Even though the NeuroKitchen Arts Collective is brand spankin’ new, you can trace our lineage all the way back to 1969. Back to Patrick Henry, founding Artistic Director of Free Street Theater. Patrick founded a company to infuse communities with the pulse of theater. In the mid-80’s, Ron Bieganski began working with Patrick as an Assistant Director and Teaching Artist, and in 1995, Ron took over as Artistic Director of Free Street Theater. There, Ron lead and directed countless workshops and productions- on and off premise - honing his own unique practice and theory of what it means to be an artist. In the early spring of 2011, Ron was excused from his position at Free Street due to fundamental differences between his and Free Street’s Board of Director’s visions of how the company was to run. And so, our journey to create something new began.
You might ask why as ensemble members we decided to join Ron, as well as Anita Evans, Creative Director at Free Street since 2003 and collaborator since 1995, in this great adventure of starting a new company. The answer is really quite simple, and it’s the reason all of us had ended up at Free Street in the first place - we want to be artists. Because artists are people who create, and inspire, and bring life to the world. It was at Free Street many of us first discovered these ideas, and it was the strong educations we earned there that enabled us to make our own decisions about where we’d like to go following Free Street’s shift in artistic direction. For many of us, the shift was unexpected and unsettling, and so we decided to go where we believed the art was. Because as artists, if we loose our footing, we don’t roll over and stop exploring, we keep going. We find the next place, the next level, the next experiment, and if we can’t find it, then we make it.
Here, at theNeuroKitchen Arts Collective we are making something in a place where we know if we fall, we’ll be caught. We chose the unknown. And we’re never looking back.
- founding ensemble member Sophia de OliveiraMarch 2011