Speak Easy On Nov. 9 with Rachel Rosenthal and Amy Knoles

Performance artist Rachel Rosenthal
Performance artist Rachel Rosenthal

The City of Culver City will present Speak Easy, an evening of spoken word and live electronic music featuring performance art icon Rachel Rosenthal and performer/composer Amy Knoles, on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 8pm at the Culver Events Center. Ms. Rosenthal will read her 1979 performance piece My Brazil on the occasion of her 85th birthday. The Speak Easy program is presented in association with PEN Center USA and is sponsored by Sony Pictures Entertainment. This autumn’s Speak Easy is a part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, initiated by the Getty.
Speak Easy is a series that features improvisational collaborations between distinguished performers in a unique cultural program on the west side of Culver City which is experiencing a time of revitalization. The Culver Events Center is located at 11948 West Washington Boulevard in Culver City. Admission is free and reservations are required. Seating may be reserved by calling the Cultural Affairs Hotline at (310) 253-5716. For more information about Speak Easy please call the Cultural Affairs Hotline or visit www.culvercity.org.
Rachel Rosenthal, Artistic Director and founder of The Rachel Rosenthal Company, is an interdisciplinary performer who developed a revolutionary performance technique that integrates text, movement, voice, choreography, improvisation, inventive costuming, dramatic lighting and wildly imaginative sets into an unforgettable “total theater” experience. In the last twenty-five years of her performing career she presented over 40 full-scale pieces nationally and internationally.  She created the experimental Instant Theatre, performing in and guiding it for ten years. She was a leading figure in the L.A. Women’s Art Movement in the 1970s, co-founding WomanSpace, among other projects. In 2000 she was honored by the City of Los Angeles as “a Living Cultural Treasure of Los Angeles”. Retired from the stage, Rosenthal resumed a long dormant career in visual art and is currently working in oil and watercolor. In addition to her work in the visual arts, Rosenthal is Artistic Director of a new ensemble of performers called TOHUBOHU! Extreme Theatre Ensemble who present evenings of Total Improvisation regularly in her studio space.

Amy Knoles has spent her career attempting to redefine the crossroads of music composition, multimedia art, and technology. Her solo works draw on a huge variety of source material from throughout history, language and culture as well as from her own personal imagination. Medieval polyphony, modern urban rhythms, atonal deconstructions and classic melodies have all been filtered through the lens of her idiosyncratic voice at one time or another.  Knoles’s ability to invent both high and low-tech methods of constructing musical and multimedia experiences as well as her virtuosity as a percussionist make for an ideal blend.  Amy has been the Executive Director of the California E.A.R. Unit for thirty years, and has recently created the department of Electronic Percussion for CalArts. She has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Kronos Quartet, Pierre Boulez, Rachel Rosenthal, the Los Angeles Master Chorale and many others.

Speak Easy is presented in association with PEN Center USA. Founded in 1943, PEN Center USA West (PEN USA) is a literary arts and human rights organization with a mission to stimulate and maintain interest in the written word, to foster a vital literary culture, and to defend freedom of expression domestically and internationally.
The Culver Events Center, an intimate special events venue, was once a speakeasy during prohibition. It has a versatile indoor/outdoor setting which is a favorite for weddings, parties, fundraisers and occasional movie shoots. Hidden away behind Leaf Organics, at Washington and Inglewood Boulevards, the intimate courtyard, gardens, bar and hall are reminiscent of olden days when Culver City gave birth to the movie industry.
Speak Easy is part of Pacific Standard Time. This unprecedented collaboration, initiated by the Getty, brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.


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