Dark days for Theater Artaud. (News).Last summer San Francisco's Theater Artaud, one of the city's preeminent pre·em·i·nent or pre-em·i·nent
Superior to or notable above all others; outstanding. See Synonyms at dominant, noted.
[Middle English, from Latin prae dance venues, closed its doors. But not for long, if Project Artaud, the live/work collective that owns the space, has anything to say about it. "We are committed to Theater Artaud remaining a performance space," says Wendy Gilmore, a Project Artaud board member who also sits on its Interim Theater Committee. "Right now what we need is to buy some time to come up with a long-range plan."
Project Artaud, covering a full city block with its seventy-plus units, is one of the largest live/work spaces in the country. It was built as a tooling factory for the American Can Company in 1925. During World War II the 10,000-square-foot space, which eventually became Theater Artaud, was used to manufacture airplane parts.
For the first twelve years of its existence, Theater Artaud was administered by a committee from Project Artaud and became a focal point focal point
See focus. for a variety of local and visiting artists, among them Russian dissident poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko (Russian: Евге́ний Алекса́ндрович (translated by Lawrence Ferlinghetti) who attracted an audience of some 5,000.
Under the direction, of Dean Beck-Stewart, Artaud became San Francisco's most important mid-size dance venue for both local and visiting dance companies. It attracted attention with its yearly "Men Dancing" series and several "Black Choreographers This is a list of choreographers A
Art of creating and arranging dances. The word is derived from the Greek for “dance” and “write,” reflecting its early meaning as a written record of dances. by African Americans African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race. .
In the last few years, with the appearance of other, more conveniently located venues and diminished arts funding, Artaud struggled to survive and finally had to go into bankruptcy--though Keith Hennessy's marvelously inventive Circo Zero managed to complete a highly successful three-week run in July.
As for the future, "we are trying to think outside the box," Gilmore says. "It might include a film series a couple of nights a week, or using the space for rehearsal during the day. Right now we need to recoup recoup
To sell an asset at a price sufficient to recover the original outlay or to offset a previous loss. some of our losses." But dance audiences shouldn't despair. Project Artaud has acquired the theater's assets-lighting and sound systems, the seating, the dance floor--and plans to present dance again. "I am just as invested in this place staying a dance venue as many others are," says Gilmore.