New Ohio Theatre
154 Christopher Street; Buzz 1 + 5 + Enter to enter from sidewalk
Between Greenwich and Washington Streets
What is your current project? A PLAY ABOUT DREW CAREY
Where are you performing it and why is it the right fit for your piece?
We’re performing in Speyer Hall at University Settlement, in the Lower East Side. Having seen and performed in this space before, we was very excited to work there again. We like working in spaces that feel like one big room, which Speyer Hall is, as opposed to formal theatre spaces, which we feel emphasize the separation between audience and performer. A PLAY ABOUT DREW CAREY is all about facilitating connection, and this space allows us to do so on a level that is more approachable than in a theatre where the audience sits many feet away from the stage, lights obscuring them from the performers’ gaze, hidden in plain sight.
What’s next for you?
We’re not sure what’s next after A PLAY ABOUT DREW CAREY, largely because we haven’t even charted the full life of this play yet – just this first production. If the production really works in the way that we’re all anticipating it will, then we’re going to make plans to prolong the life of the show. Because A PLAY ABOUT DREW CAREY is heavily improvised, and uses a lot of audience participation, we believe that it would be possible to continue performing it for a long time without the play stagnating. Hopefully we’ll get to see if that’s true!
Other projects we’re developing include our first musical, workshops for a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and a two person Orestia. But right now we’re focusing on what calls to us, and reveling in the joy of not needing to plan too far ahead just yet.
Who is your biggest inspiration right at this moment and why?
Philip Santos Schaffer (Playwright) : I’ve been thinking a lot recently about El Gueguense, a play from Nicaragua that is considered to be one of the first forms of street theatre in the Americas. My mother is from Nicaragua, and I’ve been lucky to spend time there recently. Their political situation has gone through many different phases of corruption (from the Spanish occupation to the US occupation, from dictator to dictator), and one of their major modes of response in the arts is through humor. El Gueguense is a play that combines dance and humor with a cutting political core. The play uses laughter as a tool for unification – in which the action of laughing at one’s oppressor creates a sense of community. In our current political climate and heading into the next few years, I think we are going to be looking for many modes of expressing political thought. And, I think it is going to be important to explore every option. El Gueguense is political and humorous without falling into camp or satire, which I think can be rare in American theatre. So, I look forward to continuing to attempt this exploration, which I believe we’ve begun in A PLAY ABOUT DREW CAREY.
WalkUpArts creates living works. We explore the audience-artist relationship through multi-disciplinary, intimate, and communal experiences. With an intent towards maintaining a social-consciousness, we engage with audiences through new works and original adaptations of classics.
In pursuit of our mission, WalkUpArts is determined to:
Experiment with form and content
Build a theater from questions
Create a space for people to make eye contact
Affect real change in the audience, ourselves, and the world
WalkUpArts: Follow Your What-Ifs
Show information (venue, dates, ticket info)
December 13 and 14 at 8pm at Speyer Hall at University Settlement – 184 Eldridge Street (Corner of Rivington), NY, NY 10002, Tickets at https://www.artful.ly/store/events/10672