On February 5, local collaborative performing arts ensemble COMPLEAT STAGE will debut its inaugural ROOT SERIES with the performance of The Story of Echo and Narcissus. The program will include Ruby Lou Smith's adaptation of Ovid's original texts, narrated by Smith and accompanied by original improvised music by Raúl Gómez on violin and electronics. This will be followed by a short lecture entitled Reflections of Ourselves in the Myth of Narcissus by Aaron Yarmel and the world premiere of Gómez's Narcissi, a piece for string quartet and Instagram. Visual art by New Orleans' Chet Overall and Nancy Smith from Atlanta, GA will also be featured in the event.
"The reason why this event is unique is that it brings together artists from different disciplines in what will be a magical evening of storytelling," said Smith, who is also the Artistic Director of this emerging company. "And that is at the very core of what COMPLEAT STAGE stands for. We are a non-profit professional performing ensemble that tells stories through innovative shows created by interdisciplinary artistic collaboration."
Gómez, Music Director of the ensemble, continues: "Our mission is to provide artists and audiences in New Orleans with a platform for creativity, expression and imagination. We engage, inspire, challenge and empower our community to live a fuller, more collaborative life."
Smith and Gómez have been exploring interdisciplinary collaboration since their days as graduate students at Louisiana State University. Their first work together was Smith's one-woman show, A Waltz with Zelda, presented as her MFA thesis show in the College of Music and Dramatic Arts. Gómez was finishing up his doctoral studies in orchestral conducting, and jumped at the possibility of collaborating with Smith. "Her artistic vision and great talent as an actor were the perfect catalysts for my musical inspiration." After both artists relocated to New Orleans, COMPLEAT STAGE was founded as the natural result of this creative partnership.
ROOT Series is the company’s inaugural season, which will start with the performance on February 5. “My main goal with ROOT Series is to celebrate and investigate the human experience, and engage other artists and art appreciators in a dialogue about art, life and wonders,” said Smith. “We will look into stories, classics or new, with as many variations as possible. Forms could be spoken text, music, written and read essays, psychological questions or theory, visual art on canvas, photography, ceramics, dance, and any other form that can give life to the story and the discussion. Each parlor show we host will be in a house, store front or other intimate space, free of charge, and tied to a central theme.”
For more information and to schedule an interview with the organizers please contact Ruby Lou Smith at 504-264-1064 firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about COMPLEAT STAGE also available at www.compleatstage.org. Press is invited and encouraged to write a review of the event.
A Fundraiser for Make Music NOLA (previously known as the Youth Orchestra of the Lower 9th Ward): performances by Opera Creole, the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans, Tulane University Orchestra, and students from Make Music NOLA.