by Jaguar Bennett,
Tracy Teran, & Paula Balekian
The Rogue Festival will be here soon-it opens on March 1! Here are 3 more local performers coming to the Rogue Festival this year, sharing about their shows-2 in guest articles, and I had the chance to interview Jaguar Bennett about his show! There are more preview articles this weekend, and more to come all the way up to Rogue! You will be able to find them all in our Arts & Entertainment section. We also have a Rogue Festival event page with many of their press releases, and an article about this year’s Muse.
Jaguar Saves America
KRL: What is your show about?
Jaguar: I save America, of course. American democracy is in trouble, and I am the only person who can fix things. In my show, I outline how I will impose a temporary dictatorship to return the country to democratic values. Under my enlightened leadership, economic inequality will be abolished, injustice will be ended, opportunity and prosperity will be available for everyone, and true liberty will be restored. Only I have the capability of bridging our social divides and healing our wounded land. All I ask is absolute power of life and death over you and your family. This is a great deal for America. I am the leader you have been waiting for, and together, we will make America functional again.
KRL: How did you come up with the idea for it?
Jaguar: It’s no secret that American democracy has failed. It’s obvious that our leaders have failed us, but few think to ask, how did those leaders get into power? We put them in. It’s clear that the American people cannot be trusted. Democracy simply does not work. Out of my great compassion for the suffering of my fellow Americans, I decided that it was my duty to relieve all of you of the burden of choosing leaders and policy. Under the Bennett Administration, all you need to do is make one final choice — accept me as your absolute leader. I will take care of everything else.
KRL: How many solo Rogue shows have you done?
Jaguar: This will be my ninth. My previous solo Rogue shows have been Pain, Guilt, and Humiliation (2005); Sanitized for Your Protection (2006); Bullet Point: A Tragedy Told in the Form of a PowerPoint Presentation (2007); The Agony of Living (2014); How to Be Wicked (2015); Bullshit Is My Native Language (2016); Start Your Own Religious Cult for Fun and Profit (2017); and Mansplaining (2018).
KRL: How does this one compare to past ones?
Jaguar: All my shows are designed to make your life better. In How to Be Wicked, I showed audiences how they can overcome the restrictions of slave morality. In Bullshit Is My Native Language, I revealed how advertisers deceive you. In Start Your Own Religious Cult for Fun and Profit, I showed the limitless opportunities available to entrepreneurs in the growth industry of the 21st century, religion. In Mansplaining, I solved the problem of sexual harassment and ended conflict between the sexes. And in Jaguar Saves America, I will save America. I am a public servant. Everything I do is for you.
KRL: What do you like best about performing at Rogue?
Jaguar: The Rogue allows artists limitless freedom to present challenging ideas, and 100% of the box office receipts goes directly to the performer. The audiences are incredibly receptive and supportive. What’s not to like?
KRL: Anything you would like to add?
Jaguar: If you care about your country’s future, it is your patriotic duty to see Jaguar Saves America.
Four performances only!
• Saturday, March 2, 9:15 p.m.
• Sunday, March 3, 4:15 p.m.
• Thursday, March 7, 8:30 p.m.
• Saturday, March 9, 6:45 p.m.
All shows will be at Veni Vidi Vici, 1116 North Fulton Street, Fresno, in the Tower District.
Tickets $7, available at the venue 30 minutes before showtime or buy in advance at roguefestival.ticketleap.com/jaguar-saves-america.
Part of the 2019 Rogue Festival. For more details on the Rogue Festival, visit fresnoroguefestival.com.
Eve’s Wheel: An Exploration in to the Fractured Identity of us All
Written by Tracy Teran
Coyotes have a heavy, haunting presence. I live in Reedley, and frequently interface with these beauties either via direct encounter or in the echoes of the howls heard near the banks of the King’s river. These interactions, whether they are auditory or visual, have a viscous, dream-like quality. After the sound has dissipated or the animals depart from my pathway, a magical, lingering feeling of delight remains on my skin, flooding my ear drums or cascading my mental landscape. These day breaks are a coveted rupture from my daily car ride down Reed Boulevard.
Coyotes and their connection to humans inspired my newest production, Eve’s Wheel, that will be debuting at this year’s Rogue Festival on March 2. Part performance art and part art installation, this narrative production weaves drumming, sculpture, and movement to present an enigmatic relationship between the figure of Eve from Genesis and the beast that lives within her unconscious mind. Set elements include a mechanical tree, a painted landscape, and enigmatic animal masks.
