The artistic lead takes us through their many creative outlets through theatre.
We spoke with 11 of D.C.’s performing arts professionals to learn more about how they set the scene. Check out the rest of the roundup here.
“I like to think of myself as a well-rounded creative,” Navi, artistic lead at Flying V Theatre, says.
Name a creative outlet and chances are they’ve done it: composition, design, writing, performance, curation and more. They’re also a proud, self-identifying nerd. “Well-rounded” doesn’t begin to encompass their sense of play or their imagination.
District Fray: How did your creativity first show itself?
Navi: When I was in high school, I remixed video game music for websites. I learned how to be a creative from that. I was my own manager, marketer and designer. My introduction to theatre was working at Capital Fringe for two years. Prior to that, I was a musician. I also worked as a lighting designer at 9:30 Club. I eventually realized that the medium is less important to me than the process of creation, than taking an idea and realizing it in a way that resonates with people as art.
What about being a nerd?
I am unabashedly cool with being called a nerd. Being a nerd, for me, means loving something so passionately that you want to be around other people who love it. You want to share it and view the world through the lens of caring about that thing. Twenty years ago, nerd culture was very white, straight and male. In 2023, nerd communities are some of the most diverse, open and queer spaces. Everyone can gravitate to it and feel accepted.
Describe Flying V Theatre.
I came to Flying V in 2016 because I heard it was the theatre that did nerd and pop culture art. We like to bring theatricality to non-traditional spaces, like our digital content, our pro wrestling, our burlesque and one-off events. It’s a way to bring new people to the theater, and a lot of people in our audiences come because we’re unafraid to let our nerd flag fly.
Tell us more about the upcoming “Nerdvana II” event.
We partner with Maki Roll, a vibrant presence in the BIPOC and queer nerd spaces, of Citrus Mint Productions, and the Nerdlesque Festival. Maki handles all the artistic decision. Flying V does the infrastructure like the venue, lights and sound. This is the second year we’re doing it. It’s a weekend-long celebration of nerd nightlife. There’s burlesque, nerdcore rap, pro wrestlers doing karaoke, comedy, cosplay routines, aerial routines, weapons demonstrations and more. You don’t know what you’re going to see or expect.
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