Martin Denton: A Conversation

mddbwJust in case you haven’t heard the news,  Martin Denton is closing up shop. He announced on August 31st that he and Rochelle are retiring from the business of theatre. Our community was in shock and sad but grateful and supportive. The Dentons have been an integral part of the independent theatre community for the last 20 years giving us the voice we so desperately needed and now definitely need.

Thank you for all you have done for our indie community for 20 years which is how long I have known of you! You and Rochelle have always been kind when we saw each other at shows. I also thank you for taking the time to chat with me.

I love everything about this statement: 1996 October – Martin Denton takes an Internet class and builds his first website, dedicated to his number one passion, the theatre. What was going on in the indie scene that sparked an interest in writing about the community?

Discovering the indie community actually came later for me. When I started nytheatre.com I was very much focused, like most people, on Broadway and off-Broadway. But I started getting invitations from smaller indie companies to review their work, and I learned that this was the work I preferred, because of the passion and risk-taking that seemed to always be inherent in it. So I made the indie community my niche, which I think was a great decision!

Where did the ideas of creating a small press and a media outlet come from?

In 1999 we saw a play called “Are We There Yet?” by Garth Wingfield at Synchronicity Space in SoHo. After the play I said to Rochelle, “That was a great play—it’s too bad that after it ends its 16-performance showcase that it will probably be forgotten. Someone ought to publish it.” And then, a few months later, we decided that WE would publish it, along with other excellent new plays from the indie theater world. We did it because it needed to be done, like so much of what we did along the way.

When and how did you connect with Elena and The NY International Fringe Festival? And how did you and your team manage to review every show?

I went to the very first FringeNYC in 1997 and loved it. The following year we reviewed it pretty extensively. In 1999, we decided to bring our first volunteer reviewers on staff and made an effort to review as much as we could (perhaps 40 or 50 shows all told). I don’t remember how we made the connection with the FringeNYC folks, but I do remember that I met John Clancy for the first time a few days before the ’99 festival, when we sat down for a few hours at the Present Company Theatorium and he went through the Program Guide with me. We just clicked with the FringeNYC folks; they became our theatrical home base. We got involved in many aspects of the festival over the years: did you know that I was the master of ceremonies of the Opening Ceremonies more times than anyone else?

As for doing the reviews of every show in the festival, as we did every year from 2002 through 2014: we did it because we had dozens of dedicated volunteers to make it happen. Each of them saw and wrote about a few shows and together we got the whole festival covered. I think they all did it because they believed in the underlying idea, that all of the shows deserved some feedback.

“Martin Denton, Martin Denton” written by Chris Harcum is a wonderful tribute to you and Rochelle. How did this charming story make it to the page then to the stage especially at the Kraine with Horse Trade?

We had dinner with Chris and his wife Aimee (who directed the play) about a year ago. At some point Chris remarked that the various anecdotes I was relating about earlier days of indie theater might make a good play, and he asked if he could create one. By about January he had a first draft, and then we were involved in fact-checking and so forth. The whole effort was entirely Chris and Aimee’s. They booked it at the Kraine, which I thought was a splendid and appropriate choice.

So what was the moment that made you say to yourself, “it’s time”.

It was when I realized there was something I wanted to do more than what I had been doing. For nearly 20 years, the NYC theater scene was the focus of almost all my energy and resources and love. But people change, and now I have discovered that I want to spend my days exercising parts of my brain that I didn’t engage with as much in the past. I am becoming a maker, particularly of Lego creations. I am writing about what I am discovering on my new blog, Second Childhood. And we’re starting a little online Lego business as well.

What are your thoughts on the future of the indie scene in New York City?

I think that there are always going to be amazing, ambitious, talented artists coming onto the scene, who will morph and evolve it as their needs and desires see fit. It’s a much tougher place to work in than it used to be, mostly because, as someone famously said, the rent is too damn high. But that won’t stop these folks from making art, and I wish them well. Oscar Hammerstein II wrote in Cinderella: “Because these daft and dewy-eyed dopes keep building up impossible hopes, impossible things are happening every day.” He was right.

Do you know how much you will be missed?

That’s a sweet question. The people we worked with over the years have actually done a pretty wonderful job of making that kind of clear, in emails and Facebook posts.

Any words of wisdom?

Do what you care about. Do what matters to you. Don’t wish that things were different, just make each moment be as close to how you want the world to be as you can. And, quoting Yoda: Either do or do not; there is no try.

One more question! I am sure you observed the ebbs and flows of the scene. What were some high points and low points in your observation?

A low point: that too many wonderful artists spend their time on social media posting about what they’re feeling rather than creating art (for example, a play) about what they’re feeling.

