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Futurefarmers: Out of Place, in Place
Founded in 1995 in San Francisco, the internationally renowned Futurefarmers group takes a collective, playful, inquiry-based approach to art making that spans multiple disciplines and ways of inhabiting the world, from sailing and farming to environmental design and DIY scientific experimentation. Their imaginative, environmentally conscious projects provoke audiences to question the many ways that humans try to control nature, or imagine themselves as separate from it. Their work can be described as social sculpture, a type of making that activates art’s potential to change society. Futurefarmers: Out of Place, in Place surveys their practice to date, and includes what they call a new “speculative fog-harvesting machine,” a live project to be constructed and activated over the course of the exhibition. This exhibition is part of YBCA’s ongoing Changing the Ratio initiative. Through 2019, more than 70 percent of YBCA’s planned exhibitions are solo shows featuring the work of female artists.

Dream Empire
Dir. David Borenstein
Yana is a twenty-four-year-old rural migrant recently arrived in Chongqing to pursue her dreams. Drawn by the glamour and easy riches of China’s real estate boom, she opens a “foreigner rental agency” designed to help Chinese real estate developers market their new developments. But the business takes a dubious turn as her clients are increasingly used in a surreal effort to turn remote rural ghost towns into “globalized booming cities” on days when outside investors and political leaders visit. This incisive new film dissects the reckless, mind-boggling globalized real estate market. (2016, 73 min, digital)

Hanzi / Konstantin Grcic: Design is Work
From modern Chinese typography to German-engineered furniture, this two-part program examines design and visual culture from vastly different angles.

This two-part program begins with Hanzi by Tsai Mu-Ming. From the producers of Design & Thinking and Maker, Hanzi explores international design, visual culture, and identity through the lens of modern Chinese typography. This labor-of-love project is not just about Chinese characters, but strives to apply its ideas and messages to all languages and cultures. Exploring universal questions—How does language shape identity? What role does handwriting play in the digital age?—Hanzi encourages us to revisit and rethink our own cultures, languages, and identities. (2016, 57 min, digital).

Next is Gereon Wetzel’s Konstantin Grcic: Design Is Work, a portrait of one of the world’s most innovative product designers. The film accompanies Grcic for an entire year. With the aid of design models, we observe the complete developmental process behind one of his most prominent pieces, Chair_One, from initial sketches to finished product, among other current projects. Design, indeed, is work, but also so much more. (2017, 54 min, digital)

Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf
Dir. Thomas Piper
Five Seasons upends conventional notions of nature, public space, and, ultimately, beauty itself. This deeply immersive and meditative documentary on the revolutionary landscape designer Piet Oudolf takes us inside his creative process, from his beautifully abstract sketches, to his theories on beauty, to the ecological implications of his ideas. (2017, 76 min, digital)

A Talk with Florian Idenburg and Neeraj Bhatia
Join us for this special program as part of our second floor gallery exhibition, The Open Workshop: New Investigations In Collective Form. Neeraj Bhatia of The Open Workshop and Florian Idenburg of the firm SO-IL will present on Umberto Eco’s The Open Work, an influential text for both firms.

* Ticket price includes gallery admission.

Harmony Chinese Musical Center (Hang Yuen) — Chinese Opera Fundraiser for Gum Moon Women's Residence
A Chinese Cantonese Opera show consisting of eight operettas, each about 30 minutes, with live music from famous musicians.

Lamplighters Music Theatre — The Pirates of Penzance
One of the most beloved of all operettas, and known as one of the “Big Three” of the Gilbert and Sullivan canon, Pirates is full of some of their most famous musical numbers, including “I Am the Very Model of the Modern Major General,” “Poor Wond’ring One,” “With Cat-like Tread,” and the glorious anthem “Hail Poetry”. Director Nicolas Aliaga frames his first production with Lamplighters through a more modern lens, emphasizing the late 19th Century concept of the “New Woman,” which embraced an entirely new feminist ideal. Major-General Stanley’s wards are intrepid, curious, and hardy, and the pirates themselves are gentlemen whose true crime is merely casting off society’s expectations; this will be a show about not doing what you are expected—or, indeed, duty-bound—to do!

Richard Howell / dawsondancesf — MANGAKU
With their fifth collaboration, Howell and Dawson continue their journey of bridging jazz and contemporary ballet. Borrowing from the title of Howell’s just-released jazz album, Coming of Age—MANGAKU, this program features the world premiere of MANGAKU, an ensemble work for nine dancers with live musical accompaniment from Howell and guest artists. Rounding out the program is Floating in Mid Air, another Dawson-Howell collaboration, a work which received its premiere at San Francisco’s Bayview Opera House earlier this year.

Dawson works in the contemporary ballet idiom, characterized by balletic grammar mixed with lissome spines, thrusting rib cages and swerving limbs. Dawson has a snappy vibe, and his confident choreography is at its best when showing off the speedy athleticism and muscularity of his dancers.

—Mary Ellen Hunt

Referring to Richard Howell: I have the deepest respect for his musical abilities. He walks in the same path as the great ones: Joe Henderson, Don Myrick to be mentioned in the same light. I have great belief in his talents. He will continue to make contributions in the time to come.

—Maurice White
Founder of Earth, Wind & Fire

Garrett + Moulton Productions — Stabat Mater and Mad Brass
Award-winning choreographers Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton return to YBCA Theater with a stellar cast of 23 dancers to present "Stabat Mater and Mad Brass"—an evening of two world premieres celebrating the resilience and joy of the human spirit. Together, these new works traverse a vivid visual, musical and theatrical landscape of both the sacred and profane, evoking a journey of transformation and exploring the capacity of the heart to meet adversity with love and grace. In a world increasingly filled with messages of fear, alienation, and despair, Garrett and Moulton’s work manifests images of light and hope. Since 2002, the company’s signature exuberance, lush physicality, and deep soulfulness have delighted, moved and inspired Bay Area audiences.

Post-performance Q & A with the Artists — Friday, September 7th

Gala Benefit Reception — Saturday, September 8th
Join the artists for a post-performance party featuring wine, hors d’oeuvres and desserts in the Grand Lobby. Purchase a benefit ticket that includes both the performance and after-show festivities.

Bay Area Now 8 Opening Night Party

Bay Area Now 8 Exhibition

Lamplighters Music Theatre — A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music is the enchanting story of three couples and their romantic machinations, set during the magical and romantic midsummer of Sweden at the turn of the last century. The story of the play unfolds through the eyes of the young and the memories of the old. The show employs an affectionate nod to the operetta style, blending witty and urbane dialogue with beguiling melodies. The proceedings are both manipulated and reflected on by a quintet of singers serving as a Greek chorus of sorts, sometimes participating in the action while offering commentary on the white lies, false witness and little treacheries of the lovers throughout the story. This exquisite blend of theatre and music styles provides an enchanting adventure as it explores the themes of lost loves, the yearning of the young, the sometimes foolishness of re-discovered middle-aged love and the gilded memories of the old. Accomplished stage director Dennis Lickteig directs his first show with Lamplighters since becoming Lamplighters’ Artistic Director.