While working at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, an outdoor theater in Los Angeles County with a regularly fantastic summer rep in a fantastic outdoor canyon setting, I met Kim Zanti. Amongst other titles, she is also a writer. This is an article she wrote for the Whole Life Times on The Electric Lodge. One of our partners in programs at the CSPA. Though, with the AEP, the lodge is rapidly becoming a hub of activity in the sustainable arts movement, this article gives an excellent history of where the lodge came from… a good way to understand where it is going.
by Kim Zanti
Robed in a white lab coat and trousers, a lone dancer gracefully crisscrosses a black box stage. He speaks of medical clinics, rectal examinations and disease, his words all the more surreal for their pairing with his ethereal dance. Gradually, his stream of narrative shifts our focus to a chronic patient we’re all familiar with, one whose air we foul, guts we eviscerate, skin we scar, fluids we contaminate. The dancer holds a stethoscope to a delicate, wire mesh model of a tree bathed in blue light. We wonder: Is the tree well? Are we well? Is there hope, doc?
In real life, the dancer, Dr. Joel Shapiro, would answer yes and invite you to join him on the patient’s road to recovery at Venice’s Electric Lodge. Powered entirely by the sun and the creative energies of hundreds of performing and visual artists, “The Lodge” is a place of transformation.