The Zany Angels Dance Theatre Company is a theatrical troupe of highly trained dancers who use performance as a transformational, heart-opening, and life-affirming experience for both themselves and the audience.
The Zany Angels began with the collaboration of Rythea Lee and Rose Oceania over 10 years ago with an interest in developing the merging of dance, clown, voice, and monologue. They founded a form they named "Moving Monologues" which involved spontaneous personal storytelling and movement. This modality made way for deep and humorous monologues that were juxtaposed withthe bodies natural play with time, space, shape, and quality. Workshops were organized and participants found they were sharing in a different way then ever before. People from all walks of life, dancers and non-dancers, artists and non-artists found an authentic and healing format for expression.
The Zany Angels were officially formed in 2002 and began performing their work along the eastern seaboard. They performed their full-length production "Shameless" in Massachusetts venues including Mt.Holyoke college, Hampshire College, Smith College, Greenfield CommunityCollege, Emerson College, Bridgewater College, UMass Amherst, and Mobius Theatre.
Separately and together their work has been presented at Muhlenberg College, Bard College, The Seattle Festival of the Alternative Dance, The Theatre Resource Center in Toronto, as well as many New York venues including PS. 122, St. Marks Church, The Joyce Soho, Judson Church, and Movement Research. The Zany Angels were chosen to perform at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange as part of the New Women's Festival in 2006.
An important aspect of the Zany Angels service work involves supporting, teaching, and performing for survivors of abuse and trauma. The company has taught Expressive Arts workshops at women's centers in MA including NELCWIT, The Survivors Project, Women in Action, the Rape Crisis Center of Central Massachusetts and received a grant from the Department of Mental Healthfor a long term support group for women survivors of abuse and trauma. They used performances to raise money for MA organizations working to end violence against women including Every Woman's Center and Safe Passage. They were presenters for the To Tell The Truth Conference in New York City in 2000 and 2001. In 2007, Rythea Lee published a book called "Trauma into Truth: Gutsy Healing and Why It's Worth It" and began offering this book to audience and workshop members.
In 2007, the Zany Angels welcomed Patrick Crowley into the company, and began the development of a new show called "Crush, Lust, and Other Decisions; a New Age Variety Show." This work is described as "Saturday Night Live meets contemporary American Musicals" including vinettes that spoof popular notions of culture and pop-psychology. In Aug 2007, the Zany Angels organized the first ever Zany Performance Art Festival in their home town of Northampton, MA which included 3 weeks of performances, classes, and discussions. They premiered their new show as well as featured well respected guest artists Johanna Walker, Chara Reigel, Hampshire College Artists Showcase, and showing of works from 8 of the Zany Angels students.
In August 2008, the company performed "Crush, Lust, and Other Decisions" and "Cannoli's are the Italian People's Twinkie" at the 2008 Boulder Fringe Festival.
Their newest full length show called "The Inner Child: Don't Leave Home Without it" premiered in 2011 at the Helix Theatre in Northampton, MA to sold out audiences and standing ovations.
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