Monday, April 27, 2009

Theatre Askew curates Avant-Garde-Arama 2009 at PS122

Theater Askew, NYC's leading queer theatre company, joins forces with Avant-Garde-Arama! Join us as we give PS 122's oldest and much-loved endeavor a decidedly lavender makeover with works from lesbian, gay, transgender, and even a few straight playwrights, choreographers, musicians, and solo performers. Two nights of exciting & askew Avant Garde performance. Check out the lineups and choose your night, or better yet, join us for both performances!

Performance Schedule:

Hosted by Everett Quinton and Bianca Leigh

Installation by Peter Cramer & Co from Le Petit Versailles Community Garden

Selections of queer experimental film

FRIDAY MAY 15 (Starting at 7:30 p.m.):
Estimated run time of 1 hour.

Solo Performance: Selection from Bianca Leigh's one woman show A Night at the Tombs based on her experiences as a high-end transsexual dominatrix

Group Performance: A sneak peek at Theatre Askew's new piece The Tale of the Good Whistleblower of Chaillot's Caucasian Wife and Her Other Children of a Lesser Marriage Chalk Circle by Stan Richardson, with performances by Debbie Troché, Tim Cusack and Joanna Parson

Music: Avant Berlin Cabaret by Isengart

Dance: Excerpt from Irene Riveros and BLISS Dance-Theatre's new piece inspired by Margaret Cho, i am i

SATURDAY MAY 16 (Starting at 7:30 p.m.):
Estimated run time of 1 hour.

Solo Performance: Polly Frost and Ray Sawhill's The Last Artist in New York City performed by Karen Grenke and directed by Jason Jacobs. The last artist left in NYC bids adieu to P.S. 122

Group Performance: Theatre Askew presents a new piece by OBIE-winner William M. Hoffman, 5 Heads. In the near future, the severed heads of Theatre Askew company members must band together to defeat their oppressor

Music: The Din (Matthew Pritchard and Isam Rum) presents a multimedia performance of new songs about the dynamics and dysfunction of their collaborative and personal relationship. Matthew's a little bit opera; Isam's a little bit rock 'n' roll. Tonight they meet in the middle

Dance: GERALDCASELDANCE in Save the Robots about the legendary and notorious Alphabet City after-hours club

Fri. May 15 - Sat. May 16
7:30 p.m.
Performance Space 122
150 First Avenue
New York, NY 10009

Tickets are $20
$15 students/seniors
$10 PS 122 members

For Tickets: Click Here

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Coming Soon: The Theater of Tomorrow

Target Margin Theater's 2009 Lab Series is devoted to American avant-garde work of the first half of the 20th Century. As they explain:
Long before Camino Real American theater artists were pushing the boundaries of their form. In our 2009 Lab, Target Margin Theater looks at some of the enormous range of work that sprang up in the early twentieth century. With the little theater movement, the WPA theater project, living newspapers, rising feminist consciousness, and the spread of European avant-garde movements in art, waves of American writers, actors, designers, directors, and musicians dreamed of a new theater: the theater of tomorrow we have inherited from them today.

The Lab includes (among other things) the following works:


by Gertrude Stein directed by David Herskovits

There may have been three of them. There may have been a play. There was then a play. The founding mother of us all teases out a memory and a story that is no story. We are all in this family of perhaps three.

Selections from COLD KEENER

by Zora Neale Hurston directed by Donya K. Washington

Drawing upon her folkloric studies, Hurston creates an angular structure. “Like African dance,” the pieces are linked through their differences in this collection of plays, as she abruptly changes the setting, mood and language to suggest the variety of ways to express black culture.

(oh my god I am so)THIRST(y)

(mostly) by Eugene O’Neill directed by Michael Levinton

Three desperate souls adrift at sea await the cruel, cruel fate bestowed on them by an angry God. A comedy which may or may not have absolutely nothing to do with race.

ARIA DA CAPO by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Ásta Bennie Hostetter and Julia Jarcho revisit this modernist/pastoral mashup to snack on high style, violence, and macaroons. Performing with TOM.

