(HERE Artist Residency Program)

THE RECEPTION Sean Donovan & Sebastian Calderón Bentin

Show Description

Nobody wants to be here and no one wants to leave. The guests dance, the air is sound. The chatter rises, time stands still. Have you met? This is a good song. He used to be his lover. The guests dance, the air is thin. The chatter rises, space stands still. It moves within itself deeper into flatness. The reception, unrelenting. Nobody wants to be here and no one wants to leave.


Photo by Maria Baranova

Artist Bio

Donovan & Calderón have been in collaboration for the past ten years. Previous works include Not Unclear at New York University (2003), Sublimate at the Galapagos Art Space (2006), their improvisational film, Copy/Edit (2007), and the site-specific bilingual piece, Se Vende (2008) at the FAE Festival in Panama. In 2008 they received a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council for the creation of Equator, which premiered at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange. In 2011 they were Artists-in-Residence at Stanford University where they created The Climate Chronicles. The Climate Chronicles premiered in November 2011 at The Incubator Arts Project, NYC. Mitch Montgomery of Backstage Magazine said, "The Climate Chronicles succeeds wildly in its blithe send-up of four ineffectual climatologists. Staged with absurd panache and true-to-life humor by co-conceivers Sebastián Calderón Bentin and Sean Donovan, the hilarious performance piece also says rather a lot about the hypocrisy and gridlock that have plagued the environmental movement for decades.” Their latest work, 18 ½ Minutes, was created through a residency at Stanford University in the fall 2012 and a Brooklyn Arts Exchange Space Grant in 2013. 18 ½ Minutes premiered at JACK in Brooklyn, NY in 2013.

While Donovan & Calderón are longtime collaborators committed to creating original performance as artistic partners, they also make work with many other prestigious artists and companies such as the Obie Award winning Builders Association, Bessie Award winning Faye Driscoll, Witness Relocation, Goat Island, Every House Has a Door, Jane Comfort and Company, John Jesurun, and others.
Both artists hold a B.F.A. in Theater from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where they trained at the Experimental Theater Wing. Sebastian Calderón Bentín also holds an M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU and is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University.

Artist Statement

Donovan & Calderón is an artistic collaboration between American theater artist Sean Donovan and Panamanian/Peruvian theater artist and scholar Sebastián Calderón Bentin. Starting from an interdisciplinary and international perspective Donovan & Calderón draws on the surreal, the banal and the everyday to create new theater work that responds to present social issues. They create performances that address particular social, political and historical questions while exploring the techniques and qualities of theater as a medium.

This project interests us both in its content as an absurdist dark comedy and indictment against the ruling class, but also as a formal opportunity to explore unreliable narrative, highly stylized text, and a both live and projected performance.


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