On the Boards presents contemporary performance work that pushes its audiences' boundaries, provokes discussion, engages new ideas, and connects adventurous art to our community.

We fulfill our mission through a series of programs, which include presenting innovative artists from the Northwest and beyond through a curated season of new commissions and existing work; a lecture and studio visit series that brings curatorial voices to the PNW; and an annual festival of short performance, as well as a quarterly experimental performance series for local practitioners to show in-progress or short time-based works. 

Additionally we provide select local artists with residencies that include rehearsal space, development support, project management, dramaturgical and curatorial feedback, and advocacy in order to create new and exciting projects. Our publishing platform, OntheBoards.tv, is a one-of-a-kind portal that features HD performance films and contextual education material that deepens audiences understanding of the field of contemporary performance.

On the Boards is a leader in the civic and global dialogue around contemporary art and performance. Starting with the 18/19 Season a new lecture series brings curators from around the world to Seattle. While here these arts leaders will each do 5-8 studio visits with artists based in the greater Seattle area and deliver a public lecture about contemporary performance and their own practice. This series provides national and international curators an opportunity to gain greater insight into the work being done in our region while simultaneously fostering connections with voices from outside the Pacific Northwest. 

WINTER : March 22 - 24 | Lecture Saturday, March 23 @ 3:00pm 

Ali Rosa-Salas

As Director of Programming at Abrons Arts Center/Henry Street Settlement, Ali Rosa-Salas develops the Center’s live programming, exhibitions, and residencies with Artistic Director Craig Peterson. As an independent curator, she has produced visual art exhibitions, performances, and public programs with AFROPUNK, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Danspace Project, Knockdown Center, MoCADA, Weeksville Heritage Center, and more. She has also organized discursive events as an Alumnae Fellow at the Barnard Center for Research on Women and as the Associate Curator of the 2017 American Realness Festival. She graduated from Barnard with a B.A. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, with interdisciplinary concentrations in Dance and Race/Ethnic Studies and has an M.A. from the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University. In addition to her role at Abrons, Ali supports electronic music DJs and producers as Special Projects Manager for Discwoman.

Questions about the studio visit process? Email curatorial@ontheboards.org 

Since its founding, On the Boards has hosted various series for local artists to showcase new works and works-in-progress. The name of these programs has evolved over time — from Choreography, Etc., to Second Sunday Series, to 12 MINUTES MAX, a Performance Exhibition, to Open Studio — but the idea remained the same: a chance for both seasoned artists and artists at the beginning of their practice to show their work, test a new idea out, be able to discuss their work with an audience, and receive feedback. The philosophy was to provide a unique opportunity for regional artists to experiment in an informal performance setting. This season OtB is relaunching this program and titling it Performance Lab, a quarterly series which will be curated by local artists and producer Charles Smith. Each series will have facilitated artist feedback along with an opportunity for each artist to discuss their performance with the audience. Additionally, this quarterly series will be presented in both the Merrill Theater and the newly refreshed Studio Theater. 

This Performance Lab will be co-curated with Ryan and Victoria Vinson-Jacobs.

Ryan and Victoria Vinson-Jacobs met as artistic collaborators, creating dance, performance, and writing. They’ve gone on to collaborate in creating a home, a family, and a life together. They are in love and have a cat named Zak.

Ryan explores the creative potential of text as a rapper, writer, and designer. He’s released and performed music as sketch lightly, with Adam Prince as said the starling, and with Devin Bews. His dance collaborators have included Markeith Wiley (The New Animals), Rosa Vissers and HATLO (PE|Mo), Laura Aschoff, and Victoria Jacobs. In cross-discipline work, he’s found clarity, using metaphor and imagery to express and explore his personal relationship to identity and anxiety. The first iteration of his current project, o c e a n   c a n ' t   s w i m, was commissioned and produced by On the Boards’ NW New Works Festival. He also teaches Arts courses at Summit: Sierra High School.

Victoria has created and performed work in Seattle, New York, Vancouver BC and Tel Aviv, collaborating with a huge range of artists including Freya Wormus, Sheri Cohen, Aileen Passloff (Judson Dance Church), Shannon Stewart, Markeith Wiley, and Colemxn Pester. She has been teaching dance and somatic movement since 2004, and is a GYROTONIC trainer as well as a SPRe (Somatic Personal Resonance) bodywork practitioner. She is relentlessly curious and compulsively creative.

Performance Lab -  pal·imp·sest:

   Application Deadline: Friday, March 8, 2019

   Clarification deadline: Thursday, February 28, 2019 - If you have questions about the       application or need any help, please contact curatorial@ontheboards.org by this date. We cannot guarantee we will be able to respond to questions received after this date.

   Performance Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 7pm 

pal·imp·sest -  a manuscript or piece of writing material on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain.

  • something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form

This Performance Lab will be held in the Merrill Theater. Each performance must make some physical change to the space that will remain on stage for the performances that follow it. You can leave behind an object, some byproduct, or even a message. These remnants will be evidence and reminders of those who came before, challenge the performers to communicate with and navigate around each other, through time. Whether or not these artifacts are integrated into the each performance and to what degree, is up to each artist. When accepted, you will be notified which piece(s) will be left on stage for your performance. The final performer will leave an object for the first performer.

You will have a general lighting wash available with lights up and down; each artist will have the ability to set the lighting level and the rate of fading up/down according to the mood of your piece and you can have up to two internal cues aside from lights up/down. Recorded sound will be limited to one cue.

Submission Guidelines:
  Proposed performances must be up to 10 mins in length.
  Artist will be responsible for their own stage set up and strike (if any, for this Lab), which must take no more than 2 minutes each (this is not considered part of your performance time.)
  Artist must be available for one technical rehearsal on Tuesday, April 23 between 7pm - 9pm.
  Artist will participate in a brief artist talk following the performance.
  Artist must provide any sound or video files in advance of technical rehearsal by noon, Wednesday, April 17.
OtB will provide:
  The artists selected will receive an honorarium, light/sound technical support, some rehearsal space, and a rehearsal visit with a member of the OtB curatorial team. The purpose of the rehearsal visit is to see how your work is developing and become more familiar with your practice. The visit can happen at OtB or off-site.
  All applicants will be notified of the status of their application by Friday, March 15, 2019.
  Questions about the application process can be sent to curatorial@ontheboards.org

On the Boards