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Miranda July to stage a spirited performance at Capitol Theatre

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Artist Miranda July is set to show her theatrical experiment ‘New Society’ on Nov. 20 at the Capitol Theatre in the Riffe Center.  Credit:   Courtesy of Wexner Center for the Arts, photo by Todd Cole

Artist Miranda July is set to show her theatrical experiment ‘New Society’ on Nov. 20 at the Capitol Theatre in the Riffe Center.
Credit: Courtesy of Wexner Center for the Arts, photo by Todd Cole

It might be the middle of November, but a little July will be found at the heart of Columbus.

Miranda July’s theatrical experiment, “New Society,” is set to be performed Thursday in the Capitol Theatre at the Riffe Center, presented by the Wexner Center for the Arts.

July’s work was selected by the Wexner Center for the Arts as part of its 25th anniversary season celebration, said Erik Pepple, spokesman for the center. 

July has received many awards and major recognition for her art, filmography and writing, according to her website. Her film “Me and You and Everyone We Know” — a story of a shoe salesman and performance artist going through life in the modern age — received a jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival and one prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Pepple said the relationship with July and the Wexner Center for the Arts is a remarkable one that traces back over 14 years. She was once a video artist who screened work at Wexner’s Media Arts Studio. 

“It’s very exciting to bring Miranda back to Columbus for this one-night only performance, which is just one of a handful of performances of this production she’ll be doing across the country,” Pepple said. “It’s always a pleasure to bring audiences such thoughtful and thought-provoking theater.”

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

According to a review by The Boston Globe, July’s work “New Society” is “an innovative theatrical experiment that illustrates the myriad ways societies form, cohere, change, fracture and maybe persevere over time. Or you could describe it as a whimsical excursion into make-believe. You’d be on solid ground either way.”

Jennifer Wray, marketing and media assistant for the Wexner Center for the Arts, said she is excited to see July’s work — which involves a lot of audience participation — come to life. 

“There are only a handful of places that will have the opportunity to present this work, and we are delighted to be among them,” Wray said. “People who attend this performance will be in for an experience like none other.”

Pepple agreed. 

“Folks not familiar with her work can be assured that they’ll be in for a one-of-a-kind experience that is thoughtful, witty and likely unlike anything they’ve seen onstage,” Pepple said. 

Wray said July’s spirit and passion in her work is something that has always resonated with her. 

“She’s an artist who has achieved a lot at a relatively young age across a variety of disciplines while still seeming to be down-to-earth and approachable, which is something I admire,” Wray said. 

Although Pepple and Wray agree it will be a great show, the exact details of July’s work are ambiguous because the artist wants it that way. 

“Miranda July has asked that we not share much about the performance in advance so that people can experience it without any preconceived notions,” Wray said. “I think going into a performance like this without a lot of ‘knowns’ is something really special.”

Tickets are $16.50 for students and $26.50 for the general public. They are available at the CAPA Ticket Office in advance or at the Capitol Theatre at the Riffe Center box office Thursday evening before the performance. 

The performance is set to begin at 8 p.m.

 

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