Fractured identity is refracted through the lens of magical realism to explore the themes of female desire, physical impulses, rejection, and redemption. The performance incorporates anthropomorphic masks, costumes, choreography, and a set crafted by hand to provide the viewer with a beautiful escape to reimagine how the past informs the present.
The process of bringing Eve’s Wheel has been cathartic. It has provided us a site to explore what we’ve given up as women, the role of the predator in our own lives, and the possibility for agency. The collaborative production is driven by female creative contributions featuring Yanavey McCloskey as Eve, myself as Coyote, and Adrianna Sorondo as the narrator. Elena Rezai coordinated the choreography, and Julia Woli Scott created the painted background.
Eve’s Wheel will be performed at the Fresno Arts Council, 1245 Van Ness Avenue, on Saturday, March 2, at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Admission is $6 and tickets can be purchased online. They are also available at the venue 30 minutes prior to the event. Inquiries about tickets can also be sent to muddyfeet.performance@gmail[dot]com.
Tracy Teran is a writer, educator, and performance artist and producer. She teaches courses in Art History and Art Appreciation for Clovis Community College and Fresno State. She organizes private workshops for children and adults as a part of Muddy Feet Productions. Teran received a B.A. in History and Art History from U.C.L.A. and an M.A. in Art History and Graduate Certificate in Curatorial Studies from CSULB. She lives in Reedley with her husband and two children.
by Paula Balekian
The Do-Over manifested itself in the most organic and natural way. I had recently turned 60 and found myself spending a lot of time reflecting. I thought about events from my past, choices I made, my friends’ experiences and choices, and where I found myself now. I dedicated my professional life to education and theatre and wouldn’t have spent it any other way. Every aspect of my life has taught me something and I’m grateful for every experience, but I’d be remiss, and an all-out liar, if I said I didn’t have any regrets. In fact, I can’t understand why anyone would say such a thing. What about personal growth, empathy, self-reflection? How can a person grow without looking back and finding opportunities for a better way of handling something, or improvement?
As I churned these thoughts in my head, an idea presented itself: I can’t be the only one thinking about what I’d change. What wouldn’t we all give for a do-over? I’ve been taught that in theatre man is compelled to tell stories. I started out in Fresno, working on Fresno Children’s Playhouse, and moved away for many years shortly after, teaching high school theatre on the central coast. After moving back to Fresno a couple of years ago, it felt like everything had come full circle. For me, my love for theatre first emerged here and now, having returned, I realized I had completed 99 shows. I decided to participate in the Rogue Festival last year, marking my 100th show, but it didn’t feel like the truest representation of who I am. I wanted my final show to be this meaningful, cool memory that would wrap up my time in theatre.
I decided to get a hold of Britt Monahan and see if she’d be interested in working on one final Rogue show with me. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have been surrounded by a diverse group of friends and acquaintances, several of whom have given me 100% trust in telling their stories. Because we’re sharing from so many different points of view, we needed a diverse cast to give those stories a voice and were able to compile a cast of talented actors: Britt Monahan, Tony Sanders, Jonathon Hogan, Justin Kamimoto, Lydia Bustos, and Daisy Vela. Over the course of a few months, I reached out to and collected stories from people of different circles and stages in life and, with a little artistic license, have molded these stories into a showcase that answers the question, “What would you do with a do-over?”
In getting a slot in Rogue, and after asking our friend, Justin Kamimoto, to be a part of our show, I realized we had an opportunity to support the amazing work being done at Common Space. All money earned from this show, minus the venue fee, will be donated, and all proceeds from our performance on March 1, 2019 will go straight to Common Space. We’re here to tell stories, and any profit that results from our show will be given to Justin to further the incredible work he and his team are doing over at Common Space. For more information, or to make a donation yourself, please visit commonspacefresno.org.
We can’t wait so see everyone out and about during Rogue Festival 2019 and hope you leave our show pondering parts of your own past.
PG-13, latecomers ok, $10
3/1/19 10:00 p.m.
3/2/19 5:00 p.m.
3/3/19 8:00 p.m.
3/7/19 8:30 p.m.
3/9/19 6:30 p.m.
If you love local theatre, be sure to check out our new Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. The first 13 episodes are now up! You can check the podcast out on iTunes and Google Play, and also on podbean.