Exploring Joy At The Cornish Playhouse

Four artists explore joy as part of the Cornish Playhouse Arts Incubator. Photo: Courtesy of the artists.

Exploring Joy At The Cornish Playhouse

Cornish Playhouse at the Seattle Center offers free space for artists to develop new projects in its Arts Incubator program at the Seattle Center.

In today’s divided society, where being a part of a marginalized group (people of color, female, LGBTQI, etc.) can put you at risk - be a danger to your mental health, your well being, even your life - happiness can be hard to come by, especially if one ascribes to the belief that it is only achieved through financial gain.

Four artists explore the idea that joy can be a form of resistance to such thinking. Working on their project as part of the Cornish Playhouse Arts Incubator, poet/playwright Daemond Arrindell, visual artist Mary Coss, choreographer/movement artist Dani Terrell, and writer/performance Anastacia Renee Tolbert believe that joy is a state of mind and an intentional choice of empowerment.

As the group stated in their proposal: “But how do we engage [joy]? How do we reach this state of mind, intentionally? As artists we asked ourselves these questions and the conclusions that arose focused on digging into our intersectional identities. We plan to undertake a journey together to explore the critical, historical and personal metaphors inspired through the lens of water.”

They will experiment with how these ideas can be expressed within a permutation of written and performed poetry, dance, and visual art. “Our intention is to explore water as a vehicle for joy and transformation,” said Coss. “We share a common practice to pull back layers to explore the humanity and the conditions in which we live. We believe in transcending labels to search the underlying meaning and to interpret these ideas through a visceral expression that explores and examines transformation.”

All four have worked together before and have a history of cross inspiration. Arrindell and Tirrell have served together as Ambassadors for On the Boards. Coss, Arrindell, and Tolbert have collaborated recently on KISS FEAR, an engaging exhibit/performance on gun violence at BONFIRE Gallery. Arrindell was a participant in TEXTure at METHOD Gallery, an exhibit of visual artists and poets, curated by Coss, a cross pollination of new works. Coss and Tirrell have a history of working together with students at NorthwestTap Connection. Arrindell and Tolbert maintain an ongoing balancing act - they challenge each other while giving each other space, to encourage, not force, inspiration and development of new work.

Cornish Playhouse Arts Incubator is a public service program of the Cornish Playhouse. Every year, it allows selected artists to receive free rehearsal space to develop new projects. Other artists receiving the 2018 Cornish Arts Incubator award were Kate O’Day, Devon Munoz, and Nico Towers.

Arindell, Coss, Tirrell, and Tolbert will be at the Cornish Playhouse’s Alhadeff Studio January 29 to February 4. There will be a free open workshop performance of Joy as a Form of Resistance at 6:00 p.m. on February 4 at the Alhadeff Studio.