ROCKLAND — Solo performance artist Sara Juli will present the world premiere of her newest piece, Naughty Bits, on the Strand Theatre stage on Friday, Oct. 13 and Saturday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. As part of the Strand’s New Century Series, tickets are available on a Pay-What-You-Can scale of $0-$25.
Naughty Bits is a dance-play set inside Juli’s memories that examines sexual trauma while finding levity within the tragic. Her mission is to explore her own personal struggles through the medium of performance. In sharing her work, she creates space for audiences to access their own challenges or traumas.
Her provocative, introspective autobiographical solo performance fuses movement, text, song, audience interaction and comedy to both acknowledge the gravity of her burdens as well as simultaneously laugh at their reality.
According to the Strand, in a news release, Sara Juli has been described as a "skilled comedian, actress and dancer" and "a light of the downtown dance and theatre scene." Naughty Bits finds the forgotten bits, funny bits (and wobbly bits) of putting one's mind and body back together.
Play editing for Naughty Bits is by Michelle Mola, with projections by Devon Kelley-Yurdin, lighting and sound by Justin Moriarty, and costumes by Carol Farrell.
A panel discussion with representatives from New Hope Midcoast, a nonprofit organization working to end abuse, dating violence and stalking, will follow the Friday evening performance.
“Please join us for this important conversation where audiences can engage in a conversation about the performance piece, along with talking about sexual assault, empowerment, available resources and the role of the arts in the healing process,” said the release.
New Hope Midcoast and SASSMM (Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine) are providing resource and educational support for this event.
Naughty Bits was commissioned by the Strand Theatre in Rockland, Maine, through their New Century Series. The upcoming performance was preceded by two “work-in-progress” performances at the Strand in the past year, in which audience feedback and dialogue helped to shape the piece.
Additional support came from the Maine Arts Commission, and the American Rescue Plan Maine Project Grants, a subgranting program administered by SPACE for the National Endowment for the Arts. Naughty Bits residency support was also provided in part by New England Foundation for the Arts’ New England Dance Fund, with generous support from the Aliad Fund at the Boston Foundation.
About Sara Juli:
Sara Juli (she/her) has been creating and performing innovative comedic dance-theater for over two decades. She has been fortunate to tour around the world including American Dance Festival, Performance Space New York, New York Live Arts, Bates Dance Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, SPACE Gallery, and many more. Sara’s most recent solo, Burnt-Out Wife, is a recipient of Maine Arts Commission support, New England Foundation for the Arts Expeditions Planning grant, a New England Dance Fund grant, a NEST touring grant and National Dance Project in 2019-2022. Sara was the 2017 Maine Fellow for the Performing Arts awarded by the Maine Arts Commission. Sara is the Founder/Director of Surala Consulting, a fundraising consultancy helping non-profits and artists build and execute fundraising strategies. She was awarded the Arts Management Award from Brooklyn Arts Exchange in 2013, and is an ongoing project advisor to The Boston Foundation’s Next Steps and LAB Programs. Sara is an Affiliated Artist of Bates College and teaches “Business of the Arts” as a course at various colleges. She lives in Falmouth, Maine, on the traditional lands of the Wabanaki people, with her husband and two children.
Tickets for the shows are Pay-What You-Can, $0-25 (suggested $25) and are available at www.rocklandstrand.com, by calling 207-594-0070, or at the door.
Content warning: This work contains material related to sexual trauma and assault.
The Strand Theatre is located at 345 Main Street, Rockland.