Too many high points to name, but a couple come to mind. One was how the community came together in a meaningful, tangible way to help each other after 9/11. Another was how the community organically evolved in the early 2000s to embrace diversity (in terms of gender identity, sexual identity, race, religion, ethnicity, etc.). There is more to do, but I loved how it just seemed to spring forth without any organizing or lobbying right after 9/11.

Meet Callie Prendiville & Blamed: An Established Fiction @blamedafiction

20287166_1419773238109121_1830937262179721600_oName: Callie Prendiville

What is your current project?

Blamed: An Established Fiction is a new play that combines text with live music and dance to examine the girls and women throughout mythology, history, and literature who have been blamed for the ills of the world. Each culture seems to have one thing in common: A well-known tale in which a girl does something horrible, or is the victim of something horrible, and she ruins everything and everyone around her. From Eve and Pandora to Lilith and La Llorona, Blamed brings the women to life in an intoxicating mix of live music, dance, and story.

Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production?

We are performing on the main stage at the Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam St, New York, NY 10013). It’s the perfect fit for us because we were invited by their producer, who saw us perform at the Hollywood Fringe. The Soho Playhouse hosts the Fringe Encore Series, where shows from Fringe Festivals around the world are handpicked to bring their productions to New York City. We are so thrilled to be a part of this festival, both to get to perform for a New York audience and to see the other shows from other countries as well.

What’s next for you?

I am based in Southern California. Blamed: An Established Fiction was originally written for my husband’s high school drama program, the La Habra Theater Guild. I will continue to direct shows there with him. I am also the Associate Artistic Director of MOXIE Theatre in San Diego, and this is my first season in that role.

What is the name of the last show you saw?

In CA: Once at South Coast Repertory. In NYC: The Woodsman in 2016. Although Blamed is very different from both of these shows, the live music and puppetry aesthetic from each show is present in our show.

Any advice for your peers?

Always show up! Someone told me in my time in undergrad that showing up is 80% of staying in the business of theatre, and that really stuck with me. I try to always show up, even when opportunities seem scary or unlikely. Taking a 16 person show with instruments, puppets, and props from California to New York City was certainly one of those times.

Want More?

Website: http://www.lhhsguild.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/blamedfiction/

Twitter: @blamedafiction

Instagram: @blamedatfringe

 

Callie Prendiville is an actress, writer, educator, and the Associate Artistic Director of MOXIE Theatre. Callie has performed at South Coast Repertory, the La Jolla Playhouse, the Los Angeles Opera, North Coast Repertory, the Long Beach Playhouse, Lyric Opera San Diego, Downey Civic Light Opera, and the Playwrights’ Project at the Lyceum. Callie’s play The Plummer Project: An Immersive Experience, an interactive play presented by the La Habra Theater Guild about the history of North Orange County, received a California Stories Grant from the California Humanities Association. Her other play, Blamed: An Established Fiction, about the women blamed for the ills of the world in folk tales and mythology, and won Best Drama at the San Diego International Fringe Festival in 2015 (where it was performed in Tijuana, B.C. and San Diego) and won the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival Scholarship, funded by the National Endowment of the Arts. In September, Blamed will be performed Off-Broadway at the Soho Playhouse. Callie has taught at the University of San Diego, Concordia University Irvine, the Orange County School of the Arts, BRIDGE Theatre Project, La Habra Theater Guild, Christian Youth Theatre, and Gary Spatz’s The Playground.


Show Information:

Dates: 9/16 5pm, 9/17 1pm, 9/18 7pm, 9/19 7pm, 9/20 7pm

Venue: Soho Playhouse (15 Vandam St, New York, NY 10013)

Tickets: http://www.sohoplayhouse.com/event/71d79f7fda5824e4d6d76b55b10612fb

Meet Cecilia Vaicels & Love Court

Name: Cecilia Vaicels

What is your current project? Love Court

Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production? 

The Robert Moss Theatre, 440 Lafayette St, 3rd Fl, NYC. This is a great space. I’ve performed here a few times before. There are three dressing rooms so we are not overcrowded, nice amount of wing space for set pieces, props and actors waiting for entrances. We have a large enough stage that we can switch scenes with lighting from one spot to another but still maintain an intimate experience for our audience.

What’s next for you?

I don’t have anything lined up performance wise as yet. However, on Saturday, December 16th, I will be directing Christmas Carolers on the steps of the Altar at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC. It’s a lovely experience for anyone who would like to participate. No rehearsal required. Just let us know you will be attending so we have enough song books to distribute. Those attending will be asked to arrive between 6:00 and 6:30 PM in the basement of the Cathedral. We’ll give instructions and song books out and have a short warm up. At 7:00 PM, we will go up to the steps of the Altar and sing our hearts out. It’s a family event. You don’t have to be Catholic … you don’t even have to know all the carols. Anyone who is interested can email me at CeciliaVaicels@aol.com.

