‘Bout a Stranger is an evening length, environmental dance theater piece conceived and choreographed by Annie Arnoult based on the life, legend and music of Woody Guthrie. ‘Bout a Stranger, which will be preview on March 16th and be presented March 17-25, 2017 at MATCH, 3400 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002, transforms the black box theater at MATCH into a three dimensional mediascape that chronicles the “dust bowl troubadour’s” dynamic personal and creative life in movement, text, song and video. Beyond Guthrie’s music, "‘Bout a Stranger" draws on and incorporates excerpts from the “Woody and Lefty Lou Show,” Guthrie’s poetry and columns in mainstream and leftist media, recorded interviews by Alan Lomax, excerpts from Woody Guthrie’s autobiography, _Bound for Glory_, and extensive liner notes, sketches and artwork that accompanied the artist's published recordings.
Fusing Arnoult’s expressive athleticism with gesture and task oriented movement derived from the repetitive labor of 1930s and 40s farm and factory workers, the physical language of ‘Bout a Stranger moves seamlessly between the contemporary aesthetic of the performance and its historical source. Image, sound and text derived from the original source material pepper the set, sound and projection design, serving as touchstones of literal meaning that anchor and guide the unseated audience members as they roam in and amongst the performers, determining their own vantage point and distance from the action.
Annie Arnoult is a recipient of an Individual Artist Grant Award. This grant is funded by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.