Posts in 2017
Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Pot's boiling on next edition of area festival

BAILEYS HARBOR, Wis - Door Kinetic Arts Festival returns this week to encourage creativity among established artists of stage, screen and the visual arts.

Cutting to the quick of an interview with founder Eric Simonson answering this: For the artists in the festival, what’s in it for them?

Simonson: “What we’re giving them is a space to focus on a particular work that they are working on. You could argue the point that they get that anyway – all they have to do is make that space. But, as any artist will tell you, many times that just doesn’t happen. Things get in the way. Life gets in the way. We give them a designated time and a designated place, which is, I think, a very inspirational place to create. We give them the opportunity.

“We bring their artists – the artists they want to collaborate with – all together in one space where everyone’s mind is set on one particular project. What we want to do is take that project one step further, one big step further to fruition. They get to see it in front of an audience, perhaps for the first time, which gives them invaluable feedback. We also give them a time when they can meet other artists, perhaps in different mediums, and exchange different ideas. And that may influence what they’re working on, but it also may influence them on future projects.”

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Door Kinetic Arts Festival Held in Baileys Harbor

Oscar-winning Lombardi playwright Eric Simonson has assembled an exciting new lineup of creative artists and projects for the second Door Kinetic Arts Festival (DKAF) at the Björklunden campus of Lawrence University. The week-long festival, June 13-18, entertains Door County residents and visitors with world premieres of innovative new short films, play readings, stunning dance performances, a red carpet, and public workshops on the creative processes behind stage combat and the development of new dance, theatre and musical theatre works.

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Local connections deepen for Door Kinetic Arts Fest

The Door Kinetic Arts Festival returns for its second year, and the success and connections built the first time around have allowed us to connect more deeply with the Door County community this year.

One example — our new Wisconsin block of short films attracted several quality films with local ties that made the cut.

DKAF was founded last year by Oscar-winning filmmaker Eric Simonson, a part-time Fish Creek resident, after numerous conversations he and I had about how Door County is an ideal place for artistic retreat, contemplation, collaboration and invention. Natural beauty, a supportive community of intellectually curious people and a rich population of creative individuals combine to inspire artists to reach new frontiers.

We decided to harness that unique combination of assets. Simonson was among the first Lawrence University student summer employees when Björklunden first hosted classes more than 35 years ago. Throughout his impressive career (Academy Award, Tony Award nomination, Princess Grace Award, developer of major new works in film, television, theatre and opera), Simonson has returned to Door County and Björklunden for quiet contemplation and inspiration.

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Jeffrey Hatcher’s Strongman Ghost Will Be Part of Door Kinetic Arts Festival

The Mentalist's Jeffrey Hatcher, who wrote the book for the Broadway musical Never Gonna Dance, will be represented at the Door Kinetic Arts Festival with a reading of his new play Strongman's Ghost.

Directed by Oscar-winning playwright Eric Simonson, the play concerns a strongman military dictator—under threat of a coup, an invasion, and a publishing deadline—who chooses to kidnap a writer.

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Co-Creators, Julia Rhoads of Lucky Plush and Leslie Buxbaum Danzig, Bring "Rooming House" to Door Kinetic 2017

Rooming House opens with lights and sound coming up slowly, allowing audiences’ eyes and ears to adjust to the familiarity of the relationships and the immediacy of the conversation, which easily slips between English and Spanish. After a few personal anecdotes about everyday people who do life-endangering acts, the example of Orpheus looking back at Eurydice is raised and variously interpreted. The ensuing game of whodunit (inspired by the board game Clue) turns the myth into a live-action game in which the ensemble considers individual culpability and psychological states within the stages—or “rooms”— of decision-making. 

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