in partnership with Woven Theater Company
THE NAUGHTY TREE
A queer celebration that goes all the way back to Eden
Sunday, April 24th & Monday, April 25th
Doors at 7PM // Show at 8PM
The Blue Room (623 7th Ave S)
DIRECTED & PRODUCED BY
CHOREOGRAPHER & ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
James Rudolph II
Dee Benn, Kane Dayton, Lenin Fernandez, McKay House, and Lila Toshiko
AND FEATURED PERFORMANCES BY
Justine Van De Blair and Risky Sour
AND ORIGINAL POETRY PERFORMED BY
Simba Alik, Tessa Bryant, and Robyn Leigh Lear
A big, queer celebration that goes all the way back to the beginning, The Naughty Tree is a reclamation of the Garden of Eden creation myth that celebrates everyone for exactly who they are and who they love. The all-new theatrical, cabaret-style experience features text by playwright River Timms, music from local rock legends Fable Cry, and choreography by Lenin Fernandez. The effervescent James Rudolph II appears in the leading role as Mother Nature, in addition to cast of talented actors, dancers, poets, burlesque dancers, and even a drag queen or two.
You ain't never heard it like this before, baby. This is a story of JOY!
THE NAUGHTY TREE is made possible, in part, by funding from
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
RIVER TIMMS (Playwright) is a playwright and theatrical collaborator based in Nashville, where they work with Woven Theatre as Resident Playwright and Co-head of New Work Development. As an up-and-coming playwright, River's work has frequently been seen on Nashville stages. Their style is influenced by leftist politics, magical realism, Christian liberation theology, and the LGBT experience. They are Christ-haunted in a boring, Protestant way. Learn more at rivertimms.com
FABLE CRY (Original Music), the theatrical rock band from Nashville, TN, wants you to have a good time. If you want a rock band with influences in cabaret, metal, horror, pop, and swing, then why didn’t you say so? Fable Cry knows that life can be perilous and hard, but encourages you to be the (anti-)hero in your own story, blowing kisses at death, and flirting your way through turmoil. They aim to always provide an inclusive space for all to feel welcome, respected, seen, and celebrated for the unique strangeness that we each embody! Learn more at fablecry.com or @fablecry
LENIN FERNANDEZ (Choreographer / Associate Director / Adam), a California native, began dancing at 18 at Mt. San Antonio College, and a year after also training with Francisco Gella at Nuevo School of Contemporary Dance. In 2013, he attended the American Dance Festival and performed in Twyla Tharp’s world premiere of Treefrog in Stonehenge in the closing festival concert. He has trained through the The Gypsy Project: LA, under dir. Erica Sobol, from 2015-2019 learning from artists from Batsheva, Lines, Forsythe, NDT, YC, and Kidd Pivot. In early 2016, he trained and performed with Rome-based company Esklan Arts Factory, under Erika Silgoner, performing two full-length works (“It’s Time” and “4john”). He has been working with Sonya Tayeh for 3 years, debuting in her world premiere You’ll Still Call Me By Name (2016), which he performed at Jacob’s Pillow in Aug 2018. He has additionally worked with her on the off-broadway musical The Lucky Ones, pre production for Moulin Rouge the Musical and on Rent Live on Fox. In LA, he worked with LA Contemporary Dance Company and Heidi Duckler Dance Theater, while also working commercially for musics and TV. He most recently worked with New Dialect for their 19/20 Season and with David Flores for his production of Prism at OZ Arts Nashville. He is based out of Nashville, TN but continues to work in LA and NY. @_lenin
DANIEL JONES (Director / Producer) is a Nashville-based producer, dramaturg, writer, and director passionate about facilitating creative storytelling, diverse narratives, and shared live arts experiences that ignite social change. He is currently the Manager of Artistic Programming at OZ Arts Nashville and the Producing Artistic Director of Kindling Arts, where he facilitates the development and production of local interdisciplinary works. As Kindling's lead producer, Daniel has worked with hundreds of Nashville-based artists to launch 40+ unique artistic experiences in the past five years. In his role at OZ Arts, Daniel has supported hundreds of artists and performers from around the world as the on-the-ground coordinator for the Visiting Artist Series, which has included artists from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Brazil, Japan, Chile, Germany, and more. He also works closely with Nashville artists as they develop new works and realize their visions in the organization's unique 10,000 square-foot warehouse. Daniel's previous local producing credits include Fall 2017's sold-out premiere of HAUNTED (First Night's Theatrical Event of the Year), a multimedia, immersive experience inspired by the deadliest train crash in American history, and the 2017 Sideshow Fringe Festival. His theatrical directing credits include Suzan-Lori Parks's In the Blood and an original adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale. Daniel is a native of Knoxville, TN, and holds a BA from Emerson College. @d.jonesin