TOM by e.e. cummings

directed by Kathleen Kennedy Tobin

Cummings’ never-performed scenario for a ballet based on Uncle Tom’s Cabin, staged for puppets and paper cutouts. Performing with ARIA DA CAPO.


by Zora Neale Hurston

A collaboration between TMT and the Bronx Prep Charter School, teaching artist Andrew Simon and his students from the South Bronx have cast themselves in Hurston’s short play set in a one room schoolhouse, culminating in a raucous, exuberant finale.



(3 plays, 2 writers, 1 ticket!):


conceived and directed by Natalie Robin and the company. He was writing OUR TOWN. She was giving lecture tours around the world. But they had a lot of time to talk about their kitchens. Inspired by letters between Gertrude Stein and Thornton Wilder, two dilettantes tap dance their way into the closest of friendships.


by Thornton Wilder directed by John Kurzynowski

In Wilder’s 28-character one act, a train car and it’s passengers chart the pulses of American life as they collide physically, metaphysically, geographically, meteorologically, astronomically and theologically. Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. New York City.


(after Gertrude Stein) directed by Will Fulton

It’s about time Gertrude Stein put her money where her mouth is. Starting with the seed of Stein’s “For the Country Entirely,” designers will play a game of theatrical telephone until it all comes together into one cacophonous landscape of creative voices in dialogue.

All of this will happen May 17 - June 6 at THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY in Long Island City!

For Tickets: CLICK HERE

Monday, April 13, 2009



Downtown's premiere program for new plays. Six writer/director pairs create plays from scratch. Readings of the very newest work at Soho Rep.

FREE. First come, first served. All readings 7pm at Soho Rep.

A new play by Jonathan Bernstein
Directed by Katherine Kovner
Monday, April 13 at 7pm

A new play by Sally Oswald
Directed by Rafael Gallegos
Monday, April 20 at 7pm

A new play by Katherine Ryan
Directed by Stephen Brackett
Monday, April 27 at 7pm

A new play by Susan Tenneriello
Directed by Jerry Ruiz
Tuesday, May 5 at 7pm

A new play by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Directed by Shoshona Currier
Tuesday, May 12 at 7pm

A new play by Gregory S. Moss
Directed by Arin Arbus
Tuesday, May 19 at 7pm

Writer/Director Lab Co-Chairs: Maria Goyanes, Daniel Manley & Katherine Ryan

For More Info: CLICK HERE

Monday, April 06, 2009

This Week: Red Fly/Blue Bottle @ HERE

A theatrical event that bridges concert, cabinet of curiosities, and video installation, Red Fly/Blue Bottle challenges how we listen, look, and remember. Staged as a concert that unfolds within a densely layered video installation, this innovative new work delivers a rich aural and visual experience.



Directed by Mallory Catlett (Oh What War), interwoven with video imagery by Peter Norrman and Mirit Tal, Red Fly/Blue Bottle is designed by Jim Findlay (set), Miranda Hardy (lights) and Olivera Gajic (costumes) and Jeremy Wilson (live sound) to conjure an associative visual landscape in which objects open up in unexpected ways, revealing worlds within worlds.

With: Black-Eyed Susan (Ridiculous Theater), Jesse Hawley (NTUSA), singer song-writer Chris Lee, and Sam Baker (drums) and Erich Shoen-Rene (cello).

