THE PIGEONING Returns to HERE Tonight
HERE has announced the return of its recent hit The Pigeoning, by Robin Frohardt, in an encore engagement July 9 - August 16. The Pigeoning lands in New York in Summer 2014 following a wildly successful run December 3-22, 2013, as part of HERE's 2013-2014 producing season. Be there as The Pigeoning, an imaginative puppet theater work aimed at adult audiences, touches down in the Dorothy B. Williams Theatre at HERE (145 Sixth Avenue), where the show celebrates an Official Opening on Saturday, July 12 at 7:00pm.
Obsessed with cleanliness and order, Frank is also plagued by pigeons. Convinced the pigeons are plotting against him, Frank sets out on an adventure to solve a problem that perhaps isn't really there? Performed in bunraku style by five expert puppeteers, The Pigeoning is a darkly comedic yet heartfelt story that spins articulate puppetry, live music and lo-fi special effects into an epic tale about the illusion of safety and control in the context of the end of the world. The Pigeoning looks at the divide between man and nature, at a time when listening to the animals may be our best bet.
The Pigeoning was developed through the HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP) and the Dream Music Puppetry Program over the course of two years, appearing as a work-in-process in HERE's annual Culturemart festival in February 2013. The production made its New York premiere at HERE in December 2013 as part of HERE's 2013-2014 producing season, following a world premiere at the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts (October 2013) which had provided final residency support. Prior to being named a HERE Resident Artist in 2012, Robin Frohardt originally conceived and workshopped the first act of The Pigeoning at St. Ann's Warehouse Puppet Lab.
Director, designer, performer and filmmaker Robin Frohardt lives in Brooklyn, NY, where over the last six years she has created puppets, sets and installations for theater, film and television. Known for her rich aesthetic and highly detailed constructions, Robin Frohardt has earned much praise for her work, which has been seen from Taiwan to Norway, at the Telluride Film Festival, BAM and Radio City Music Hall. She began her artistic career as a painting major at the University of Washington, and cut her teeth in the underground circus and cabaret scene of San Francisco where she founded the Apocalypse Puppet Theater. Lured to New York in 2008 by the Swimming Cites, a junk raft-building collective led by artist Swoon, she spent several summers traveling down the Hudson, The Ganges and the canals of Venice on self-made sculptural boats. In 2009 she created the sets for Nick Jones' Jollyship the Whiz-Bang and Jeff Stark's IRT: A Tragedy in Three Stations, a play performed entirely in the New York City subway. In 2010 she collaborated again with Jeff Stark and Todd Chandler on Empire Drive-In, a life-size recreation of an abandoned drive-in theater, complete with 50 junk cars and a 40-foot tall movie screen. In 2011 she began work on her first full-length play The Pigeoning at St. Ann's Warehouse Puppet Lab. In 2012, she was named a Resident Artist in the HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP), where she continued to develop The Pigeoning, culminating in the work's completion and premiere. In 2013 she returned to St. Ann's Puppet Lab to develop her all cardboard short film FITZCARDBOARDALDO, which was an official selection in multiple film festivals that same year. Most recently, Robin Frohardt's The Pigeoning was honored with the 2014 Arlyn Award for Outstanding Design in Puppet Theatre, with the jury noting, "The design is simple and effective, cleverly creating a magical world from trash and objects which was as fresh and unique as the story itself." She is currently working on plans to take The Pigeoning to Turkey and Greece in Fall 2014.
The Pigeoning is directed by Robin Frohardt. This production features live music composed and performed by Freddi Price and Lighting Design by Heather Sparling. The Pigeoning is performed by puppeteers Robin Frohardt, Lillie Jayne, Nick Lehane, Rowan Magee and Andy Manjuck.
Since 1993, the OBIE-winning HERE, Kristin Marting, Artistic Director and Kim Whitener, Producing Director, has been one of New York's premier arts organizations and a leader in the field of producing and presenting new, hybrid performance viewed as a seamless integration of artistic disciplines-theater, dance, music and opera, puppetry, media, visual and installation, spoken word and performance art.
Standout productions include Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues, Basil Twist's Symphonie Fantastique and Arias with a Twist, Hazelle Goodman's On Edge, Trey Lyford and Geoff Sobelle's all wear bowlers, Young Jean Lee's Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven, Corey Dargel's Removable Parts, Taylor Mac's The Lily's Revenge and Kamala Sankaram's Miranda, among many others.
The HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP) has been HERE's core program since 1998, commissioning, developing and premiering new hybrid performances. Productions developed at HERE challenge existing boundaries between disciplines -- theater, dance, music, opera, puppetry, media, visual arts, installation, spoken word and more. Through HARP, the Resident Artists are given the unique opportunity to develop their projects for up to three years through free works-in-progress showings, workshop presentations in HERE's annual CULTUREMART festival, culminating in full-scale productions.
Each season, HERE premieres several Resident Artist productions as mainstage works. These innovative projects are grown in a diverse artistic community where artists receive career development resources and hands-on training. HARP has been widely recognized as a unique model for artistic development for the field to emulate. In honoring HERE with the 2009 Ross Wetzsteon Award, the OBIE Committee noted, "it's become increasingly hard for artists to find a place to take risks, a safe haven where they can develop daring new work. One theater has regularly bucked the trend, making its mission to ensure that artists have a home for their research and development, and that theatregoers can sample the exciting results."
Additionally, HERE is home to the Dream Music Puppetry Program and the visiting artist programs startHERE: Innovative Theatre for Young People, aimed at young audiences, and hemispHEREs, which brings innovative national and international visiting artists to HERE for a residency and presentation.
HERE's Dream Music Puppetry Program, under the artistic direction of Basil Twist, with producing direction from HERE co-founder Barbara Busackino, is one of few programs in the country to grow and commission contemporary adult puppet works, particularly works that feature live music as a collaborative element. Dream Music seeks to secure the future of puppetry by providing increased development and performance opportunities to puppet artists, and by collaborating with artists from other disciplines to develop new puppetry techniques. This program was inaugurated with the premiere of Basil Twist's OBIE-award winning Symphonie Fantastique in 1998 and the opening of the Dorothy B. Williams Theatre, an intimate space created specifically for intimate puppetry. Dream Music seeks to secure the future of puppetry by providing increased development and performance opportunities to puppet artists, and by collaborating with artists from other disciplines to develop new puppetry techniques. Over the past ten years, Dream Music has presented in the Dorothy B. Williams Theatre many exciting artists ranging from eclectic international troupes to The Jim Henson International Festival of Puppetry and has commissioned over 20 full-scale puppetry works from New York based puppeteers including the acclaimed Arias with a Twist in 2008 (return engagement 2011, Abrons Arts Center).