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10/13/2022 12:00 AM

GPAF Announces Artist Awards

The Guilford Performing Arts Festival has announced the recipients of its 2022 Artists’ Awards to four performing artists. The work of the award recipients will be performed as part of the festival on the Guilford Green in September 2023.

The award recipients are Denise Keyes Page and Jennifer Munro of Black & Silver Productions, Peter Sonenstein, and Ilana Zaks.

Each recipient has been awarded a $2,500 grant and a prime slot on the festival's main stage.

Black & Silver Productions, Drama: Women Tell

The team of Jennifer Munro and Denise Keyes Page, both of Madison, will curate and present Women Tell: Our Firsts, a collection of never-before-heard stories told by and about women. As many as six women storytellers will tell tales of being first: the first child in a family to attend college, the first to marry outside the family’s culture, the first-generation American, the first to come out, to learn a foreign language, to be elected to government office, to perform surgery, etc. Munro and Page will solicit video submissions from women around the world, and choose those who will perform; depending on their location, the performers will appear live or via livestream. Some will be professional storytellers, others amateurs coached by Munro and Page to construct compelling, seamless stories and deliver them with presence and impact.

Peter Sonenstein, Drama: The End of Empire

Peter Sonenstein, a Madison playwright, will present a staged reading of The End of Empire, a multimedia theater experience that tells the story of a technology billionaire struggling to control the impact of his inventions on society. Employing live actors supplemented by video imagery, The End of Empire will examine tech's outsized impact through the eyes of those who think they control it, while presenting the evolution of digital technology—from the first algorithm in 825 CE to the pervasiveness of the online media that now shape our lives, our society and the world. The performance will feature live actors backed by video imagery and animation.

Ilana Zaks, Music: The Sounds of New England

Ilana Zaks, a classically trained violinist, will premiere The Sounds of New England, a six-movement work featuring collected sounds and melodies from some of the poorest communities in the Northeast. She'll perform the piece live on solo violin and loop pedal, blending composed and improvised music with music and other sounds from the communities she visits. The New Haven resident will travel throughout New England, spending time among communities of musicians, documenting and recording the music of those places and the heritages/cultures from which it emerges—and she'll donate some of her grant to music-education programs in those communities.

Peter Sonenstein Photo courtesy of GPAF