Last Fall, UFORGE Gallery teamed up with local theatre company Divine Stage Works as well as local businesses Taylor House Bed & Breakfast and The Loring-Greenough House to host a series of site-specific play readings throughout Jamaica Plain. The series, called PlaYces, fully embraced UFORGE's collaborative spirit and allowed us to explore a completely different art form. Peyton Pugmire, the Director of Divine Stage Works, wrote a bit about his experience with PlaYces.How does your mission statement relate to UFORGE's mission?
Divine Stage Works' mission: To INSPIRE through captivating and one-of-a-kind stagings of pre-existing theatrical works as well as creative adaptations; To INCLUDE the community in a collaborative and exciting theatre experience; To INFORM the audience about ourselves through the shared experience of live theatre
I feel Divine Stage's mission is very similar to that of UFG's as both companies like to think outside the box when it comes to our art, and we really want to make it accessible for the community. And with everything we do, we wish to inspire and educate.How did the gallery work as a performance space? Were there any challenges involved with performing in the gallery?
Performing Baby with the Bathwater, during the inaugural PlaYces series at the gallery last August, was awesome because it was Divine's first time performing in a non-traditional performance space. We love doing that because its unique, and it challenges our audiences to re-define the way they believe theater should be presented. The reading series is an intimate program, and the gallery provided a cozy atmosphere in which audience and actors could share the space and really be together - no boundaries! Plus, the Make Art Now exhibit at that time - inspired by the play's characters - served as our backdrop, which was fun.
Collaborating with UFG (and with the other PlaYces partners - Taylor House B&B and The Loring-Greenough House) was super fun and satisfying because there was so much excitement and passion from the team to stage the readings in a fun and unconventional way. Readings are wonderfully simple. UFG was totally on board, and they were very welcoming and accommodating to make it all work in their space. We cant wait to do it all again this coming fall.
Title-wise, we choose plays for the series that thematically fit the three venues (so, Yasmina Reza's award winning play, ART, in the gallery this coming November!), and we also choose the plays that might not fit, for various reasons, as a Divine Stage "main stage", full production title. But, they are all incredible works and deserve to be "aired out," heard, and brought to life through the readings' minimalistic staging.
PlaYces will return this year for it's second season - be sure to check it out this fall!