REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater)

Fund: $50,000

REDCAT will present artist Nao Bustamante’s new multimedia piece The Wooden People, which layers ancient myths with the familiar melodrama of the telenovela while grappling with ideas of queer existence, love, and a connection to the cosmos. Bustamante expands upon a central theme of the Mayan origin story, which tells of pre-humans—“the wooden people”—who were formed and then destroyed by fire. The project will take the form of a series of short 360/VR films that will be screened at REDCAT, each culminating in a “live” ritual/performance. This technology will enable Bustamante to heighten the audience’s experience of her storytelling in a visceral way. The films will follow several archetypal characters from the Mayan culture and class system as they navigate contemporary Los Angeles. Notable Los Angeles performers will transport the viewer into a new space flowing between the make-believe past and a fantastical future.