NEW LONDON — Connecticut College’s onStage Guest Artist Series resumes in the spring semester with “Radicals in Miniature” by the Pickup Performance Co(s) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, and Saturday, Feb. 16, in Tansill Theater.
New York City native and Obie Award-winning playwright Ain Gordon will team up with percussionist Josh Quillen to recount the seminal but forgotten figures he met while coming of age in the city’s audacious artistic and gay fringe culture of the 1970s and '80s. Together, Gordon and Quillen poetically explore the influence of these characters, who endured the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and propelled "alternative" culture forward, including punk drummer David Hahn, dance reveler Elaine Shipman, club performer John Sex and disco artist Sylvester.
“This production spurs the audience to recall individuals that were influential in their own lives, but almost forgotten,” said Rob Richter, director of arts programming at Connecticut College. “It also highlights the impact of the digital age, as many cultural influencers of the past are not included in today’s digital historical record. This performance will remind us of their contributions and bring them front and center.”
Founded in 1971 and incorporated in 1978 as Pick Up Performance Co., Inc., to facilitate projects by David Gordon, the company was expanded in 1992 to include projects by Ain Gordon. It was renamed Pick Up Performance Co(s) in recognition of the dual father/son leadership with independent projects by each artist. PUPCos continues to be artist-led with multi-generational New York City roots supporting the wide-roaming interests of both artists in dance, theater, media, social practice and the fusing of disciplines.
— Nancy Burns-Fusaro