Trusty Sidekick Theatre Presents World Premiere of EARTH at University Settlement, Now thru 5/3

Trusty Sidekick Theatre Presents World Premiere of EARTH at University Settlement, Now thru 5/3

The Performance Project @ University Settlement and Trusty Sidekick Theater Company (TSTC) will co-present the world premiere production of Earth-- a new play developed especially for audiences aged 6 and older. The production will run over three consecutive Saturdays (today, April 19, 26 and May 3) at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at Speyer Hall in the University Settlement, located at 184 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002.

You may not know it, but our universe and its countless planets are monitored closely by The Office of Planetary Discovery. Audiences are invited to join the Trusty Sidekick as we zoom out and take a peek at the lives of the employees of Section 42 of The Office of Planetary Discovery, who have been watching over the planet we call home. Join the handyman, the office manager, and the star cartographer on their journey with the evolving Earth and as they wrestle with the question of "If you are able to help someone, shouldn't you?" Using innovative theater, multimedia, sound design and projections on a 12' circular screen (also know as the Acro-Planet Machine), Earth is a little play of epic proportions for ages 6 years through 4.54 billion years old. Approximate run time of the show is 55 minutes.

Now in its third residency at The Performance Project @ University Settlement, Trusty Sidekick Theater Company developed Earth using its innovative model for developing theater for the very young. Through an artistic partnership with Blue School and the Early Childhood Program at the Settlement, the devising team, consisting of Drew Petersen, Renata Melillo, Robert Stevenson, and Zack Ramadan, lead a series of creative play and story development workshops during which students offer their ideas and acted as dramaturgs, informing the devising process of the artists as they created these shows.

Trusty Sidekick Theatre Presents World Premiere of EARTH at University Settlement, Now thru 5/3Drew Petersen is a Brooklyn based artist and teacher. He currently is an educator with The Park Avenue Armory, The New Victory Theater and he is the drama teacher at the Blue School, a progressive elementary school in lower Manhattan founded by the Blue Man Group. As an artist, he is the Associate Artistic Director for Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, a theater company devoted to creating high quality, original work for young audiences and their families. Drew is also an extended company member of Philadelphia based Curio Theater Company. In the past, he has worked artistically/educationally with The Public Theater, Roundabout Theatre, Cleveland Playhouse Square, and People's Light and Theatre Company. He holds a M.A. in Educational Theater for Colleges and Communities from N.Y.U.

Lower East Sidekick Series: Trusty Sidekick Theater Company will perform two world premiere productions that will comprise the Lower East Sidekick Series at University Settlement. The series runs each Saturday from April 19 to May 17. Earth is the first featured production, which will be followed by the world premiere of Campfire on May 10. Campfire, a new production for 2-5-year-olds, is an intimate theater experience for the youngest of adventurers (2-5-year-olds), using innovative puppetry and immersive staging to conjure the sights and sounds of a vibrant forest.

Tickets for Earth are $10 for kids and $15 for general admission, and can be purchased online at: or at the Speyer Hall box office one hour prior to each performance.

About the Companies

Trusty Sidekick Theater Company is a New York-based theater company creating bold, sophisticated and high-quality artistic performances for young people and their families. The company combines immersive staging and inventive theatricality to tell old and new stories, challenge preconceptions of live performance, and introduce theater to a new generation. The company's work is multidisciplinary, and its ensemble of collaborators includes artists trained in physical theater, puppetry, music, dance, animation, and video projection. Since its founding in early 2011, Trusty Sidekick has developed and presented new work at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The New Victory Theater, Cleveland PlayhouseSquare, Old Stone House (The House of Ichabod Crane), Abrons Arts Center (The Little One and the Sea of Letters), and The Performance Project @ The University Settlement (Shadow Play; Off the Map).

This season, Trusty Sidekick was an Under-Construction Resident Company at the Park Avenue Armory. Through this residency, the company developed a new immersive piece for young audiences called The 7 and ½ Mysteries of Toulouse McLane. The company has also co-produced The Boy at the Edge of Everything by Finegan Kruckemeyer with Seattle Children's Theater, which premiered in Seattle in March 2014. This work was previously developed as the pilot residency of New Victory LabWorks, the 2012 John F. Kennedy Center New Visions/New Voices Program, and Cleveland PlayhouseSquare's Launch Residency Program. In addition to its mainstage productions, Trusty Sidekick is currently leading an ensemble of students from Blue School in the devising and creation of their very own production, reimaging the traditional 'school play' model by creating a collaboration between professional artists and elementary school students.

The Performance Project @ University Settlement provides established, emerging, young artists and local audiences with opportunities to connect and enrich each other's lives. They aim to encourage greater participation in the live arts and to help cultivate diverse creative communities on the Lower East Side. Resident artists are fully immersed in the Settlement House community though a year long process in which they will engage program participants and staff while documenting their experience. Performance opportunities include a shared Works in Process Festival in the winter, followed by a weeklong performance run in the spring, giving artists the chance to continue developing their work in a familiar space over an extended period of time.

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