Lucia Neare


Doris Duke Impact Award, 2014
Theatre

Seattle, WA

Lucia Neare is a 21st-century pioneer of larger-than-life theatre in public spaces. Her company’s mission is as much social and political as artistic: to confront urban dilemmas with the power of free theatre, and nurture communities by inspiring joy in the public realm. Since 2006, she has presented dozens of large-scale site-specific works in the Pacific Northwest. Her Lullaby Moon (2008-2009) transformed many square miles of Seattle’s urban landscape into celestial dreamscapes on the evening of each new moon. For her contributions to Seattle’s cultural life, she received the 2012 Mayor’s Arts Award. In the same year, she was appointed Artist-in-Residence for both Seattle and the city of Redmond. Her work has been commissioned and supported by Seattle Art Museum, Artist Trust, Washington State Arts Commission, and Seattle Parks and Recreation, among others. Through an Exploration Grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s “Building Demand for the Arts" program, she currently serves as Artist-in-Residence at Seattle’s ACT Theatre where she is exploring the intersection of theatre and gaming culture.

  • Photo Credit: John Small
    Lucia Neare
  • Lucia Neare- Lullaby for Rookery (2015): http://vimeo.com/146691108
    Lullaby for Rookery (2015)
  • Lucia Neare- Recipe for Love II (2015): http://vimeo.com/146691107
    Recipe for Love II (2015)
  • Lucia Neare- Professor Pomme's Pomp and Pastry Paradoxicals III (2012) : http://vimeo.com/69438152
    Professor Pomme's Pomp and Pastry Paradoxicals III (2012)
  • Lucia Neare- Ooo La La, A May Day Spectacular (2008): http://vimeo.com/69493091
    Ooo La La, A May Day Spectacular (2008)
  • Photo Credit: John Small
  • Photo Credit: Michael Doucett
  • Photo Credit: John Small
    Lullaby Moon (2010)
  • Photo Credit: Michael Doucett
    Lullaby Moon VIII (2009)
  • Photo Credit: John Small
    Lullaby Moon VII (2009)
  • Photo Credit: Michael Doucett
    Lullaby Moon VII (2009)
  • Lullaby Moon III (2008)

Artistically, what do you do & why do you do it?

I create magic in public spaces. I weave fine art (live classical music, dance, sculpture) with disciplines unusual in contemporary art (dog training, baking, boating), then braid in magical realism and spectacle to create free performances that liberate public imagination and nurture the soul of place. Momentarily claiming civic space as part of the landscape of the dream, I eclipse conventional boundaries of theater by stimulating civic culture while exponentially expanding the spectrum of possibility for public engagement and social risk-taking. Highly collaborative, these ephemeral works come to life through a radical spirit of engagement across diverse communities.

Clothed in fairy tale aesthetics and sourced from site, these community-centric works reach beyond social barriers by mining elemental themes of the human experience: Family, the Journey, Paradise, and the Heavens. The productions engage audiences of tens of thousands in grand lyrical rites of the imagination unfolding in the secular sphere.

My performances help people recover their humanity, if only for a night. Within urban centers riven by commercial pressures, the work cultivates inclusion, kindness, and much-needed generosity, nurturing stewardship of public environments and personal imagination. My intention is to inspire a new civic Renaissance of heart and culture.