Brief Background of the X-plicit Players
Performance HistoryThe X-plicit Players have been performing in theaters and in the streets since 1991. We've created more than 200 performances; including about one per week in 1998.
Based in Berkeley, California, our local performances have included a 1992-93 series of 15 monthly events at New College, sponsored by the Department of Arts and Social Change; the 1992 Naturists Western Convention; and the 1994 National Convention of the Libertarian Party. We have performed at dozens of nightclubs, bookstores, cafes, and art galleries in the SF Bay area.
Farther afield, we've performed at NYU, the Laguna Seca Museum of Art in Austin, Tx and Hampshire College in North Hampton, Mass. We've also staged numerous events in Austin Tx; New York City, Rochester and Syracuse NY; and Miami, Gainesville and Tampa Fl.
We have been invited lecturers at New College in SF, the University of Texas in Austin, and Hampshire College in Mass. At the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU in NYC, we were the centerpiece of a 3-day symposium on "The Human Body in Performance Art". Most recently we've been invited speakers at the Naturist Foundation's National Legal Symposium in Miami, Fl.
We've been featured on and interviewed by the local, national and international press, radio, television and web-based media. We get letters of interest and support from people as far away as Brazil, Denmark, Australia, Korea...
PersonnelThe X-plicit Players are directed by Debbie Moore and Marty Kent.
Debbie Moore studied anthropology and art at Princeton, and film and documentary in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received a BFA in painting from the California College of Arts and Crafts. She has focused on figurative painting and painting on skin for 25 years and has had one-woman shows in 12 cities. Her interest in addressing the human body caused her to paint fabrics for her Berkeley based X-plicit Clothing manufacturing company for a decade. Debbie's fashion and painting shows have included her psychic/palm readings, poetry readings and the creation of living body sculptures. Now, Debbie utilizes her background in anthropology, film-making, figurative painting, psychic reading and performance art in her work with the X-plicit Players.
Marty Kent has been an actively performing musician for 30 years. He has concentrated on music associated with trance and religious experience, including the music of India and the psychedelic rock music of America. From 1981-1994 he worked as a research scientist, investigating social phenomena in "learning environments", sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research. Central to his work were the relationships between psychological states of attention and understanding, physiological conditions such as breathing, heartbeat and gaze, and social standards of intimacy and privacy. He's very happy to be able to combine his skills and knowledge from these domains in his work with the X-plicit Players.
The cast of the X-plicit Players includes poets, cartoonists, painters, political activists, video artists, massage therapists, stand-up comedians, and a Pentecostal religious minister. We all share a sense of the great potential for beauty in human nature, and a willingness to engage in sometimes-controversial activities in order to make real some of this beauty.
MaterialThe X-plicit Players' theater emphasizes not just the communication of ideas, but also the facilitation of new forms of personal experience for the audience and performers. In addition to presenting ideas with the traditional narrative forms of the theater, we also make body contact with our audience, and direct them in physical, as well as intellectual experience.
The main themes of our performances include the nature of personal self, self-knowledge and self-awareness, intimacy between individuals, and how this intimacy is expressed within and effected by the social milieu. We deal with spiritual, psychic, intellectual, and physical matrices of these themes.
Because this manifestation of personal and interpersonal feelings is of central importance to us, we do a lot of our performance on the street, where these issues are clearly visible. The street is both a forum where we present the results of our Body studies, and a laboratory where we advance them.
Our 1997 events centered on issues of conflict and refuge. We illustrated the possibilities of refuge in sacred places (e.g. The Park) and in sacred community (e.g. the people who make eye contact on the street) as alternatives to psychological denial in the face of life's difficulties. With the phrase "Be the Park!" we exhorted people to provide refuge for one another with their personal attentions. We committed many "radical acts of friendliness" in the streets. To the uncaring eye, many of these acts were indistinguishable from "normal" behavior, and there were many instances of police intervention. These interventions served to illustrate very strongly the reality of the blindness we were addressing.
Our 1998 events emphasize "Nature in Boxes"; exploring the social history of addiction to rationality. We address the physical consequences and manifestation of this addiction (e.g. the current disastrous state of the physical environment) as well as its psychological and social aspects.
SummationIn our spectrum of themes from the personal to the interpersonal to the social, in our combination of presentations both intellectual and experiential, and in our presence both in theaters and in the streets, we feel the X-plicit Players to be a unique and crucial form of art and activism. The ongoing very warm response from our audiences continues to convince us we're providing a much needed, and much appreciated service to the community.
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