JAMES RUDOLPH II (Mother Nature) is so excited to help bring this piece of art to life. A Nashville native himself, James has been on stages all around town and abroad. In addition to being your very dear Mother Nature, James is currently King Claudius in Inebriated Shakespeare's Hamlet and Felix La Mer in Nashville Children’s Theatre's Baby Shark. He is also very excited about his upcoming performance of Donkey in Backlight Productions' presentation of Shrek: The Musical. Thank you so much for supporting live theatre. YOU ROCK! @jaydedthegr8
DEE BENN (Eve / Costume Design) is a Knoxville native with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Carson-Newman University. She has been in Nashville for 7 years with small stents in L.A and Brooklyn. She recently started sewing and is hoping to develop her craft in the worlds of cosplay and theatre! She wish you peace and blessings the house down boots! @afroamericanfemme
KANE DAYTON (Adam) is excited to be working with Kindling Arts again after Lost Nashville. After graduating from University of Kentucky, Kane now performs with Fresh Talent Group and Found Movement Group. He has recently worked with artists such as Freak Daddy, Randall King, and Tahne. Some of his favorite stage credits include Dragon in Shrek the Musical and Hanna in La Cage Aux Folles. In his free time, he loves spending time with his loved ones who he cherishes so dearly. @kane_dayton
MCKAY HOUSE (Eve) is originally from Chattanooga, TN. She received her Bachelors in Dance from The University of Alabama in 2016 where she was awarded Outstanding Artistic Achievement. Since then she has conceived and performed original works at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Going Dutch Festival, and the Kindling Arts Festival. She lives and works in Nashville as a freelance dance and performance artist focusing most of her work on dance film and improvisation. She has also taught and organized for Nashville Contact Improvisation and has been a guest teacher of improvisation at several universities. @used_bookstore
LILA TOSHIKO (Creator) is so excited to back on the stage with such an amazing cast in the role of Creator. The Virginia native received her bachelors from MTSU in recording industry. When she’s not on stage, she’s working at the radio station, writing, or planning out her future as the next Ninja Warrior champion. @iamlilatoshiko
JUSTINE VAN DE BLAIR (The Naughty Tree) is the "Ditzy but Glitzy Enchantress of Nashville". She has been a drag entertainer for 12 years, with origins in Charleston, SC. She can be found gracing the stage as a special guest at many drag brunches and performance venues throughout town, including her show at City Tap and productions in Skye Lounge. She enjoys the magic of drag, the arts and is also known to sell Real Estate! Follow her on Instagram @justinequeenqueen
RISKY SOUR (The Serpent) A new resident of Nashville, Risky Sour has been gracing the stages of the southeast since 2015. Risky has performed with the likes of Fandom Nerdlesque, Back to Black Burlesque, Truvy's Rhinestone Cabaret, and Alleycat Cabaret. She is also the founder and co-producer of Atlanta's only horror troupe, Bump in the Night Ghoulesque. She is a cosplay model and performs at national conventions with MyGeekGlory. And when she's not on stage curating magic, her muggle life is being a hair/makeup artist at The Hideout Salon and Lounge in East Nashville. She's forever known for being the "Intoxicating Melanin Monroe of Burlesque." @makeuppsycho
SIMBA ALIK (Poet), formerly Simba The Poet, is a Nashville based dad, spoken word artist and communications wizard. He is most known for his contribution to the movement for Black and trans lives through his poetry. Simba is a storyteller, serial collaborator, and relationship builder invested in shifting cultures in the direction of justice and equity. Simba has a B.S. in Journalism and Sociology, a M.A. in Organizational Leadership, and is pursuing a M.S. in Public Relations. @simba_alik
TESSA BRYANT (Poet) is a fat and queer poet, writer, artist, educator, and birthworker. Her artistic work and her work as a childbirth professional work together and inspire one another. She is a board member at Verge Theater Company, as well as the producer for their 2020-2021 professional conversation series, conVERGEnce. She's worked professionally for Nashville Repertory Theatre, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Kindling Arts Festival, and Verge Theater Company, among others. She is the owner of Thistle & Iris Birth Services, where she offers full spectrum doula services and childbirth and infant care education. @tessanbryant
ROBYN LEIGH LEAR (Poet) was born to the world, but she claims no country. Her soul dances through the North Carolina hills, her heart beats for the history of Savannah, GA, but her eyes look longingly toward deep, unexplored corners of the Southern landscape. Her writing is a combination of chaos and searching, and perhaps her history reflects this directionless wandering. She is the creative dreamer behind Authors and Artists: The Regenerates, a writing and art collective that attempts to better understand the two mediums. Robyn is the Creative Director and "resident dreamer" for April Gloaming Publishing, an independent press located in Nashville. She works closely with AG authors and artists to help them bring their dreams from the background into reality. She also serves as a poetry and art editor for Waxing & Waning, the literary journal published through April Gloaming Publishing.
To support the work of Kindling Arts and Nashville-based artists, please consider making a donation via our fiscal sponsor, the Arts & Business Council.