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Stagestruck: Expecting the Unexpected

The adventurous theater of Ko Fest

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014
photo by Ed Dittenhoefer

We are a theater of ideas,” said Sabrina Hamilton in her curtain speech before the first show in this summer’s Ko Festival of Performance. For nearly a quarter-century now, Ko (the name comes from the I Ching hexagram for revolution through casting off the old) has presented off-center works by adventurous companies and solo artists. Each season is formed around an idea—a theme that gathers together the various productions’ common threads. This year’s is Work/Job/Career/Calling.

The season began with Beau Jest Moving Theatre’s Apt. 4D, a playful take on city life and the artist’s imagination that combined nimble physicality with a film noir satire.

Since then we’ve had Yo Miss!, Judith Sloan’s hip-hop-inspired remix of her experiences “teaching inside the cultural divide” in schools and jails; and Co-Creation, a reminiscence by the innovative duo Conrad Bishop and Elizabeth Fuller on 50 years of “making a life and a living on the outer fringes of theatre.”

The season closes this weekend with Alice Eve Cohen in What I Thought I Knew, a one-woman, 40-character dramatization of her prize-winning memoir about becoming, unexpectedly, er, expecting—pregnant at age 44. The show explores the life-shift that interrupted her career and plunged her into “an odyssey through doubt, a broken medical system, and the complex terrain of motherhood and parenting.”•

 

What I Thought I Knew: Aug. 1-3, Holden Theater, Amherst College, (413) 542-3750, kofest.com.

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