Willa Cather lifted up underappreciated small town people and their work as literary. This piece seeks to imagine where Willa Cather would have focused her eye if she were living now. Our work currently is to seek out visions for what this might be.
We will interpret our findings through the artistic means that are native to us – dance & theater. Currently, our central image is a barn raising — rendered in the abstract medium of dance, performed in the prairie and accompanied by texts from Cather and the contemporary people we think might have been her subjects.
How you can be involved!
At the heart of our interest in Cather is the way she has of capturing the scope of everyday work — especially of working the land. We think about how she describes the plow in Ántonia — “heroic in size, a picture writing on the sun…,” just before it is forgotten and sinks back into “its own littleness somewhere on the prairie.”
If Willa Cather were writing about working people today, who would she write about? What would her symbols be?<br>Click here to tell us your answer!
Who we are:
Sarah Bush Dance Project creates and presents multimedia dance theater through innovative artistry, community interaction, and intersectional feminist ideals. SBDP creates art that reminds audiences of the power and compassion in ourselves and others, bolstering a resilient hope for humanity. Since 2007, Sarah Bush Dance Project has produced five critically acclaimed repertory shows in the Bay Area: Home, Rocked by Women, This Land, the Isadora Duncan Dance Award nominated Spirit & Bones, and Un-Changing Nature. They are currently artists in Residence at Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary.
Sarah Bush’s devised dance-theater work has been commissioned by The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, Berkeley Art Center, Axis Dance Company, Destiny Arts Center, Mona Khan Company, and SF Movement Arts Festival at Grace Cathedral. Her work has been presented by A.C.T., Z Space, National Queer Arts Festival, Global Women’s Rights Forum, National Women’s Studies Association, West Wave Dance Festival, and at the Wilsey Center for Opera and the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts. Sarah is the recipient of the 2019 Della Davidson Prize, a Dance Europe Critic’s Choice selection, and awards from Curve Magazine and Bay Area Dance Watch.
Libby King is a Brooklyn based Queer actor, writer, and mom. Most recently King was seen at ACT’s the Strand Theatre in a production of Jacklyn Bauhaus’s Men on Boats. She co-wrote and performed in the world premiere of Patti & the Kid at On the Boards in Seattle, WA. King is a member of the acclaimed Brooklyn theatre company the TEAM. For over a decade she has helped author and perform in award-winning published works. Currently King and the TEAM are in-progress on RECONSTRUCTION, their upcoming show that likens Gone with the Wind to a Confederate monument and explores whether or not it should be torn down. Her commitment to new work extends throughout her career, performing in premiers across the country; most notably, 27 by Abi Morgan, Tectonic Theatre Company’s The Laramie Project Cycle art BAM, and working with the SITI Company, 600 Highwaymen, the National Theatre of Scotland and David Byrne. Libby is currently knee deep in writing her first full length play MOM. GONE. GRASS. and is so excited to be collaborating on a new project about Nebraska where she hails from!
Becca Wolff is a California-based director collaborating with performers/creators to explore deeply personal material in bold new ways. Projects include Sarah Bush Dance Projects’ Rocked by Women, Giovanni Adams’ Love Is a Dirty Word; VS. Theatre Company, LA & tour to Z Space (SF). The Kilbanes’ rock opera Weightless, Z Space & tour to ACT’s Strand Theater in San Francisco and the Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival in association with BRIC Arts Media. Her work has been named to Best Of lists in the SF Chronicle and LA Weekly. Awards and nominations for her work include Princess Grace, Outstanding Solo Show & Outstanding Musical at the NYC Fringe, Ovations (Los Angeles), Theatre Bay Area and Bay Area Critics Circle. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, co-creator of SCOTUS Theater. http://www.beccawolff.net
Willa Cather Foundation
A big thank you to the Willa Cather Foundation and the National Willa Cather Center. Dig deeper into the treasure trove of information about Willa Cather in their virtual tour of Red Cloud.