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Theatre professor gives commedia dell'arte performance as part of State of the Nation festival

March 13, 2009

Artemis Preeshl, associate professor of theatre arts at Loyola University New Orleans, will premiere her French and Spanish-style Mardi Gras mask solo, “All May Be Well,” part 1, Saturday, March 21, at 8 p.m., at Sidearm Gallery, 1122 St. Roch Ave. This performance is part of the State of the Nation annual art and performance festival.

Building upon expertise in commedia dell’arte and Shakespeare, Preeshl will play multiple roles, transforming voice, body and mask, through the deconstructed text from Shakespeare’s “All’s Well That Ends Well.”

Her new work follows on the heels of her experience at the international exchange last summer, in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. While there, she directed and performed in a scenario from Shakespeare’s “All's Well That Ends Well,” displaying her versatility between comedy and tragedy, at the first Balinese Fringe Festival. Preeshl also led commedia dell’arte and Shakespeare workshops with “All’s Well That Ends Well” text with the Queensland Shakespeare Company in Australia.

Her mask work integrates yoga, Fitzmaurice voice work, movement improvisation and the Michael Chekhov acting technique with speech and movement in mask. Toronto-based creativity coach Lisa Pijuan-Nomura, a fellow director from the Directors’ Symposium at the 2006 La MaMa Umbria International Festival in Umbria, Italy, consulted with Preeshl on her creative process for the one-hour solo to also premiere in Ukraine in June 2009.

State of the Nation is an annual art and performance festival that brings together artists from across the United States who are committed to addressing social, political and economic issues facing the Gulf South and the country-at-large.

Since 2004, the festival has been co-produced in New Orleans and Jackson, Miss. During that time, more than 350 works have been presented featuring dancers, musicians, theater artists, poets, painters, sculptors, filmmakers, activists and educators. Attended by thousands, this festival provides an opportunity to showcase projects and participate in workshops. This year’s festival will explore the intersection of art and activism around the specific theme of a tipping point. It will feature more than 100 competitively selected artists from the Gulf Coast, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Maryland, California, Hawaii, New York and beyond.

“At its best, it stands as a forum for democracy – a space for the free discussion of current affairs,” said Preeshl.

For more information, about the State of the National festival, visit its website at http://www.sonfestival.org.

For more information about Preeshl’s performance, contact Preeshl at aspreesh@loyno.edu or call 504-865-2686.

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