For Tickets & Info:

Sunday, April 05, 2009

9 Questions for Susan Bernfield (New Georges)

Angela's Mixtape by Eisa Davis begins performances at the Ohio Theater on Monday April 6th. The show is a co-production between New Georges and The Hip-Hop Theater Festival, so we took the opportunity to send 9 Questions to New Georges Artistic Director, Susan Bernfield and she was kind enough to take the time to send us these terrific, thoughtful answers:

1. What was the inspiration for forming New Georges?

Like lots of people, I formed a theater company right out of drama school (I was an actor). And we incorporated and did a few shows and then, again like lots of people, it kind of fizzled out. A few months later I took a commercial class (as in, for actors who want to be in commercials) which happened to have only women in it. An ongoing conversation started happening there about going in to audition for nothing but stupid bimbo parts, stupid other-stereotype parts... And it was right at that Anita Hill time, fall of 1991, the chick thing was just in the air. So I hooked up with a few people from that class, offering that first company's incorporation and bank account, and we decided we wanted to do something about women. We weren't sure what, though -- maybe produce plays by women, then maybe there'd be better roles for us? But it was SO HARD to find any plays by women! I'd go to the Drama Book Shop and comb the shelves, couldn't find a thing. So I thought, well, there must be women like me, who care about the kinds of things I do, who wanna write plays, so how do you find those people? I had no experience with new plays whatsoever, it was a completely different idea of theater than what I'd grown up with or thought I'd ever do. I'd never met a playwright in my life, could barely conceive of it (now I am one). And a lot of the resources for new plays or even the focus on new plays that there is now, I'm not sure it all existed then -- or it did, but not in the same way and certainly not in a way I had access to. I mean, I had no idea. But very soon I realized that producing new work and getting to know the people who made new work was the most creative, most interesting, most obvious path. Of course the company and its mission have evolved a lot since then, and so have I.

2. What is the hardest part of keeping a theater company going for 17 years?

The first 16 years! No, what's hardest keeps changing, actually, which is good. In the early years it was like constantly pushing a boulder up a hill, sometimes literally. These days, I have a bit more help and a bit more experience and I don't have to go out anymore and paint and strike and do all kinds of things I have no skills for, all by myself, and then not be able to and cry. That... was hard. Probably the reason I was doing everything is that I'm pretty shy, it was nearly impossible for me to ask for stuff, especially to ask people to help. And doing what we do can involve a lot of asking. I think that slowed us down quite a bit -- spending whole days staring at the phone but never quite picking it up is not productive! It took a long time to find good partners and to better assert what we needed. So maybe I'd say that's the hardest, always asking, especially during the times when I felt like I was pushing that boulder all alone... fortunately, that's a lot rarer now. But even today, asking is very very hard for me.

3. What is the best part of your job?

People, no question. Getting to know and to hang with cool and interesting and fun people, people who are doing something they care relentlessly about. Said another way, I probably mean community. It's incredibly meaningful to me, not just the community of artists at New Georges (where I woke up one morning and realized I'd created the community I so clearly needed myself), but also the community of my fellow producers, the downtown theater community... all kinds of loose and amazing networks of people that I get to be a part of. That I'm really privileged and fortunate to be a part of. There's no way I'd still be doing this if I didn't feel this tremendous structure of support from incredible theater friends, and I didn't have the opportunity to give that support right back.

4. What have you seen (other than New Georges work, or course) that you’ve really loved?

Recently, or ever, or do I get to pick? Recently I really loved TELEPHONE at the Foundry and THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY at the Vineyard and END DAYS at EST and THE GOOD NEGRO at the Public. Been kind of a good year, actually, that's not even all I liked! Oh, and HAIR, I'm gonna see HAIR for the third time, even though it may hamper my ability to send my kids to college! (To tell you the truth, I'm gonna take my kids to HAIR. So I guess that'll be instead of sending them to college. Which makes sense, I think they're gonna learn a lot.)

5. Your newest production, Angela’s Mixtape is a co-production with Hip Hop Theater Festival – how did that come about?

Eisa Davis, the playwright, originally developed the piece with Hip-Hop Theater Festival a while back. As soon as we decided to do it, Eisa said, "you have to get in touch with them and get them involved!" Which I was beyond happy to do. I love that we share the attitude that we're not in it just to put on a play, but to create an event. And we serve different purposes on the project -- New Georges is essentially producing the New York production, 'cause that's what we do, and they're interested in finding a touring life for the project once it's up, 'cause that's what they do. So we're all learning. I've loved getting to know Clyde Valentin and everybody there, and they bring so much to this project.

