Tender Stone: Ensemble's 2010 Home Season


Detail of Tenderstone key art

May 6 to May 16, 2010
CounterPULSE, San Francisco

An original theater piece with an interpretive exhibtion

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About Artship Ensemble

Artship Ensemble is:

A partnership of actors, dancers, musicians, storytellers, language & visual artists

Two dancers in long dresses dancing together 1
Two dancers in long dresses dancing together 1
Tom Franco and Catrina Kaupat dancing
Musicians on a seamless background
Lone figure in hat looking at trio in distanceFive photos by Matt Haber

The Company Process


Dancers in the studio rehearsing
Dancer beating on a frame drum

Drawing of a dancer by Nathaniel BoltonDrawings by Nathaniel Bolton
Drawing of a trio of dancers by Nathaniel Bolton

Artship Gathering of Artists


Incubating and an ongoing process

At the core of the ARTSHIP Ensemble of musicians, dancers, actors and visual artists is the commitment to an ongoing weekly process of rehearsals, skills-building, inspirational improvisations and co-creation. This is our primary commitment.

In other words, it is an alive, breathing and loosely structured community of artists committed to working together for a period of time, typically in small rehearsals during the week and in major, once a week, ongoing group rehearsals usually on Sunday evenings. This happens in nine to eighteen month units, culminating with a performance.

Artship typically produces new and original work every year and a half to two years.

The premieres and the presentation of the new work are punctuations in an ongoing process. Some artists come and stay for one project. The mood, the elusive spirit of "Artship's Gathering of Artists," is carried by the small core company over several productions.

This continuity and commitment to ART PRACTICE is the central work of Artship. From this incubating and ongoing process are pulled not only the performances, but also the exhibitions and community involvements.

The classic definition of an ensemble theater may be a good description of our spirit: “A theater company that maintains a bond with a number of artists who are committed to working with and for each other, over a span of projects, to create performances uniquely characteristic of that ensemble and flowing from the strong personal stake of the artists.”

We aspire that nothing in our work be viewed as unrelated, separate elements or virtuoso showmanship, but rather as a careful, poetically congruent service to the elusive field of art and the cultural experience.

From the moment someone enters, whether it be a theater, specific site or outdoor place, we attempt to create an atmosphere and invest our performance space. Great care is taken that every aspect of the multidisciplinary field created gives the audience breathing space for their own spirits to expand.

Gallery of the Artship Ensemble Creative Process

Photographs by Dennis Letbetter