On the first Tuesday of each month The News, presented by SOMArts Cultural Center, features new, queer work by Bay Area artists. The News is a monthly cabaret evening that spotlights 10-minute or less performance pieces, experiments, and works in progress by pre-selected solo artists, groups, or troupes.
This October’s curator and host Kolmel WithLove invites Annah Anti-Palindrome, Silk Worm (Eric Eich), Bernadette Herself (Eli Mc Nally), Shaunna Vella and Kat Marie Yoas to the stage.
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.
Annah Anti-Palindrome is a bay-area based musician/Optical Sound-Smith, writer, and queer/femme antagonist who hails from the working-class craters at the base of the Sierra Foothills. Annah performs using a variety of different mediums including a Line 6 (DL4) looping system, kitchen utensils, gas-masks, raw eggs, blood pressure cuffs, found objects, her body (mostly her throat), and more!
As part of the 2014 National Queer Arts Festival, Annah co-edited Passage and Place, an queer anthology on Home. Annah is also the co-editor of 1-2-3 Punch: How Misogyny Hurts Queer Communities, curator for the East Bay’s monthly event, Culture Fuck!, and a collective member of Deviant Type Press (www.devianttype.net). Her written work has been published in Transfer literary magazine, Buckets Kicked: Writings on Radical Grief, and in the QZAP archives (Queer Zine Archive Project). She is currently finishing her book, Resisting Palindromes (a poem).
Silk Worm (Eric Eich) is a drag performer, filmmaker and photographer, born in Georgia and currently studying performance under Helen Paris and Leslie Hill at Stanford University. His most recent project is a short film and crooked coming-of-age tale, “Kimbie Wants,” written by Ratty St. John and featuring Ryan Tacata.
Bernadette Herself (Eli McNally) is a SFAI student born and raised in the Bay Area. McNally’s work wonders about everyday fantasy living— the ways that we create our realities and share them, and how we decide what is fantasy and what is unshareable. Working in a variety of mediums, he invites people to engage with these decisions of what is and isn’t real. McNally uses jokes and fantastical characters to invite people into the strange uncertainty of everyday living. His drag character, Bernadette Herself, performs campy burlesque at the Stud a couple times a month.
Shaunna Vella is a choreographer, dancer, and teacher who explores the unseen layers of the world through movement and the ritual of performance. She is a founding collaborator in the performance collective Stranger Lover Dreamer. She has been teaching in the Bay Area for over 10 years, and currently teaches at St. Mary’s College, Shawl-Anderson, and ACE Dance Academy. Her choreography and performance installations have been seen at local venues such as ODC Theater, Counterpulse, Dance Mission Theater, LeFevre Theater, The Garage, Studio 210 and The Ashby Stage, as well as unexpected corners and open spaces. Shaunna is curious and expansive.
Kolmel WithLove is part event producer & part artist, with their work deeply rooted in history, storytelling, and radical forms of collaboration. Their films have screened at Frameline Film Festival, MIX Mexico, Seattle Center of Contemporary Art, and in the book and DVD project “Strange Attractors.” WithLove has performed in venues including SOMArts Cultural Center, CounterPULSE, Highways Performance Space, various galleries, a few living rooms, two leather bars and a piano lounge. Their most recent vision and radical collaboration, “Womenhouse,” is a feminist drag queen collective, pulling together twelve other local drag queens to re-imagine groundbreaking feminist performance works. They are the creator and curator of the monthly queer performance evening The News at SOMArts Cultural Center.
Kat Marie Yoas is a writer, comedic healer, candle maker and owner of Stevie Wicks Magic Candles, actor, magic sharer, performance and video artist and working class smart ass and sweet heart living in San Francisco. Her essays and stories have been published in anthologies, graphic comics and zines. She’s performed her stories and characters on stages, at colleges, bars, theaters and bookstores across the USA, Europe and the UK with her queer literary families, Sister Spit and the Moon Babes. Kat Marie is artist in residence at The Garage and creates one woman shows and sold out collaborative comedic adventures called “lady comedy” with Ben McCoy. She has had residences with the RADAR Lab in Akumal, Mexico and through AIRSpace. She is currently at work on her first novel about Michigan and the notions of home we battle and embrace, her next one woman show “A Lesbian’s Guide to Self Care” and a collaborative feminist comedic performance series. Kat Marie recently brought her intuitive candle healing to the National Queer Arts Festival exhibition Queer Prophesies. Contact her for candles, pouring appointments, performance inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured: Shaunna Vella, photo by Hannah Cairns