What is the name of the last show you saw?

The last show I saw was ANASTASIA on Broadway with my grandnephew. We have a standing date when he comes home from college to see a Broadway show. We both LOVED it! It was a beautiful story with wonderful music.

Any advice for your peers?

The only advice I have to give is to do what you love and do it to the best of your ability. Take everything one day at a time and enjoy the hell out of it!

Want More?

Website: http://www.ceciliavaicels.com

Facebook: Cecilia Vaicels

 

Instagram: @ceciliavaicels

Cecilia Vaicels (Bonita Braithwaite) In IOS Productions of “That Lady from Maxim’s”, she originated the role of Gabrielle Petypon and played her in all three productionis including the New York Musical Festival. She originated the role of Elsa Maxwell in their World Premier of “Cafe Coward” and played Lynn Fontanne in the Long Island Premier. Other IOS productions: “Occupation: Dragonslayer” (Harriet), “Lighthouse” (Evangeline Pratt), “Autumn Leaves”, “Our Town” (Mrs. Webb), “Still Life” (Myrtle Baggot), “Idiot’s Delight” (Senora Rossi), “an Intimate Eve with Will & Chris” (various Shakespearean characters), “Suddenly Last Summer” (Sr. Felicity”. Other credits include: “Rags” (Landlady), “George M!” (Mrs. Barker), “The Wizard of Oz” (Almira Gulch/Wicked Witch), “Kiss of the Spider Woman” (Molina’s Mother), “Into the Woods” (Granny/Giant/Cinderella’s Mother), “Gypsy” (Mazeppa), “Little Shop of Horrors” (Puppeteer/Audrey II), “Brighton Beach Memiors” (Kate), “Night Watch” (Helga) and many more. She has also appearedin independent films, most recently “Dumped” and “The Cosplayer” by I Like to Play with Toys Productions.


Show Information:

When:  September 7th – 17th

Where: The Robert Moss Theatre at 440 Lafayette Street

Tickets: https://isleofshoals.wixsite.com/lovecourtmusical/performance-dates

 

THE TANK Announces Move TO New Venue and 2017/18 Season

 

