About the Imaginists

We are an experimental theater company led by founding artistic directors Brent Lindsay and Amy Pinto and  based in Santa Rosa, CA. We create and perform original work  that intentionally upsets assumptions and expectations, especially our own. We explore the intersection of art, activism, and community and have been creating place-based theater for over thirteen years, nine at our Santa Rosa base. Our innovative, often community-specific and site-specific, work has led to ground breaking collaborations that investigate participation on many levels.

From bilingual performances and community projects to ensemble devised creations, the Imaginists investigate and upend dominant narrative in artistic form and story, re-imagine public space, and cultivate radical inclusion in making works of art.

 Often the lives of the collected ensemble bleed into the fabric of the made-up world of the performances we are making. We play with the layers of who we are and who we are pretending to be. We make theater of place and we include people from that place in our productions. Our process has grown out of many years of making theater with varied groups, from our actor-driven beginnings to young people, community members, emerging artists, artists across discipline, and hybrids of all of these—always impelled to include those who had never thought themselves performers. Our collaborations have included works with day laborers & day labor centers, undocxmented youth, community members, immigrant rights groups, and local non profit organizations.

For the past ten years we have been actively pursuing accessibility and inclusion in making and experiencing art, investigating new non-profit arts organizational models, training and mentoring emerging and amateur artists, and disrupting art hierarchies by completely re-thinking theater; who participates, where it happens and what it is. We have developed a way of working that invites the many voices and experiences of participants to create new work and performance pieces for our community and beyond. We offer pay what you can and sliding scale ticketing for all of our performances at our home base. Every summer for the past eight years we have toured El Show el Arte es Medicina; free, bilingual performances that travel to city parks and Redwood Empire Food Bank summer lunch sites by bicycle caravan.

Company and Current Associates: Amanda Artru, Zahira Diaz, Ashley Jarrett, Brent Lindsay, Nichole Martinez, Gabe Maxson, Claire McCaffrey, Amy Pinto, Gustavo Servin, Xulio Soriano, Sonja Roberts, Michelle Torres, & Kalei Yamanoha.

Collaborators and community partners include: Centro Laboral de Graton, Comite VIDA, Healdsburg Day Labor Canter, Committee for Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, LandPaths, North Bay Immigrant Youth Union, North Bay Organizing Project, Padilla Partners, Redwood Empire Food Bank, SSU Chicano and Latino Studies & USF Dept. of Performing Arts and Social Justice.

The Imaginists have received grant awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, Theater Bay Area, Network of Ensemble Theatres, Community Foundation Sonoma County, Creative Sonoma, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

 

The 16th in development, Z Space, October 2016

In the very makeup of the company as well as the themes they engage and the process they employ, the Imaginists strike me as one of the most aesthetically and socially progressive and committed theaters operating in the Bay Area today. The Imaginists consistently explore the pressing concerns of their bilingual, multiethnic community in highly collaborative, endlessly varied theatrical forms—whether re-thinking and re-envisioning classic texts like the Pied Piper of Hamelin in order to question our moral fiber as parents and political leaders in a darkly amusing, raucous and haunting musical drama; or developing new dialogue and ideas during an encuentro with Los Angeles day-laborer theater, Teatro Jornalero Sin Fronteras; or responding to the police shooting of an innocent Latino youth in Santa Rosa by seating the audience at one long table for a dinner party that doubles as a deeply skeptical exploration of the power and partiality of narrative itself.
— Robert Avila, Arts Journalist (SF Bay Guardian, American Theatre)

The Imaginists
461 Sebastopol Avenue  |  Santa Rosa  |  CA  |  95401  |  info@theimaginists.org  |  (707) 528-7554

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