Utah MOCA, Artcetera
Provo, UT | 2018
ABOUT THE SHOW
In late 2017 and early 2018, Provo art educators Jethro Gillespie and Jamie Rees worked with Whoop Dee Doo co-directors, Jaimie Warren and Matt Roche to plan a series of original performances to take place at the ARTcetera gallery space on May 12, 2018.
8 gifted students were chosen from four local high schools to compose the cast and crew and an amazing performance group was found in the Maple Mountain Ellevés, a drill team directed by Molly Brenchley.
Jaimie and Matt arrived in Provo on May 6th and began a week of after school workshops with the crew, jumping directly into brainstorm sessions, meetings with the collaborating performers and art-making and skill-building sessions.
By the end of the first day a mountain/magic theme had been chosen for the show and the Maple Mountain Ellevés had paid a visit, providing a jaw-dropping presentation of their favorite performance pieces.
The next decision was to use a variety show format that included quick skits, a crowd-participation contest and two performances from the Ellevés.
With the theme and format set, the crew brainstormed an abundance of ideas for costumes, set and installation elements, contest and skit ideas and possible collaborations with the Ellevés. Additional meetings with the Ellevés were used to hammer out the specifics of their performances and additional brainstorm sessions saw the editing of the wealth of ideas to fit a 15-minute performance.
A group of volunteers from Brigham young University and the community helped the high school crew and Jaimie and Matt to complete the set installation and the fabrication of all costumes, props, prizes. Rehearsals and run-throughs took place on the 11th and the final show was presented to the public 6 times between 6 and 8pm the evening of the 12th.
To open the show a giant violin-playing bug accompanied a mysterious, beatnik-influenced spoken word piece from a Mothman. Next, the show’s Bigfoot host welcomed the crowd with some Bigfoot-centric humor and introduced the first performance from the Maple Mountain Ellevés. After the Ellevés took their first bow, a ski lift gondola dropped off a Yodeling Yeti to host a wild, yodeling dance contest. Prizes were presented to the contest winners and the Bigfoot came back to introduce a group of mountain magicians, who telekinetically moved mountains and summoned back to the stage the Ellevés for a finale performance. Each show concluded with a group dance involving the cast, crew and audience.
In October, 2018 the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art presented the final video in an installation composed of set elements from the final Artcetera show. This exhibit remained open to the public for five months, concluding in March, 2019.
Maple Mountain Ellevés, Directed by Molly Brenchley
Isaac Van Wagoner