Life isn’t turning out the way we planned it.
Sometimes it’s much messier than we imagined.
Sometimes it’s a flat line that emits a flat buzzing sound.
Still, we mostly find a way to live it -
by making deals with ourselves or with the gods (small g) of love and fortune.
This is what Human Kind is all about – the left turns we have taken.
I want to hear from you, my fellow travelers, about where you’ve been so far and the ways in which you have been surprised by it all. The result is what you will see performed. -Joe
Human Kind is an experimental performance series centered around some small aspect of being human – all the ways in which we are fallible and imperfect – that uses real stories from the community to drive the process of creation. Joe and the Company solicit the thoughts, feelings, and insights of the people around us, on a particular thread of the human experience (i.e. aging, resilience, and family dynamics) and then weave them together into a performance for the Joe Goode Performance Group. The result is something Joe describes as -“part yours and part ours.” Joe Goode Performance Group has presented five Human Kind performances.
“I had a line from my submission used in the show [When We Fall Apart] – so it was terribly exciting to see the workshops and the final piece and know that I am in a very small way part of the JGPG canon.”
-Human Kind/When We Fall Apart Attendee
Human Kind: Out of the Blue
November 2011, Joe Goode Annex, SF
Human Kind: An Evening of Dance and Discussion
March 2012, Joe Goode Annex, SF
Human Kind: Speak for Me
November 2012, Joe Goode Annex, SF
Human Kind: Irresistibly Drawn, The Songs of Joe Goode Performance Group
February 2013, Joe Goode Annex, SF
Human Kind: What does it mean to be resilient?
February 2013, Nichols Theatre, Kansas State University, KS
Out of the Blue was the first in the Human Kind series and the first experiment in exploring the real life stories of being human. For Out of the Blue we asked our audience from our online community and at the performance questions about the trajectory of their lives:
We were blown away by the honesty and vulnerability shared with us by so many. The answers we received were the primary text for this evening’s performance and were interwoven into Human Kind: An Evening of Dance and Discussion and finally When We Fall Apart. Read the original submissions in their entirety HERE.
For this iteration of Human Kind, we aimed to build on the idea of incorporating real-life experiences into the creation of the work. Personal stories and conversations about falling apart, coming undone, regret, and loss were recorded and contributed by close friends and family members of our company members to inform the company’s work, When We Fall Apart, a collaboration with renowned architect Cass Calder Smith and musician/composer Ben Juodvalkis of the San Francisco band Battlehooch. This performance was an inside look into the process of creating When We Fall Apart and how Joe and the company began to weave the stories into the work, which debuted in June 2012.
In November 2012, JGPG hosted Human Kind – Speak for Me: Voicing a Community, a roundtable discussion moderated by Joe, featuring four notable local artists, Sara Felder, Claudine Naganuma, Sean San Jose, and Judith Smith to discuss strategies, methodologies, and challenges of incorporating the stories of real people into the creative process. The discussion addressed the following questions:
The discussion was streamed live on our website and the panelists took questions from the online viewers and from Facebook and Twitter followers.
Watch the live recording and add your comments to the discussion HERE.
“Can you speak for or give voice to a community only if you are deeply connected to it – by birth, by race, by economic strata?
Is it even possible or ethical to try to make an artistic entity, something that goes beyond the documentary form, about a community or the issues/ethos of a community?” - Joe Goode
Irresistibly Drawn was a special Valentine’s Weekend performance fundraiser that featured the original songs of JGPG accompanied by dance and monologues from Joe’s favorite works. Alumni performer and founding member, Liz Burritt, and alumna and longtime company member Marit Brook-Kothlow, returned to the stage as guest performers. Portland based singer-songwriter Holcombe Waller, who collaborated with JGPG on Small Experiments in Song and Dance (2009) also made a guest appearance.
“It was an uncompromisingly honest and emotional performance…” -The Collegian
“They communicated the essence of the resilience challenge in military veterans in ways that mere words cannot express.” -Director of Military Affairs for K-State
What does it mean to be resilient? was the culminating performance following a week-long residency at Kansas State University where Joe and the company worked with military families, caregivers, and civilian employees who have been affected by war emotionally and physically. Those open to participating contributed their personal stories about loss, injury, stress, dislocation, separation, and grief and asked them to answer questions including, ‘How do you bounce back from something really tragic – and a difficult circumstance?’ and ‘Can you really heal from those situations?’. Joe and the company then integrated the stories word-for-word into a performance about resilience. Read the reviews below to learn more about the experience.