Co-Artistic Directors Rosalind Grush and Meghan Finn at the 2017 Drama Desk Awards
The Tank (Meghan Finn and Rosalind Grush, Artistic Directors) is pleased to present their 2017/18 Season out of a new home at 312 West 36th Street which boasts two theater spaces, a 98 seat proscenium and 56 seat blackbox. Building upon The Tank’s 14-year legacy of providing a home for new work by emerging artists, The Tank is thrilled to bring their producing and presenting together under one roof.
Following the success of recent Tank productions (critically acclaimed and Drama Desk-Nominated works like ADA/AVA, YOUARENOWHERE, THE PAPER HAT GAME and THE EPHEMERA TRILOGY as well as the 2017 premiere of A HUNGER ARTIST) The Tank will bring its multi-disciplinary presented programming together with fully-produced new theatrical works to its new venue, at 312 West 36th Street. This marks a moment of major growth for The Tank, which will now be able to more than double its already prolific year-round programming and robust services for emerging artists in Manhattan.
The Tank is helmed by Co-Artistic Director Rosalind Grush, who has seen the company through the last four years of growth and successes. She is joined by newly-appointed Co-Artistic Director Meghan Finn (dir. DOOMOCRACY), who joined in April after co-producing ADA/AVA, YOUARENOWHERE, THE PAPER HAT GAME and Mac Wellman’s THE OFFENDING GESTURE (which she also directed), during her time as Associate Artistic Director of 3-Legged Dog.
“This is a truly transformative moment for The Tank,” says Co-Artistic Director Rosalind Grush. “We are one of the few arts organizations whose model is based on more. More artists bringing their ideas to the table makes for a better, deeper, more complex conversation. More shows means increased opportunities for innovation, for experimentation, for polished work pushing the boundaries of what you’d think is possible in a theater, for scrappy passionate work created in a week in response to what’s happening right now in our country. More means inclusiveness. More means that you’ll see work here that wouldn’t or couldn’t happen anywhere else. And even with more, even with having seen literally over 1,000 performances during my tenure here, I’m still constantly surprised, delighted, disturbed, and forever changed by the performances on our stages.”
“This move and the expansion of our programming and services that comes with it represents our commitment to more artists, more art, more ideas – each unique, each political, each the lifeblood of what makes New York City a global cultural center.” –Co-Artistic Director Meghan Finn
YŌKAI, Remedy for Despair 
Created by Award-winning Norwegian Company, The Krumple
United States Premiere, September 11-24 
In a desolate space stands a group of curious looking people. With miniature trees and paper seagulls in their pockets they begin to recreate the world as they see it. A premeditated car accident, a ravenous cod and a dreadful Christmas Eve are part of the chaos created by the Yōkai. Combining dance, magic, poetry and sheer stupidity, The Krumple tells a contemporary tale of our attempts to find hope in moments of despair.
Sam’s Tea Shack
Written by Ben Gassman, Directed by Meghan Finn
Featuring Sam Soghor with Design by Normandy Sherwood
New York Premiere, September 12-October 1 
Steeped in a reverence for the F train as the new Silk Road, SAM’S TEA SHACK is a part-Ashkenazi Jewish boy’s fantasy he is amongst is ancestors: central Asian nomads. In this malleable exchange between audience and Sam, he serves tea, talks about the neighborhood, Persian emperors, going to high school with Lin Manuel Miranda, dumplings and samosas, and whatever is on your mind–it’s a piece about cultural identity vs. national identity.  It’s a comedy.
Wood Calls Out to Wood
Written by Corinne Donly, Directed by Polly Noonan
World Premiere, November 2017 
An adaptation of Hieronymus Bosch’s 15th century triptych “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” Wood Calls Out to Wood is a painting translated into a play, a landscape turned into a soundscape. It is a precise and deeply silly experiment in the possibilities of combination–of single syllables combining to make words and single people combining to make couples. The audience first encounters the play as they would a picture hanging on a distant wall, in large swaths of color and pattern. When taking a closer look, however, strange Boschian beings begin to emerge: Two horses in a neigh-scent relationship, a vacant treehouse in need of a tenant, and a man with a grape for a head.
PILLOWTALK
Conceived & Created by Kyoung’s Pacific Beat
Presented as part of Exponential Festival
World Premiere, January 2018
PILLOWTALK is an intimate two-character drama centered around Sam and Buck, a newlywed interracial gay couple. Using inventive staging incorporating elements of ballet’s pas de deux, the play examines the evolving values of gay marriage and asks whether queer communities of color can truly celebrate marriage equality in times of #BlackLivesMatter?
[Flying] Dutchman: A Rite
Presented by Theatre of War
February 2018
Amiri Baraka’s 1964 text serves as foundation for a timely reconstruction examining eloquent blind fury, racial hysteria, sexual hysteria, and white obsession with silencing the black voice/body. (Flying) Dutchman is part ceremony, clown show, rite, and seance created to navigate the haunted, outer reaches of the human psyche. And to conjure up Baraka himself for marching orders, words of wisdom, our final wake up call. Join Theatre Of War as we wipe away the dust from this artifact of a play, hoping it will serve as talisman and compass in these abnormal times.
Leisure, Labor, Lust
Written by Sara Farrington, Directed by Marina McClure
New York Premiere, April 2018
A triptych presented as an evening-length work, LEISURE, LABOR, LUST is inspired by the worlds of Edith Wharton and Jacob Riis explores the class system, sexual politics, decadence, and treatment of mental illness in 1907 New York. When performed in succession, all three parts present a truly American story that transcends time, reminding us that classism, racism, and sexism have always been woven into the fabric of American life and evolve as we do.
SHEEP #1
Created by Nekaa Lab and Sachiyo Takahashi
New York Premiere, May 2018
Inspired by Saint-Exupéry’s writings, sheep #1 is a story of our protagonist – a tiny sheep – who starts its journey in search of the meaning of life. With ultimate simplicity and bold abstraction, this piece was conceived in 2006 as the first Microscopic Live Cinema-Theatre experience crafted by Sachiyo Takahashi. Performed in real-time, the storytelling magnifies miniature worlds, projected onto a large screen. A tabletop in front of the audience serves as a stage where Takahashi manipulates small characters and props. Through the use of manual visual effects accompanied by original soundtrack, the audience is invited to an intimate dream-like experience enhanced through the combination of cinematic presentation and live operation.
Manufacturing Mischief: The Adventures of Professor Chomsky VS. The Print-A-Friend Menace (Working Title)
Conceived by Pedro Reyes
Written by Paul Hufker, Directed by Meghan Finn
World Premiere, June 2018
The latest puppet endeavor from Mexico City-based visual artist, Pedro Reyes, the inaugural Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology where he has been developing the piece. Pedro has been working with puppets since 2008, using philosophers and revolutionaries from different periods in history as protagonists. While at MIT, Reyes met with Noam Chomsky and was granted his permission to do a puppet play using him as the main character. This piece will incorporate the Noam Chomsky puppet as well as 23 puppets from his past works. To create this work, Pedro will collaborate with the team from his recent celebrated production of DOOMOCRACY produced by CreativeTime, writer Paul Hufker, and director Meghan Finn.
The Tank is a non-profit arts presenter serving emerging artists engaged in the pursuit of new ideas and forms of expression. We serve over 1,000 artists every year in over 400 performances, and work across all disciplines, including theater, comedy, dance, film, music, public affairs, and storytelling. Our goal is to foster an environment of inclusiveness and remove the burden of cost from the creation of new work for artists launching their careers and experimenting within their art form. The heart of our services is providing free performance space in our 98 seat proscenium and 56 seat blackbox that we operate in Manhattan, and we also offer a suite of other services such as free rehearsal space, promotional support, artist fees, and much more. We keep ticket prices affordable and view our work as democratic, opening up both the creation and attendance of the arts to all. Since its founding in 2003, artists who have come through The Tank include Alex Timbers, Amy Herzog, Lucy Alibar, Mike Daisey, Reggie Watts, Kyle Abraham, Andrew Bujalski, We Are Scientists, and tens of thousands of others.  www.thetanknyc.org
Rosalind Grush (Co-Artistic Director) has been leading The Tank for nearly four years. During her tenure, she has overseen more than 1,000 multi-disciplinary performances of new work by emerging artists. In addition to spearheading countless programming initiatives, she produced four Drama Desk nominated shows in the Unique Theatrical Experience category, and four New York Times Critics’ Picks. She has also worked in various administrative capacities with Obie Award-winning theater company The Civilians, Playwrights Realm, Ars Nova, and more. She has been a script-reader for SPACE on Ryder Farm, Playwrights Realm, and The Relentless Theater Award. She has been on grant panels for the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of New York, Brooklyn Arts Council, and A.R.T./NY’s Nancy Quinn Fund. She has been a guest speaker for classes at the Columbia Graduate School of the Arts, the Columbia University Internship Experience, Bard College, Baruch College, and others. She has written several scripts that have been read or produced at The Tank. She is a graduate of Columbia University and grew up in Los Angeles.
Meghan Finn (Co-Artistic Director) is a director based in Brooklyn, NY who took over as Co-Artistic Director of The Tank in April of 2017. Prior to that she was the Associate Artistic Director of 3LD where she co-presented The Tank’s celebrated 2015/16 Season. She recently she directed DOOMOCRACY by artist Pedro Reyes for Creative Time at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Other recent credits include: CHARLESES by Carl Holder (The Tank at The Brick for Save & Print), Sam’s Tea Shack by Ben Gassman and Sam Soghor (The Tank at STK), The Offending Gesture by Mac Wellman (The Tank/3LD at The Connelly); American Power performed by photographer Mitch Epstein and Composer/Cellist Erik Friedlander at the V&A London and The Wexner Center, Columbus, Ohio; Gary Winter’s DAREDEVIL at The Brick; The Downtown Loop by Ben Gassman (3LD/3D+ Productions/Teeth of Tooth Atelier); Take Me Home by Alexandra Collier set in a taxi cab (Incubator Arts Project/LPR), The Service Road by Erin Courtney, Motel Cherry by Peggy Stafford (Summerworks Clubbed Thumb/New Georges HERE ) and 3 2’s; or AFAR by Mac Wellman (Dixon Place). BA USC, MFA Brooklyn College.

