New Georges Announces THE AUDREY RESIDENCIES for 2013-14
At a benefit event held for New Georges on Sunday, September 22, Producing Artistic Director Susan Bernfield and board member Michael Osso announced a new program at New Georges, The Audrey Residencies, and the artists and projects chosen for 2013-14, the program's inaugural year. Sunday's event also featured the premiere showing of a video about New Georges produced by tdf for tdfSTAGES' Meet the Theatre series and directed by Mark Blankenship, tdf's online content editor, to be released in early November.
The Audrey Residencies are named for Audrey Bernfield, mother of producing artistic director Susan Bernfield, who passed away last year. The program expands on New Georges' prior play development programs by adding a year-long residency component designed to increase New Georges' investment in artists and artist engagement with New Georges. In addition to developing new work in The Room, New Georges' workspace in ART/New York's Spaces at 520 at 8th Avenue and 36th Street, residents will meet together monthly and have access to additional resources and institutional support.
The inaugural residents and projects were selected this summer by a peer panel, and reflect New Georges' artistic values of exuberant theatricality and strong central collaborations. 11 affiliated artists of New Georges will develop 7 projects during the course of their yearlong residencies. The residents (in bold, underlined) and projects are:
- Cheri Magid will team with director Jenna Worsham to riff off strange but true history in her play THE GABA GIRL, about a 1930's love square involving two gay men, an infamous socialite -- and the mannequin made in the socialite's image.
- Playwright Lizzie Olesker and director Sarah Krohn will explore the possibilities of object and toy theater with EMBROIDERED PAST, a new play about family hoarding and the loss of nature - the earth's habitats, species and biodiversity. They'll use objects (found and made) to play with scale, assemblage and the emotional and/or physical weight of the "stuff" we hold on to.
- Mia Rovegno and director Meghan Finn will continue their collaboration on Mia's play nothin's gonna change my world (meditations on that mythological place called home), an immersive exploration of the dislocated and relocated and their search for home, which uses stories inspired by NPR reports, RV living blogs, the Occupy Movement, Found Magazine and much more.
- Playwright Jen Silverman will start a new musical (or play-with-music) that borrows from the genre of the Western. With composer/sound designer Nathan Roberts and director Erik Pearson, she'll delve into what makes a musical and what makes a Western - and the quintessentially American mythology both tap into.
- Playwright Peggy Stafford and director Alexandra Aron will work on JEWEL CASKET, a play inspired by a Joseph Cornell box. The play inhabits two different worlds: a hyper-real contemporary one and a heightened theatrical one from a faraway time and place, in which the characters are played by marionettes. In collaboration with puppet designer Lake Simons, they will create puppets and experiment with the visual landscape of the overall piece.
- Ariel Stess will work intensively with collaborating performers to form the rest of her play YOU DIDN'T SEE HER ALONE -- wherein sounds are freed from words and words are freed from their familiar containers - and "propel it into its conditional, slippery existence."
- Director Tamilla Woodard and playwright Saviana Stanescu collaborate on ENSLAVED: a tragi-comedy about modern-day slavery and human trafficking - creating text, lyrics, music and a site-specific/conceptual frame for a funny and absurd show that is indeed about modern-day slavery and human trafficking.
New Georges' BIG Benefit, held in Seamen's House, a private townhouse in Chelsea, featured a special performance by Eisa Davis and short plays and songs written specifically for the event by Laura Eason, Boo Killebrew, Julie Kramer, Rachel Peters and Charise Castro Smith, featuring Heidi Schreck, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Amy Wilson, Stephanie Wright Thompson, Eric Clem and others.
NEW GEORGES, founded in 1992, has premiered 38 new full-length plays and 11 festivals of new work; hundreds of original works have passed through New Georges' workspace, The Room, on their way to venues in New York City and beyond. In addition to producing regular seasons, the company is a play and artist development organization, providing essential resources and opportunities to a community of adventurous artists. Their production of Eisa Davis' Angela's Mixtapewas one of The New Yorker's "Best Off-Broadway Shows of 2009;" and Jenny Schwartz's God's Ear was a Time Out New York "Top Ten of 2007" and transferred to the Vineyard Theatre in 2008. Plays premiered at New Georges have been published by Faber & Faber, Samuel French, Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, Smith & Kraus, Seagull Books and Vintage, and have received Susan Smith Blackburn and Kesselring prizes. In addition, New Georges produced early works by many notable playwrights, including Lisa D'Amour, Tracey Scott Wilson, Diana Son, Cusi Cram, Sheila Callaghan, Heidi Schreck, Leigh Fondakowski, Catherine Filloux, Kate Moira Ryan and Carson Kreitzer. Honors include an OBIE Award as well as awards from New York Women's Agenda, Princess Grace Foundation/USA, Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation, Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, and FringeNYC. In 2009, The L Magazine named New Georges among its "Best of NYC;" and a study published by TDF, OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE: The Life and Times of the New American Play, lists New Georges as one of the top 10 theaters nationwide named by playwrights as a leading producer of their plays.
For more information, visit www.newgeorges.org.