On Thursday, Oct. 27, Northwestern will be visited by an explosion of color, art and music as the Artrageous event hits campus. Sponsored by Wildfire Lighting and Visual Effects, Christ Chapel will be one of the troupe’s many stops on their tour.
After successfully getting their start in street performing and children’s theater in Toronto, the founding members of Artrageous eventually decided to take their show on the road.
“We performed together in the corporate industry since the mid 90’s,” said Lauri Francis, a costume designer, choreographer, painter, dancer and singer in the troupe.
“We also developed an act called The Three Painters for the corporate market. As a team, we decided that we would like to go back to our roots in theater and decided to combine all of our many art forms and performance experience into one show. Artrageous was born.”
Since its inception, Artrageous has gone on to become a widely successful show, with more than 2,500 national and international performances to date.
“Artrageous is a journey through the decades and paying tribute to famous icons and music of different eras. It is a collaboration of many different art forms on one stage… live art, live music, singing, dancing and Bunraku puppetry,” Francis said.
A visit to Artrageous will yield clips from various types of performance. Oftentimes the numbers consist of several simultaneous elements, from singers performing hits, to dancers showing off choreography, to painters completing masterpieces in the background.
Francis recognizes that her job description may seem unusual for most.
“We all wear many hats. Many times you will see a dancer pick up a paintbrush, or a singer be part of a dancer number, or a painter operating a puppet,” Francis said. This teamwork helps showcase the sense of friendship and camaraderie that Francis hopes viewers will get from the show.
NW students have a special opportunity to interact with the Artrageous community, and not just because their shows are often heavy on audience interaction. In addition to their performance, the crew of Artrageous will also be hosting a workshop in the chapel, free for all NW students interested, from 5:40-6:25 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26.
“The workshop will give the students a little slice of what life on the road is like, a little history on our troupe, a chance to meet the cast, ask questions, and see a segment of the show. And of course, with Artrageous, there is always a chance to get involved,” Francis said.
The workshop will have three main sessions, from branding and marketing, to entertainment management, to the more creative aspects such as costume work and choreography.
In the words of Francis, “If you love art, music, singing, dancing, puppetry, audience interaction and just having a really fun time… this is the show for you!” So make sure to set aside your Thursday night to enjoy an evening of colors, music and Artrageous.