MacArthur fellow and Living Legacy Artist Liz Lerman returns to MANCC to develop Healing Wars, a work that examines how we heal ourselves, individually and collectively, during and after war. Lerman’s piece touches American conflicts from the Civil War to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and asks how we absorb the impact and aftermath of war.
Lerman’s second MANCC residency for the work and third trip to Tallahassee builds on her experiences to date and offers her full cast of collaborators time to finish this important work before its premiere run in Washington DC in June. The Healing Wars cast includes six professional dancers, a former Marine, and actor Bill Pullman, with
scenic and costume design by David Reynoso, lighting by Heidi Eckwall, projections by Kate Freer, and sound by Darron L West.
Lerman’s previous visits to MANCC have allowed her to draw upon the expertise of area veterans and scholars to further the development of Healing Wars. In March 2013, Lerman met with representatives from FSU’s School of Engineering, including Dr. Chad Zeng, an assistant professor who leads a team that has been awarded four million dollars by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs to advance the functionality of prosthetic limbs. She talked to Col. Billy Francis, the director of FSU’s Veteran Center about the needs of veterans as they return to civilian life as students. Lerman also met with Dr. Kristine C. Harper, Associate Professor in FSU’s History Department and retired Naval Commander about her experiences as a female commissioned officer. During Lerman’s November 2013 residency, she met with Dr. Deanna Epley and FSU graduate students Meredith McMackin and Heather Barta to discuss their experiences with war and then work directly with the cast.
Healing Wars will premiere at Arena Stage June 6 – 29, 2014.
Performers: Josh Bleill, George Hirsch, Ted Johnson, Bill Pullman, Tamara Pullman, Alli Ross, Samantha Speis, Keith Thompson
Production Manager: Meg Kelly
Stage Manager: Olivia O’Brien
Media Designer: Kate Freer
Lighting Designer: Heidi Eckwall
Costume/Scenic Designer: David Reynoso
Sound Designer: Darron L West
Associate Sound Designer: Matt Hubbs
Video Assistant: Stevo Arnoczy
Liz Lerman is a choreographer, performer, writer, educator and speaker, and the recipient of numerous honors, including a 2002 MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship and a 2011 United States Artists Ford Fellowship in Dance. A key aspect of her artistry is opening her process to various publics from shipbuilders to physicists, construction workers to ballerinas, resulting in both research and outcomes that are participatory, relevant, urgent, and usable by others. She founded Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 1976 and cultivated the company’s unique multigenerational ensemble into a leading force in contemporary dance until 2011. She was an artist-in-residence and visiting lecturer at Harvard University in 2011, and continues to teach nationally and internationally from Edinburgh to Australia. Current projects include the genre-twisting work “Blood Muscle Bone” with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Urban Bush Women; work in London with Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the London Sinfonietta; and an online project called “The Treadmill Tapes: Ideas on the Move.” In 2013 she curated Wesleyan University’s symposium “Innovations: Intersections of Art and Science,” bringing together teams of artists and scientists from North America to present their methods and findings. Her collection of essays, “Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer,” was published in 2011 by Wesleyan University Press and will be released in paperback this year.