Awardee: Erika Chong Shuch

Performing Arts, 2016

Erika Chong Shuch is a performance maker, choreographer and director whose topic-driven ruminations coalesce into imagistic assemblages of music, movement, text, and design. Interested in expanding ideas around how performance is created and shared, Erika’s work has been performed in city halls, theaters, industrial offices spaces and food courts. Her work has been supported and commissioned by Berkeley Rep’s Groundfloor, Yerba Bueana Center for the Arts, deYoung Museum, Dancers’ Group, Liz Lerman’s Dance Exchange/ Corcoran Gallery/DC, and in Korea: Daejeon Metropolitan Company, ChangMu Company, Mullae Art Space.  Erika received the Gerbode Foundation’s Choreographer’s Award, Goldie Award, Falstaff Award, Helen Hayes Award (nominee) for Conference of the Birds at the Folger/DC. Erika choreographs regularly for theater companies such as California Shakespeare Theater, American Conservatory Theater, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Erika was Associate Director for Gift of Nothing (Kennedy Center) and recently performed Ariel in The Tempest and Titania in Midsummer at Cal Shakes. Directing credits include Eurydice and God’s Ear at Shotgun and Lily’s Revenge (by Taylor Mac) at the Magic Theatre. Erika is currently developing Upcoming Iron Shoes with Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble. Shuch’s greatest daily collaboration is with her son: Wakes Jackson, age 3.

Project: For You

For You is an audience engagement performance laboratory guided by the goal of expanding ideas around how performance is created and shared. A series of works will be created in separate phases. For each phase, twelve individuals are selected through a widely-cast application including questions about what keeps them up at night, self-portraits and photos of favorite objects. During individual meetings with the selected twelve, the artist hears stories, sees pictures and looks at trinkets. The shape and content of each performance is thus determined by that which speaks to the twelve’s desires and concerns, and performed only for those twelve. The creative team will document the process, from initial applications and in-home interviews to select rehearsals and culminating performances. The application deliverables and documentation will be made public via an online gallery and book.

We are creating a new model for making performances that can be taken to multiple communities, sites and environments. Working intimately with our selected audiences, we emphasize how meaningful exchanges unfold through process, and culminate in participatory, performative adventures.