Cangue League avant-garde performance troupe is the creation of Gary Perrine, an artist of many media. In Sept. 2010, with a bit of free time and still riding high on his Unemployment Benefits, Gary asked some local artists if they'd be interested in staging some pieces that he'd written. The main impetus was the existence of Dog Story, a small storefront theater that would work nicely as a venue for some intimate "stage actions".
First off an "orchestra" was assembled. Mr. Perrine had surmised that the concept for the noises and music he imagined for the show would take some time to absorb by people not used to non-traditional sounds. Mike Saunders [synth. keyboard], Rebecca Rodriguez [classical guitar], Wil Lucy [banjo], Hugo Claudin [timpani] joined Mr. Perrine [sax + flute + accordion] at practicing playing without a net. The group incorporated sounds such as marbles in bowls and and hitting suspended plastic balls with their guitar strings. It took a while for the group to believe in the process of listening to a sound and responding to it when it felt right. The group came to be known as the Cangue League Orchestra and has performed on its own in some of the GR bars.
It was always a question in Mr. Perrine's mind on whether there were many Grand Rapidians that would welcome non-conventional / experimental performances. Surely a city the size of almost 20 thousand people, even though it is one of the top conservative strongholds in the nation both politically and in their lifestyle, would attract some open-minded folk.
The inaugural show was called "Flowers" because it would be a variety of stage actions with unrelated themes. Like a garden of many kinds of blooms. After Perrine made several attempts at creating a poster he contacted a person much better suited for the job, his friend the comic book artist, Nate Neal who gladly created a fantastic poster.
Bobbie Gilbert has given her every resource to help Cangue League acquire all props, costumes, food, drink, etc. She has been an important part of helping avant-garde theater exist in Grand Rapids, MI. Ms. Gilbert works both sides of the curtain, helping to keep things organized back stage, filling in on stage, helping promote shows, etc.
Since "Flowers" [3/11], Cangue League has produced "Revolutions" [9/11] Various pieces dealing with all the definitions of the word, "Skwert of Blud" [3/12] New original material anchored by a staging of Antonin Artaud's "Jet of Blood", "Technicolor Yawn" [11/12] Avant-garde dinner theater where each course was accompanied with a stage action. Cangue League also participated in GR's first annual Lake Effect Fringe Festival with "Want Want Lovely Play" an amalgam of some of our previously performed pieces.
Here's a bit of avant-garde theater history you may want to wade through.