The Talking Band creates and produces original interdisciplinary works for the theater. The company was founded in 1974 by Ellen Maddow, Tina Shepard, and Paul Zimet, former member of Joseph Chaikin’s Open Theater. Initially, The Talking Band worked with contemporary poets, in order to find a concentrated and charged language as immediate and forceful as gesture or movement. Since its beginning, the company has collaborated with designers and musicians as well as poets to create works of rich and energetic language underscored by a broad range of musical expression and visual imagery. The company has produced over forty new works for the theater which illuminate the extraordinary aspects of ordinary life. The company chooses stories and themes that are important to their lives and to the lives of the community around them, while at the same time they explore the aesthetic possibilities of the theater form. The company has performed in New York City at La Mama, Theater for the New City, Dance Theater Workshop, Downtown Art Co., BACA, Symphony Space, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and The Ohio Theater. They have toured extensively in the United States, as well as Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, Russia, France, England, and Denmark. The company also runs The Talking Band Performance Lab for both emerging and established performing artists to exchange ideas and skills, create new works, and develop performance techniques required by new works.
During its Swing Space residency, The Talking Band will rehearse Taylor Mac’s The Walk Across America For Mother Earth to be presented at La Mama January – February, 2011.
Image credit: courtesy of the artist