Meet Marcina Zaccaria & Village, My Home

Name: Marcina Zaccaria

What is your current project?
My new provocative and timely new drama Village, My Home
Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production?
Performances of “Village, My Home” — about diverse New Yorkers confronting political and cultural uncertainties — will run Sunday, August 27 at 5PM; Tuesday, August 29 at 9PM; Thursday, August 31 at 9PM; Friday, September 1 at 9PM; Saturday, September 2 at 2PM; and Sunday, September 3 at 8PM at the Theater for the New City on 155 First Avenue in Manhattan.
In a chaotic business world, do we know the difference between astrophysics and Buddha? Can it all be solved with yoga? Featuring characters at various points of their lives, Village, My Home questions how we choose New York City and what are the comforts that draw us back home. We meet the Old Woman, a matriarch who loves to paint and remembers the horrors of greater storms. We get a glimpse of out-of-towners and travelers from other boroughs, willing to take the City. Just when you yearn for your fax machine, we meet a new school, techno-tribal Computer Geek who threatens to interrupt the very subways that connect us every day. With theatrical movement and state-of-the-art sound design, “Village, My Home” promises to warm the heart and calm the most unsettling times The Theater for the New City is a terrific theater which has been presenting plays since the 1970s. And the 8th Annual Dream Up Festival is an ultimate new work festival, dedicated to the joy of discovering new authors and edgy, innovative performances
I am the Event Coordinator for an organization called LIT, the League of Independent Theater. We are hosting programs for indie theater artists in September and October.
What is the name of the last show you saw?
“My Dear Watson” at the New York Musical Festival
 
Create every day! Have many, many friends.
Marcina Zaccaria is a writer, director, and arts administrator. She has directed readings and performances in venues that include New Dramatists, TheaterLab, HERE Arts Center, 13th Street Repertory Theatre, Soho Rep, Dance Theater Workshop, The Brick Theater, and the Ohio Theater. She curated a Salon at Dixon Place, which featured visual artists, spoken word artists, dancers, filmmakers, and theater artists. Zaccaria has written monologues, published in InterJACtions: Monologues from the Heart of Human Nature (Vol. II), available on Amazon. She is published in the New Crit section of Howl Round, and her clips can be found on Twitter. An editor at The Theatre Times, Marcina is a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women.

