A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Karen Sherman's "Soft Goods" / Photo by Sean Smuda

As part of the Center for the Art of Performance’s 2017-18 season at UCLA, choreographer/writer/musician/performer Karen Sherman brings the West Coast premiere of “Soft Goods” to the stage at the Freud Playhouse for one performance this Saturday, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m.

Having had 20 years of firsthand experience doing almost all of the backstage jobs involved in premiering a professional dance production, Sherman sends the usually invisible cast members — the stage crew — to center stage.

With her own personal resume of short and long term gigs as technical director, production manager, stage technician and scenic/sound designer, this Bessie and Sage Award-winning artist highlights the lives of these often unsung individuals in this 70-minute production. Following this dramatic narrative, “Soft Goods” reveals the unseen lonesomeness of the theater, the dynamic effects of lighting choices, the dance involved in hanging lights or moving walls and the labor of performance.

Performed by a collection of 10 stagehands and dancers, “Soft Goods” uncovers what’s usually hidden when audiences come to the theater.

Sherman and her work have been supported nationally and internationally by theaters and funders alike. Now labeling Minneapolis as her home, she has received two fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, earned a degree in acting from New York University and was the 2016-2017 Hodder Fellow in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University.

—Benn Widdey, Culture Spot LA

Freud Playhouse is in Macgowan Hall on the UCLA campus, 405 Hilgard Ave., LA 90095.

Tickets are $29-$49 and can be purchased at https://www1.ticketmaster.com/karen-sherman-soft-goods-los-angeles-california-10-07-2017/event/0B0052EB758B14ED?artistid=2392845&majorcatid=10002&minorcatid=12&brand=capucla&camefrom=cfc_ucla_shermanEDP

More information: https://cap.ucla.edu/calendar/details/karen_sherman

Artist website: https://www.karenshermanperformance.org/