Alan Cumming, Stella Schnabel & Charles L. Kerr Named Co-Chairs of PS122's Give Performance Space Campaign
Performance Space 122, an East Village contemporary performance hub, announces the co-chairs of their Give Performance Space campaign, which coincides with the renovation of their over 30-year home at 150 1st Avenue. Give Performance Space is a capacity campaign to launch Performance Space 122's growth as an organization with the goal of better serving the artists and audiences of New York City. The co-chairs are acclaimed actor, photographer and activist Alan Cumming; producer, writer and director Stella Schnabel and PS122 Board Vice President Charles L. Kerr, partner at international law office Morrison & Foerster.
"PS122's influence is quiet but huge," said Alan Cumming. "If you go to a Broadway stage, or any mainstream television or film production, you'll find someone who's made their start with PS122. Their impact is far-reaching throughout contemporary culture."
Stella Schnabel said, "As a New Yorker born and bred, it's important to me to preserve the East Village and Manhattan as an artist community. It's important for me to support PS122."
"Through the Give Performance Space campaign, we're trying to create a great future, not only for PS122 artists, but also the larger New York City community, which thrives on what artists bring to our city, " said Charles Kerr.
Since PS122's start as an East Village artist squat, the organization has grown from a scrappy under dog providing artists a space to experiment to a globally renowned leader in the performance field. PS122 has launched careers, supported innovation and developed new art practices that have enriched the cultural life of New York City and contemporary performance worldwide.
For over three decades, PS122 has been a home to a diverse group of artists including John Leguizamo (Moulin Rouge!, Ghetto Klown), Jonathan Ames (HBO's Bored to Death), Meredith Monk (MacArthur "genius"), Eric Bogosian (Law & Order, Pulitzer Prize nominee for Talk Radio), Claire Danes (Homeland), Philip Glass (Einstein on the Beach, Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score), Blue Man Group (international performance sensation), Lisa Kron (Tony nomination for Well), Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) Young Jean Lee (OBIE Award winner) and Annie Dorsen (Passing Strange), among others. PS122's support for artists strengthens the broader cultural sector by nurturing the creativity of early and mid-career artists who then go on to influence the larger performance sector and make waves in commercial arenas like Broadway, cinema and television.
The City of New York has begun work on a code renovation of the organization's beloved East Village home. The funds raised during the Give Performance Space campaign will ensure that PS122 can successfully navigate the institutional and physical growth necessary to take full advantage of this renovation. It will give PS122 the flexibility to take risks, adapt and grow as a leader within the cultural ecology of New York City by providing a much-needed, multi-disciplinary medium-sized venue to the performing arts sector.
The Give Performance Space campaign is still in the leadership-giving phase. PS122 will release public information in 2015 as they move into the public phase of the campaign. Visit ps122.org/GPS for more information.
For the past 25 years, Alan Cumming has forged a career that is as idiosyncratic and diverse as it successful. His work spans stage, film, television, the written page and photography.
Cumming began his training on the stage in Scotland's prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He has been seen in countless dramas, comedies and caberet performances. Most recently, his stage appearances include Hamlet, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, The Threepenny Opera opposite Cyndi Lauper, Design For Living and off-Broadway in Jean Genet's Elle (which he also adapted) and The Seagull, opposite Dianne Wiest. In 1998, Cabaret opened on Broadway and Alan was instantly embraced by New York City and heralded for his stunning performance as the EmCee. He won the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics' Circle, FANY, Theatre World, NY Press and New York Public Advocate's awards for his work. Cabaret will be reprised later on this year.
Cumming made his feature film debut in Ian Sellar's Prague opposite Bruno Ganz and Sandrine Bonnaire, which premiered at Cannes in 1992. His introduction to American audiences came with Circle of Friends, followed shortly by Goldeneye and Emma. Other notable films include Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, X2:X Men United, the Spy Kids trilogy, Son of the Mask, Burlesque and smaller independent films like Urbania, Titus (opposite Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange) and Sweet Land (which he also produced and received and Independent Spirit award). With Jennifer Jason Leigh he wrote, produced, directed and acted in The Anniversary Party, which won them a National Board of Review award and two Independent Spirit nominations. His second film as director was Ghost Writer (aka Suffering Man's Charity), which won him six awards for acting and directing on the film festival circuit. His most recent films include the art world satire Boogie Woogie, Jackboots on Whitehall, Dare and The Tempest. 2011 saw him in the independent releases Maladies (with James Franco) and Sam Neave's Almost In Love. He will also play Salvador Dali in the surreal biopic Dali 3D.
On American Television, he has guest starred on Sex and the City, Frasier, Third Rock From The Sun, The L Word, the Sci-Fi Channel's record-breaking Tin Man as well as the made for TV movies Annie, Reefer Madness and The Goodbye Girl. He is also the host of PBS' Masterpiece Mystery. Cumming is currently in the critically acclaimed CBS drama The Good Wife for which he has been nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Satellite Award. In Britain he wrote and starred in the cult sitcom The High Life as well as many other films for the BBC including Bernard and the Genie, for which he won a British Comedy Award.
Cumming's activism and passion for causes such as LGBT rights, sex education and genital integrity have earned him many humanitarian awards from the LGBT Task Force, The Human Rights Campaign, The Trevor Project, Lambda Legal, The Point Foundation and GLAAD's Vito Russo Media Award.
Stella Schnabel is a New York actress, writer and producer. Most known for her roles in films such as Rampart (opposite Woody Harrelson), Before Night Falls, Miral and Basquiat. Ms. Schnabel went on to write and star in the independent film You Wont Miss Me directed by Ry Russo-Young and was an executive producer on Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers. She is currently shooting a film now with director Anton Corbijn titled LIFE. Ms. Schnabel has worked on stage with LAByrinth Theatre Company, the playwright David Bar Katz and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Charles L. Kerr, PS122 Vice President and member of the PS122 Board since 1989, is a partner at Morrison & Foerster. Kerr's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and regulatory enforcement proceedings. Mr. Kerr served as head of the firm's New York Litigation Practice Group from 2000 to 2007, as Managing Partner of the firm's New York Office from 2007 to 2012 and as co-chair of the firm's Product Liability Group from 2004 to 2010. He has substantial experience litigating commercial disputes in both federal and state courts and in international arbitration proceedings in Europe and the United States.
Mr. Kerr has long supported artists and the artistic community in New York City. In addition to his involvement as a member of the Board of PS122, Mr. Kerr has worked and performed with different artists, including Ann Carlson and Spaulding Gray, and has performed at PS122, Dance Theater Workshop, Lincoln Center Serious Fun, The Whitney, The Museum of Fine Arts - Boston and as part of New York City's Central Park Performance Series.
Photo by Walter McBride