Show Information:

Where: Theater for the New City on 155 First Avenue
When:
  • Sunday, August 27 at 5PM
  • Tuesday, August 29 at 9PM
  • Thursday, August 31 at 9PM
  • Friday, September 1 at 9PM
  • Saturday, September 2 at 2PM
  • Sunday, September 3 at 8PM
Tickets are available at SmartTix.
“Village, My Home” stars Frances McGarry; Marjorie Conn*; Michael C. O’Day*; Kelsey Shapira; Jeff Burchfield*; Madalyn McKay; Christina Ashby; Maile Souza Sean Evans; Maria Severny; Stephanie Roseman; Meaghan Adawe McLeod; Rebecca Genéve, and Catherine Luciani. Jak Prince is the lighting designer. Maria Ortiz Poveda is the costume designer. Dana Robbins is stage managing.

The Flea Theater Explores Objectophilia with INANIMATE : Opens 8/21

The Flea Theater Explores Objectophilia with
INANIMATE
Previews Begin August 21 at The Siggy

** First full production at new 20 Thomas Street performing arts complex **

The Flea Theater presents the world premiere of INANIMATE, written by Nick Robideau and directed by Flea Associate Artist Courtney Ulrich. INANIMATE marks The Flea’s first production in their new performing arts complex at 20 Thomas Street in Tribeca, just blocks below its original home; it inaugurates The Siggy, their downstairs theater named for Flea founder and continuing inspiration Sigourney Weaver. Previews for INANIMATE begin August 21 with opening night slated for August 30.

Erica, shy and more than a little socially awkward, is in love with Dee. The problem is that her family, her only and equally awkward new friend, and the nosy residents of their small town in Massachusetts don’t understand at all, because Dee… well, Dee is a letter in the Dairy Queen sign. This world premiere production is the first play of its kind to explore objectum sexuality, a love for inanimate objects. With heart and quirk, INANIMATE tackles feeling like an outsider, listening to your heart and finally finding your tribe.

INANIMATE features The Bats, the resident acting company at The Flea, including Lacy Allen, Maki Borden, Philip Feldman, Artem Kreimer, Tressa Preston, Michael Oloyede, Nancy Tatiana Quintana, with understudies Marcus Antonio Jones and Alexandra Slater. The creative team includes Yu-Hsuan Chen (Scenic Design), Sarah Lawrence (Costume Design), Becky Heisler (Lighting Design), Megan Culley (Sound Design) and Claire Edmonds (Assistant Director).

Nick Robideau is a Brooklyn-based playwright, originally from Massachusetts. Some of his plays include The Sampo (Title:Point), Prophet in Pink (FringeNYC), Robot Heaven (Pipeline Theatre Company), and Everything (HB Studio). Nick recently received his MFA in playwriting from Hunter College, where he studied under John Baker, Tina Howe, Sam Hunter, and Arthur Kopit.

Courtney Ulrich is a New York based director. Directing credits include, The Feast by Cory Finley (The Flea) and Time Out Critic’s Pick White Hot by Tommy Smith (The Flea), Sousepaw: A Baseball Story (Shelby Company, FringeNYC 2015 Award for Overall Excellence in Directing), The Mysteries (The Flea, Assoc. Director). She has directed and developed work at New Dramatists, Ensemble Studio Theater, Ma-Yi, Samuel French Festival (Finalist), Pipeline Theater, Shelby Company, The Tank, 24 Hour Plays, Old Vic New Voices. Courtney is a recipient of the 2015 SDC Observership Fellowship and is an Associate Artist at The Flea Theater.

The Bats are the resident acting company members of The Flea Theater. Each season, over a thousand actors audition for a place in this unique company. The Bats perform in extended runs of challenging classics, as well world premieres of new plays. They are the lifeblood of The Flea.

