HERE Stages THE PIGEONING by Robin Frohardt, Now thru 12/22

As part of its 2013-2014 producing season, HERE presents The Pigeoning, by Robin Frohardt. A HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP) and Dream Music Puppetry Program presentation, The Pigeoning plays today, December 3 - 22 in the Dorothy B. Williams Theatre at HERE (145 Sixth Avenue, just below Spring Street). Official Opening Night is Wednesday, December 4 at 7:00pm.

Frank is an office worker living in New York in the early 80s who is obsessed with cleanliness and order. Plagued by pigeons in the park, Frank starts to believe they are plotting against him. A darkly comedic yet heartfelt adventure, The Pigeoning, spins articulate puppetry, live music, video and lo-fi special effects into an epic tale about obsessive compulsion and the illusion of safety and control in the context of the end of the world.

Robin Frohardt is a multidisciplinary artist and designer living and working in Brooklyn, NY. She began her studies as a painting major Seattle, and soon, was lured to San Francisco's colorful underground theater and circus scene where she honed her skills and contributed creatively to a number of sculptural projects as well as vaudeville style theater and performance troupes. She traveled to Taiwan and Thailand in 2005 and 2006, and her focus shifted to puppetry and large-scale puppet building for parades and puppet festivals. Upon returning to the U.S. in 2006, she founded the Apocalypse Puppet Theater in San Francisco. In 2008, she came to New York to work with a team of artists called the Swimming Cities, building sculptural junk rafts that traveled down the Hudson River and into New York City. Inspired by this adventure, she decided to stay. And with the exception of two more raft trips (one to Venice and one down the Ganges in India), she has worked in New York ever since, on installation and puppet pieces for galleries, theaters and more. In 2011, she began work on The Pigeoning, her first original full-length puppet piece, with longtime collaborator Freddi Price. She workshopped the first act at St. Ann's Warehouse as part of the Puppet Lab, and developed the piece through the HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP). The Pigeoning premiered in October 2013 at the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts.

The Pigeoning is directed by Robin Frohardt. Assistant Director: Erica Livingston. This production features live music composed and performed by Freddi Price and Lighting Design by Heather Sparling. The Pigeoning is performed by puppeteers Daniel Burnam, 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 Yoav Gal's Mosheh, among many others.

The HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP) has been HERE's core program since 1998. HARP commissions, develops and premieres 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 (Artistic Director, Basil Twist; Producing Director, Barbara Busackino), 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).

The Pigeoning plays December 3 - 22 as follows: Tuesday through Saturday at 7:00pm, with matinees on Sunday, December 15 and Sunday, December 22 at 2:00pm. Tickets are $20. Tickets can be purchased at www.here.org or by calling (212) 352-3101 or at the HERE Box Office (5PM until curtain on show days). For more, please visit www.here.org.

HERE begins its 2013-2014 season with the Resident Artist production BOTCH, a sound and visual installation performed live, created by Joe Diebes (November 12 - 23). Following The Pigeoning in HERE's season is Keep Your Electric Eye On Me, a multimedia dance performance by Shaun Irons & Lauren Petty (April 30 - May 10, 2014). Trade Practices, a site-specific Artistic Director Production by Kristin Marting & David Evans Morris, originally slated for Fall 2013, is aimed at production in 2014.

The 2013-2014 season includes PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now, the second annual festival co-produced by Beth Morrison Projects and HERE (January 8-19, 2014); HERE's annual CULTUREMART Festival (January 27-February 9, 2014); and a Dream Music Puppetry Program Presentation in Spring 2014, to be announced.

HERE's current HARP artists, with projects in development, include new HARP Artists: composer Matt Marks & director/librettist Paul Peers (Mata Hari); multimedia director Rob Roth and singer Amelia Zirin-Brown (Soundstage); puppet artist Jessica Scott (Ship of Fools); and continuing HARP Artists: singer Hai-Ting Chinn (Science Fair);?choreographer Rebecca Davis (Restless Next); director Yvan Greenberg (Genet Porno); Performer Soomi Kim (Chang(e)); composer David T. Little (Artaud in the Black Lodge); choreographer Mei-Yin Ng (Lost Property Unit); composer / choreographer Leyna Marika Papach (Glass Mouth); director / puppet artist Joseph Silovsky (Send for the Million Men); composer Stefan Weisman and librettist David Cote (The Scarlet Ibis); composer / performer Bora Yoon (Sunken Cathedral).




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