chary, along with her collaborator Jay Stull, will be directing the TDM Fall 2020 Production and teaching a class entitled Making Horizontal Theater. EllaRose is a theatremaker who can be found working as a book writer, lyricist, playwright, and activist. We had the opportunity to have EllaRose answer a few questions for us in anticipation of her work with TDM in the fall.
What excites you about working in TDM this fall?
I'm so impressed by the students we've met so far and I can't wait to get to know them better and work with them more fully. We are in such an important moment as a theater community and national/global community and I believe as artists we can use horizontal theater to engage with and meet this moment, so I look forward to how the students will use the tools of this methodology to do just that.
What’s an upcoming project you have that you’re excited about?
I have a couple of projects I'm excited about right now - in the wake of COVID, my primary composer collaborator Brandon James Gwinn (@brandonjamesg) and I wanted to figure out how to translate what we were already doing (writing musicals, stories with songs and soundscapes, songs that are stories, etc.) to the digital world during a time of physical distance. We made a short musical, HOW TO SURVIVE THE END OF THE WORLD, that lives online (www.brandonandella.com) and are also curating a queer instagram project that features queer artists we love singing songs from our catalogue to foster discussion and a queer space (@thingsidontsayproject). We're also continuing work on our musical TL;DR: Thelma Louise;Dyke Remix and will get a chance to do it with actors (in whatever format the world allows) this fall.
What’s something you’re excited about happening in the arts community right now?
I'm excited about the conversations about justice and liberation happening in the arts community right now. I have long been a believer that the things that will fundamentally transform the arts are the same things that will transform society - universal housing, universal healthcare, universal basic income - and I'm pleased to see those ideas becoming more widespread in the arts community as well. There is a lot of striving to NOT go "back to normal" and I support that fully. Normal in the American theater had fundamental inequalities that hurt the form and prevented artists from doing their best work. I hope we can use this moment to transform normal into a world that is racially and economically just, and by extension theater will be a part of that world and reflect those values.
Learn more about EllaRose’s work here: www.ellarosechary.com