The Flea Theater, under new Artistic Director Niegel Smith and Producing Director Carol Ostrow, is one of New York’s leading Off-Off-Broadway companies. Winner of several Obie Awards, a Special Drama Desk Award for outstanding achievement and an Otto Award for political theater, The Flea has presented over 100 theatrical, musical and dance performances since its inception in 1996. Past productions include premieres by Steven Banks, Thomas Bradshaw, Erin Courtney, Bathsheba Doran, Will Eno, Karen Finley, Amy Freed, Sarah Gancher, Sean Graney, A.R. Gurney, Jennifer Haley, Hamish Linklater, Enrique Gutiérrez Ortiz Monasterio, Itamar Moses, Anne Nelson, Qui Nguyen, Adam Rapp, Jonathan Reynolds, Kate Robbins, Roger Rosenblatt, Elizabeth Swados, and Mac Wellman.  Successes include Drama Desk nominated She Kills Monsters, These Seven Sicknesses, Restoration Comedy, The Mysteries and ten World Premiere productions by A.R. Gurney, including the WSJ Best New Play of 2013, Family Furniture.

INANIMATE runs August 21 – September 24, Thursday–Monday at 7pm, with Sunday matinees at 3pm.  (Note: no performances Aug. 31 – Sept. 6 for the Labor Day holiday weekend). Tickets start at $15 with the lowest priced tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Flea Theater is located at 20 Thomas Street between Church and Broadway, three blocks north of Chambers, close to the A/C/E, N/Q/R/W, 4/5/6, J/M/Z and 1/2/3 subway lines. Purchase tickets by calling 212-352-3101 or online at www.theflea.org.

Meet Joe Kelly & Aliens Coming The Musical

Name: Joe Kelly

What is your current project? Aliens Coming

Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production?

Aliens Coming is returning to the PIT’s Striker Mainstage Theater, where we held our premier back in April. The PIT has produced a lot of talented performers like Ellie Kemper, Kristen Schaal, and Hannibal Buress. We’re extremely excited to call the PIT our home and to share a common starting place with these talented performers. The PIT is known for it’s hilarious improv and is a perfect fit for our fast-paced, campy show.

What’s next for you?

I’m currently developing a new play that revolves around a very bloody week leading up to the Westminster dog show.

What is the name of the last show you saw?

James, Jonathan, and I all went to see the Play That Goes Wrong together. We’ve been knocking on wood ever since.
  
Any advice for your peers?

I would say that if you’re someone who’s aspiring to produce a play in New York then the first step is to surround yourself with motivated and like-minded people. Theater is an intensely collaborative art, and you’d be surprised what you can will into existence with a good group of creative and dedicated people.

Want More?

Website: http://www.joekelly.space/alienscoming

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alienscomingthemusical/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeyJKelly/

Joe Kelly is a New York based playwright who wrote the book and lyrics for ‘Aliens Coming’. Joe is a senior at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU where he is majoring in Dramatic Writing and studying playwriting. Joe’s previous credits include writing ‘She’s Totally Dead’ and appearing in a radio commercial for Tyson chicken when he was thirteen.


Show Information: 

WHERE: The People’s Improv Theater’s Striker Mainstage – 123 E. 24th St. NY, NY

TICKETS: Tickets can be purchased here for only $10

WHEN: 

  • Thursday, 8/17 at 8pm
  • Friday, 8/18 at 9:30pm
  • Saturday, 8/19 at 9:30pm
  • Thursday, 8/24 at 8:00pm
  • Saturday, 8/26 at 9:30pm
  • Thursday, 8/31 at 9:30pm
  • Tuesday, 9/5 at 8pm
  • Saturday, 9/9 at 9:30pm
  • Tuesday, 9/12 at 8pm
  • Monday, 9/18 at 8pm

Meet Griffin Osborne & Aliens Coming The Musical

pasted image 0Name: Griffin Osborne
What is your current project? Aliens Coming: The Musical
Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production?
 
We’re thrilled to be taking Aliens Coming back to the People’s Improv Theater and to join the ranks of the hilarious programming that has gone on there for so long. Since it’s a theater built for stand up and improv, finding out how to bring a large musical (that includes an alien invasion no less) to that space and make it feel large was the artistic challenge that I think pushed us to think about the show and its staging in a deeper way.
What’s next for you?
I will be finishing up my last semester at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and working on my second full length play ‘Here There Be Dragons’ which I will be workshopping in the coming year.
What is the name of the last show you saw?
Anatomy of a Suicide.
Any advice for your peers?
 
Make something. I read recently that ideas mean very little in this world. Everyone has ideas. It’s human nature to think about the world and what, if anything, new can be brought to it. It is the ability to take that idea and make something out of it – pursue what others won’t – that defines someone as a working artist. This feels obvious but I think holds true for all, including myself. 
Want More?
Instagram: @griffin.osborne
Griffin Osborne is a New York based actor, writer, and director as well as founder of Theater/Film production company Old Fellow. Recent directorial credits include Bare: a Pop Opera (Tisch School of the Arts), unfinished (Experimental Theater Wing), and Assistant Direction on Happy Days (Sledgehammer_, dir. Scott Feldsher). As an actor, he was seen last summer in 600 Highwaymen’s The Fever (The Public Theater) as well as starring in Constellations (Playwrights Horizons Theater School) and Leader Day (Shoreham Films). Short plays from his published anthology Writer’s Block have been performed in high schools and colleges across the United States, and his new work The Executioner can be seen on the New York stage this coming year (Madcap Repertory). Fourth year student at Tisch School of the Arts, currently training at Stonestreet Studios. He would like to dedicate his work on this production to his brother.