6. Have there been shows that New Georges has done that you loved and felt they didn’t get the response they deserved?

I'm usually happy with the response we get from people who get to our shows; historically, the problem's more about bringing attention to shows so that more people come see them and are then able to respond. Especially so that the artists (and potentially also the piece) can go further, so the production can actually make a difference in the artist's life. There's no worse feeling than when you've got a piece you think everyone should see (and the audience you've got agrees with you), but you can't for the life of you figure out how to access more audience. That's less of a problem these days, we have more time to work harder at it and we have a little bit more visibility, and this crazy Internet thing helps. But from back in the day, I wish we'd been able to bring more attention and people to TOMORROWLAND by Neena Beber, SELF DEFENSE by Carson Kreitzer, ANNA BELLA EEMA by Lisa D'Amour, to name just a few.

7. How do you choose projects?

We start by choosing artists, really. When I meet artists who interest me, I often talk about -- let's start a relationship, do some work, I'll see your other work, then we'll see if something pops to the surface. And that does happen. In the best circumstances, projects are just... obvious, make sense, fall into place. Actually I like that you're asking about projects, because that's how I think about it, too. A lot of companies choose plays, but most of the time we really do choose the project. We want to do what interests us as producers -- the question often becomes, can we make an event out of this? And I know when we can from the combustion I feel happening between potential collaborators. There are times I've just up and said "let's do it!" because I'm in the room with a playwright and a director and I can sense the energy they're going to bring to the work, how that collaboration will bring what's on the page forward in a way that's specific and exciting and something that I want to be a part of.

8. Now that The Ohio’s future is in question, would you ever consider having your own venue?

It would have to be a pretty special venue, just because the logistics and finances of having your own space seem, well, overwhelming to me. Right now, we just have a rehearsal space of our own, and that's almost too much to deal with. But you're right, as spaces disappear I do start to wonder whether we're going to have a choice on that. Sigh. It's definitely getting harder.

9. What’s next?

This fall, we're co-producing CREATURE by Heidi Schreck, directed by Leigh Silverman, with P73 Productions. And we're always doing things in The Room, our workspace. We'll keep you posted!

New Georges
Hip-Hop Theater Festival
by Eisa Davis
Directed by Liesl Tommy

Mondays through Saturdays 8pm
opens April 9 at 7pm

66 Wooster Street, Soho

$35 premium seating (reserved)
$20 general admission

For tickets: Click Here
or call 212-868-4444

Saturday, April 04, 2009

2009 Lucille Lortel Award Nominations

Outstanding Play:
Animals Out of Paper; Second Stage Theatre, Producer; Rajiv Joseph, Playwright

Becky Shaw; Second Stage Theatre, Producer; Gina Gionfriddo, Playwright

Ruined; Manhattan Theatre Club and Goodman Theatre, Producer; Lynn Nottage, Playwright

The Good Negro; The Public Theater in association with Dallas Theater Center, Producers; Tracey Scott Wilson, Playwright

The Sound and the Fury (April Seventh, 1928); New York Theatre Workshop and Elevator Repair Service, Producers; Text by William Faulkner, Created by Elevator Repair Service

Outstanding Musical:
Fela! A New Musical; Ruth and Stephen Hendel and Roy Gabay, Producers; Book by Jim Lewis and Bill T. Jones, Music and Lyrics by Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Add'l Music by Aaron Johnson and Jordan McLean, Add'l Lyrics by Jim Lewis.

