The company was founded in 1991 by a core group of artists seeking to shed traditional structures for creating and producing performance as the first step towards creating alternatives, and is named for the 49th hexagram of the I CHING, the ancient Chinese Book of Changes. “Ko,” or “Revolution” can be visualized as a shedding of skin, a sloughing off of the old.
Ko is dedicated to fostering innovative artistic collaborations in order to create work that draws from both comic and tragic traditions, mixing them with innovative uses of design and technology, in an atmosphere conducive to deep collaboration. We create and present pieces that are a springboard for community dialogue, ones that consider themes and issues vital to our civic and personal lives.
The KO Festival of Performance
The Ko Festival of Performance, a program of Ko Theater Works, presents original works that surprise, provoke and inspire our audiences and ourselves. By presenting works by core company members and guest artists, we foster the collaborations and experiments in form that define the core of our mission, which is to provide unusual and exciting entertainment for our community in the Pioneer Valley, while we are developing new creative relationships among the diverse community of innovative local, national and international artists.
Each summer our Festival is centered on a theme such as “Stories of Illness and Healing” or “The Immigrant’s Journey.” Performances are accompanied by facilitated discussions and lobby displays that contextualize the ideas presented in the work in an effort to engender inter-audience/artist exchange and provide opportunities for civic dialogue.
The Ko Festival also offers a unique array of 6-day workshops where adults, both local and national, can study techniques and approaches to making new work with master teachers. Other activities include internships, and rehearsal residencies where individual artists or ensembles can develop new work or reconsider older pieces in their repertoire.