WHERE: The People’s Improv Theater’s Striker Mainstage – 123 E. 24th St. NY, NY

TICKETS: Tickets can be purchased here for only $10

WHEN: 

  • Thursday, 8/17 at 8pm
  • Friday, 8/18 at 9:30pm
  • Saturday, 8/19 at 9:30pm
  • Thursday, 8/24 at 8:00pm
  • Saturday, 8/26 at 9:30pm
  • Thursday, 8/31 at 9:30pm
  • Tuesday, 9/5 at 8pm
  • Saturday, 9/9 at 9:30pm
  • Tuesday, 9/12 at 8pm
  • Monday, 9/18 at 8pm

Meet Jonathan Evans & Aliens Coming The Musical

pasted image 0Name: Jonathan Evans
What is your current project? Aliens Coming: The Musical
Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production?
 
The PIT is a very unique venue in that it is primarily an improv theatre. This gives us a lot of ‘play’ room even with a pre-written script. The music and actors can have fun on stage and really enjoy themselves, creating a unique performance every night.
What’s next for you?
I am working on my own musical with my writing partner, very different in tone and far more ‘contemporary’. Other then that – grad school!
What is the name of the last show you saw?
‘The Great Comet.’ It was incredible.
Any advice for your peers?
 
Do everything! Never pass up on an opportunity no matter how out of your comfort zone it is. You never know where it might lead.
Want More?
Instagram:  @jdapevans
Jonathan Evans is a recent NYU graduate and the Music Director of ‘Aliens Coming’, as well as one of the show’s composers and a producer. His previous credits include Producing and Music Directing ‘She’s Totally Dead’ at the 13th Street Theatre and extensive work as a Creative Producer and Music Supervisor in New York.

Show Information: 

 

WHERE: The People’s Improv Theater’s Striker Mainstage – 123 E. 24th St. NY, NY

TICKETS: Tickets can be purchased here for only $10

WHEN: 

  • Thursday, 8/17 at 8pm
  • Friday, 8/18 at 9:30pm
  • Saturday, 8/19 at 9:30pm
  • Thursday, 8/24 at 8:00pm
  • Saturday, 8/26 at 9:30pm
  • Thursday, 8/31 at 9:30pm
  • Tuesday, 9/5 at 8pm
  • Saturday, 9/9 at 9:30pm
  • Tuesday, 9/12 at 8pm
  • Monday, 9/18 at 8pm

Meet Madeleine Rose Parsigian & The Untold Yippie Project

Name: Madeleine Rose Parsigian

What is your current project? The Untold Yippie Project

Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production?

Access Theater, because a) it allows us to be intimately in the round and b) is easily accessible from the subway!

What’s next for you?

I am hoping to mount The Untold Yippie Project in a larger space for a longer run!  The goal is to get as many people as possible to see this important American story.

What is the name of the last show you saw?

Little Foxes

Any advice for your peers?

Directing is an act of facilitation, not dictation.  Meaningful communication is the most important ingredient to positive collaboration.  In my opinion, this is the best way to create a piece of theater.

Want More?

Website: http://www.sunglassesafterdark.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/145659755987743/

Twitter: @untoldyippieproject

Instagram:  @theuntoldyippieproject

 

MADELEINE ROSE PARSIGIAN (Director) is the artistic director and co-founder of Sunglasses After Dark, a performing artists’ collective dedicated to challenging their audience through deconstructing stereotypes with color and gender-blind casting.  The Untold Yippie Project’s premiere production marks her and Schlossberg’s 12th Director/Playwright collaboration, a journey that enriches tremendously with each new chapter.  Other Sunglasses After Dark highlights include recently appearing as effortlessly cool and constantly stoned, Lakey, in our original web series 4and20; and directing the collective’s first film Punches, as well as their critically acclaimed sold-out run of 3boys.   Additionally, Madeleine is a Certified Movement Analyst (CMA) from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute in Brooklyn, NY and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Dance/Movement Therapy at Pratt University.


Show Information:

WHERE: Access Theater, 380 Broadway, NYC

WHEN: AUG 3 – AUG 19, 2017
Wed, Thu, Fri at 8pm
Sat (8/12) at 1pm & 8pm
Sun (8/13) at 2pm & 8pm
Sat (8/19) at 2pm & 8pm

TICKET INFO: $18.00 (Students $12.00 & Wednesdays are FREE)
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3019803