My Vaudeville Man!; The York Theatre Company and Melanie Herman, Producers; Book by Jeff Hochhauser, Music by Bob Johnston, Lyrics by Bob Johnston and Jeff Hochhauser

Road Show; The Public Theater, Producer; Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by John Weidman

Saved; Playwrights Horizons in association with Elephant Eye Theatrical, Producers; Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman, Book and Lyrics by John Dempsey and Rinne Groff

This Beautiful City; Vineyard Theatre, Producer; Composer and Lyricist Michael Friedman, Librettist Steve Cosson and Jim Lewis, Created by The Civilians

Outstanding Solo Show:
Humor Abuse; Manhattan Theatre Club, Producer; Created by Lorenzo Pisoni and Erica Schmidt, Performed by Lorenzo Pisoni

Sleepwalk With Me; Eli Gonda, Ryan Scott Warren, Marc Turtletaub, Peter Saraf, and Nathan Lane, Producers; Written and Performed by Mike Birbiglia

Outstanding Revival:
Enter Laughing, The Musical; The York Theatre Company, Producer; Book by Joseph Stein, Music and Lyrics by Stan Daniels, Based on the play Enter Laughing by Joseph Stein, from the novel by Carl Reiner.

Othello; Theatre for a New Audience, Producer; William Shakespeare, Playwright

Our Town; Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian, Tom Wirtshafter, Ted Snowdon, Eagle Productions, Dena Hammerstein/Pam Pariseau, The Weinstein Company, Burnt Umber Productions, Producers; Thornton Wilder, Playwright

The Cripple of Inishmaan; Atlantic Theater Company and Druid Theatre Company, Producers; Martin McDonagh, Playwright

The Glass Cage; Mint Theater Company, Producer; J.B. Priestley, Playwright

Outstanding Director:
Arin Arbus, OthelloDavid Cromer, Our TownGarry Hynes, The Cripple of InishmaanKate Whoriskey, RuinedRobert Woodruff, Chair
Outstanding Choreographer:
Martha Clarke, Garden of Earthly DelightsBill T. Jones, Fela! A New MusicalJanet Miller, The Marvelous WonderettesLynne Taylor-Corbett and Shonn Wiley, My Vaudeville Man!Sergio Trujillo, Saved
Outstanding Lead Actor:
Ned Eisenberg, OthelloBrian d'Arcy James, Port AuthorityJosh Grisetti, Enter Laughing, The MusicalSahr Ngaujah, Fela! A New MusicalJohn Douglas Thompson, Othello
Outstanding Lead Actress:
Ellen Burstyn, The Little Flower of East OrangeSaidah Arrika Ekulona, RuinedCarmen M. Herlihy, crookedKellie Overbey, The Savannah DisputationAnnie Parisse, Becky Shaw
Outstanding Featured Actor:
Utkarsh Ambudkar, Animals Out of PaperFrancois Battiste, The Good NegroJohn McMartin, Saturn ReturnsAaron Monaghan, The Cripple of InishmaanThomas Sadoski, Becky Shaw
Outstanding Featured Actress:
Annika Boras, ChairKerry Condon, The Cripple of InishmaanLisa Emery, DistractedMamie Gummer, Uncle VanyaJuliet Rylance, Othello
Outstanding Scenic Design:
Beowulf Boritt, Animals Out of PaperMarina Draghici, Fela! A New MusicalRoger Hanna, The Glass CageJames Schuette, Wig Out!David Zinn, Chair
Outstanding Costume Design:
Marina Draghici, Fela! A New MusicalAnn Hould-Ward, Road ShowToni-Leslie James, Wig Out!Karen Perry, The First Breeze of SummerTheresa Squire, Rafta, Rafta…
Outstanding Lighting Design:
Christopher Akerlind, Garden of Earthly DelightsMark Barton, ChairLap Chi Chu, The Good NegroMarcus Doshi, OthelloJason Lyons, Mourning Becomes Electra
Outstanding Sound Design:
Quentin Chiappetta, Irena's VowJohn Gromada, Shipwrecked! An EntertainmentRobert Kaplowitz, Wig Out!Jane Shaw, The Widowing of Mrs. HolroydMatt Tierney, The Sound and the Fury (April Seventh, 1928)
Special Awards:
Edith Oliver Award for Sustained Excellence:
Ira Weitzman

Outstanding Body of Work:
The Lark Play Development Center

For more information about the awards, you can visit