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The following is a list of recent performances created and performed by members and collaborators of the Joe Orrach Performance Project. Excerpts from these performances have also been used in workshops and classes hosted by JOPP. To learn more about how JOPP integrates performance material into workshops and classes, check out our workshop page.
"Tireless: A Tap Dance Experience" at Jacob's Pillow
Performance of Work Developed by JOPP
"In My Corner"
Written by Joe Orrach & Lizbeth Hasse
Directed by: Jeremiah Chechik
Produced by: Beth Hogan and Lizbeth Hasse
Sound Designers: Dino Herrmann and Mikael Sandgren
Lighting Designer: Briana Patillo
Artistic Director: Ron Sossi
Original Music and Musical Direction: Matthew Clark
Musicians: Matthew Clark (piano) |
Ronnie Gutierrez (percussion) | Eugene Warren (bass)
Film director Jeremiah Chechik (Benny and Joon, Diabolique, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) who brought his directorial talenst to this 12-week run of "In My Corner", creates a world inhabited by dynamic and passionate characters embodied by versatile actor, tap sensation, and former USAF welterweight boxing champ Joe Orrach. Blending the rhythms of tap dance, boxing, salsa, and live music into a narrative, at once energetic and intimate, the play is a father-son story of a street smart, wise guy Puerto Rican–Italian kid from the Bronx who comes of age in the ring and on the dance floor.
“.. there are poignant moments. Beautiful moments. And some not so beautiful moments. But all I can say is that it’s reality. It’s my truth.” - Joe Orrach
“This play taught me to follow my dreams whether people agree with them or not. It’s my dream and I will accomplish it no matter what it takes.”
– Bobby M., student at Estancia High School
Written by Joe Orrach
Choreography by: Joe Orrach and Andrew Nemr
Design and Lighting: Patrick Toebe
Original Music and Music Direction: Matthew Clark
Matthew Clark (piano)
Colin Douglas (percussion)
Sam Bevan (bass guitar)
STReeT/FeaT is a tap dance narrative that explores the beautiful and chaotic streets of New York City: home to the richest and the poorest, a city of passions and contrasts, where the art of living by some is only matched by the lust for life in others. STReet/FeaT sweeps us away on a tour of the grid-like New York City streets drawn with light and video, accompanied by the percussive rhythms of urban sounds, slamming heels, and punching ball strikes. The cast of two male tap dancers/boxers and one female tap dancer is led by Orrach and his impressive footwork.
Workshopped at the Lou Harrison House, Joshua Tree (Program by Eva Soltes), STReeT/FeAT premierd with its team of JOPP collaborators at the Théâtre de Sureshes Jean Vilan, Paris, France in 2018.
Written by William Mastrosimone
Directed by: Darcy Marta
Produced by: Lizbeth Hasse
Joe Orrach - Victor
Shirley Norman - Jessica
Jeffrey Weissman - David
Amanda Dempsey - Cathy
Cats Paw, was the first in a series of works performed at the main studio of the Joe Orrach Performance Project. These productions will bring innovative performances to engage new Bay Area audiences in a lively new theatrical experience.
The burning question of the relationship between terrorism and the media, current in 1985 when Mastrosimone first presented the play, and still urgent today, motivated JOPPs Artistic Director Joe Orrach and stage Director Darcy Marta to chose Cats Paw, a work with a relatively small cast (4 players) to launch this series of plays at JOPPs 4th Street studio. Cats Paw involves dual concerns of ecological disintegration (water pollution through willful government neglect) and manipulation of citizens through the media. It is a drama of personalities bound together by an unusual terrorist; brilliant, articulate, and obsessed with the degradation of the world's water supply and, with it, the final destruction of the human race.
Reflecting on why he wrote this piece, William Mastrosimone stated: "The terrorist thinks and acts in symbols, and the media appreciates the economy of image. Terrorism and media share a capacity to inflate or flatten people. On the television screen, the fruit-fly is magnified into an eagle; the mindless thing becomes a martyr; the crime becomes a myth. And so the collaboration goes."
"Roughing it Up: Dancing The Rubble at The Albany Bulb"
Renowned tap dancers Joe Orrach and Sam Weber will brought a high-energy original performance to the rugged outdoor spaces of the Albany Bulb, revealing new meanings in space and time. Sound, rhythm, and place are fractured and recombined through bodily motion and new appreciations of this landscape of rubble, rebar, and renegade vegetation.
Joe Orrach has "pure, smoking energy" --The LA Post
Sam Weber is "the equivalent of a virtuoso pianist." --New York Times
The Albany Bulb is a former construction debris landfill long known for its outlaw art, spectacular views, and complex human history. Located on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, the Bulb features multiple natural stages amidst the mountains of crumbling concrete and wildflowers.
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