The News: Fresh, Queer Performance

What: The News: Fresh, Queer Performance

When: Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 7:30–9pm, house opens at 7pm.

Where: 934 Brannan St. (between 8th & 9th)

How Much: $5 admission. Advance tickets:

The News is the new place to see fresh, queer performance by Bay Area artists. On the first Tuesday of each month The News will spotlight performance pieces, experiments, and works in progress by pre-selected solo artists, groups, or troupes. An informal session for artist-led critical feedback follows the performances.

This April AIRSpace’s new director Ernesto Sopprani (THEOFFCENTER, Emerging Arts Professionals) curates work from the most recent group of resident artists as well as that of friends and supporters of the program.  Join AIRSpace champion and mentor/board member Joe Landini (TheGarage, Market Street Now) in introducing this new phase of the AIRSpace residency project. The evening features performances by Rotimi Agbabiaka,  Brontez Purnell Dance Company, Dia Dear, Evan Johnson, k r m Mooney & Nicholas Andre Sung, José Navarrete, Eroca Nicols, and Phoebe Osborne.

Register for The News: Queer Performance Series in San Francisco, CA  on Eventbrite

The nature of The News is to give artists access to critical space for risk-taking in performance. In addition to artists selected by a guest curator, a “wild card” performer or two appears in each line-up at The News. “Wild cards” are artists who may not have been selected by the guest curators, but join in the evening to share new work. Artists interested in performing as a “wild card” at The News can find more information here.


Rotimi Agbabiaka moved to the Bay Area 3 years ago after receiving an MFA in Acting from Northern Illinois University. Before Illinois he lived in Texas and Nigeria. In the past year he has performed with the San Francisco Mime Troupe and joined the cast of Beach Blanket Babylon. Last September he wrote and performed in the solo play, Homeless, which won the award for best solo performance in the 2010 San Francisco Fringe Festival. He has also workshopped and performed at Queer Autonomous Zone (QAZ), Yerba Buena Center (with Jess Curtis) and at various locations with THEOFFCENTER. He’s even popped up on a drag stage or two around town. He’s excited to dive into the world of blogging with such fine company.

Brontez Purnell Dance Company has been presenting experimental dance and movement theatre works with a radically open understanding of the forms, bodies, and idioms of dance since 2010. Brontez Purnell, author of the cult zine Fag School and frontman for his band The Younger Lovers, along with founding company member Sophia Wang, build works that combine punk rock subversion, free jazz improvisation, and a company comprised of movers and artists of all disciplines. The company has performed its original works at Oakland’s Lobot Gallery, The Berkeley Art Museum, The Garage, Counterpulse, SOMArts, and at Kunst-Stoff Arts, as part of Fresh Festival 2014.

Dia Dear’s work explores the essence of human-ness and reality. Stylistically combining nightclub aesthetics and traditional forms of performance, Dia Dear uses trickery, sincerity, and pop culture to create emotionally visceral and visually evocative eruptions in time. Dia Dear has been a featured artist at SFMoMA (SF), Highways Performance Space (Santa Monica, CA), The Lab (SF), SomArts (SF), CounterPULSE (SF), as well as numerous nightclubs in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Art Basel Miami. Learn more:

Evan Johnson is a Bay Area based actor/creator. His previous solo work includes “Don’t Feel: The Death of Dahmer” (11.11 Art Group) at Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory. Evan has appeared onstage in the Bay Area with Inferno Theatre Company (“The Iliad”), Velvet Rage Productions (“Roseanne LIVE!”), Naked Empire Bouffon Company (“SHAME!”) and others. NCTC audiences may recognize Evan from lead roles in “Treefall” and “Slipping”. Evan was nominated for a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award (Best Actor in a Drama) in 2012 for “Treefall.” “Don’t Feel: The Death of Dahmer” was featured in the SF Bay Guardian’s year end review as one of the best small theatre productions of 2010. Evan would like to thank Ed Decker for this special opportunity.  Learn more:

k r m Mooney ( b. 1990 Seattle, works and lives in Oakland, CA ) works through gestures of abstraction as a strategy of resistance. Mooney is the director of “doubt it / talk series,” received a BFA from California College of the Arts in 2012 and is a current member of Real Time and Space.

José Navarrete, a native of México City, studied theater at the National Actors Association’s Institute Soler and Dance at the National Institute of Fine Arts in México. His choreographic work has been presented by the Bay Area Dance Series, the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Dance Festival, Summerfest, Theater Artaud, ODC Theater, and Dance Mission Theater. Navarrete has also received two nominations for the Isadora Duncan award in choreography and performance. In 2004, he was awarded a Bessie Schönberg Choreographers residency at The Yard and a Djerassi Resident Artist Program fellowship. He has a B.A. in Anthropology from UC Berkeley and an MFA in Dance from Mills College. He currently teaches dance to youth at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and will be creating a new work on students at California State University East Bay in Spring 2010.

Eroca Nicols studied in professional programs in Canada at both Ballet Creole and The School of Toronto Dance Theatre before pursuing further training in functionally based and improvisational forms. After earning her Honors BFA in Film/Video/Performance and Sculpture from California College of the Arts (San Francisco, CA), Eroca Nicols’ artistic practice shifted to the body. She is currently a nomadic Toronto-based artist, curator and educator. Her company, Lady Janitor, has presented work in Canada, USA, Europe, and the UK. Eroca has performed with Matthew Smith, Andrea Nann, Les Imprudanses, Francesca Pedulla and is co-founder of the arts advocacy and professional training provider, the Toronto Dance Community Love-In.

Eroca aka Lady Janitor is here in the Bay Area in residency at Kunstoff Arts and The Garage.

Phoebe Osborne is a choreographer and a mover. Her purpose and practice is to offer an embodied response to what is happening, rooted in listening and noticing. Her work has touched on concrete issues such as identity and culture, as well as explored the vast realities of subjects such as time and memory. Originally from the Bay Area, Osborne has also worked and lived in San Diego, Barcelona, and London.

Her current work God Sees Everything (July 2013-present) uses the topic of psychedelic drugs to unravel the modern approaches to the spiritual and transcendent qualities of the human experience and the fragmented capitalistic politics and power structures of white modernity. She has found that within an investigation of psychedelics, she is able to look at both abstract esoteric fields and global politics and relations, which she believes are deeply entwined within the collective psyche.

Nicholas Andre Sung is the director and curator of n/a, a queer contemporary art space in Oakland, California, and a multidisciplinary artist concerned with ontology, failure, sentimentality, presentation, and queer phenomenology.

Kolmel WithLove is the creator of The News. WithLove curates, builds cameras and costumes, collaborates with other artists, makes films, and performs. Their films have screened in a variety of settings including Frameline Film Festival, MIX Mexico, Seattle Center of Contemporary Art, RAID Projects and in the book and DVD project “Strange Attractors.”

WithLove has performed in venues including SOMArts Cultural Center, CounterPULSE, Highways Performance Space, The Velaslavasay Panorama Theatre, The Garage, various galleries, a few living rooms, two very nice leather bars, and a piano lounge.

AIRspace is a performing arts residency that supports the creation of new queer experimental theatre, contemporary dance, spoken word and multidisciplinary performance. By providing free rehearsal and performance space as well as critical feedback and artistic development opportunities for emerging LGBTQ artists in the Bay Area, we strive to strengthen and elevate queer Bay Area artistic voices, especially those artists that are least represented in the mainstream, including women artists, transgender artists and artists of color.  More info at

 Brontez Purnell Dance Company, photo by Robbie Sweeny