Woodshed Collective Presents THE TENANT, 8/10-9/17
The world premiere of The Tenant, which will be performed free of charge at West-Park Presbyterian Church on the northeast corner of 86th Street and Amsterdam Avenue (entrance on 86th Street), begins performances Wednesday, August 10 at 8pm, and opens Wednesday, August 24 at 8pm. Conceived and produced by Woodshed Collective (Teddy Bergman, Gabriel Hainer Evansohn, Stephen Squibb, Artistic Directors), The Tenant is written by Bekah Brunstetter, Sarah Burgess, Paul Cohen, Dylan Dawson, Steven Levenson, and Tommy Smith with production dramaturgy by Stephen Squibb. The Tenant is directed by Teddy Bergman and Stephen Brackett and plays through Saturday, September 17.
Set in Paris and inspired by the novella that was famously adapted into a film by Roman Polanski, The Tenant is a thrilling, haunting and grotesquely hilarious investigation into the relationship between who we are and where we live. When Monsieur Trelkovsky rents a room recently vacated by a woman who fell from her window, he soon finds his world changing in bizarre ways. Haunted by images of the previous tenant's apparent suicide and terrorized by his new neighbors, Trelkovsky begins a slow descent into paranoia and delirium.
Staged and installed by Woodshed Collective over five building stories in the historic West Park Presbyterian Church parish house, The Tenant features an original script by a team of New York's brightest up-and-coming playwrights- Bekah Brunstetter (Atlantic Theater Co.'s Oohrah!), Sarah Burgess (Naked Angels), Paul Cohen (Woodshed Collective's The Confidence Man), Dylan Dawson (Naked Angels, Ars Nova, 52nd Street Project), Steven Levenson (Roundabout's The Language of Trees, HERE's Seven Minutes in Heaven), and Tommy Smith (P73, Williamstown). Each playwright has written the story of a separate denizen of this Parisian tenement, and collaborated with Woodshed Collective to create a living building. The Tenant features original scoring by Tony and Grammy award winner Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening) and David Van Tieghem.
The Tenant explores the bubbling conflict between an uncanny mix of colorful characters to create a symphonic piece of powerful theater. Building off this original, commissioned script and layering in the power of film, architecture, video, and light, the show is a shifting, mirrored landscape designed to delight and unnerve while drawing our attention to those aspects of ourselves we hide just below the surface.
The cast of The Tenant is Rob Askins, Juliette Cohen, Dan Cozzens, Michael Patrick Crane, Aaron Dias, Evan Enderle, Erin Felgar, Mary Jane Gibson, Stephen Graybill, Judith Greentree, Vanina Kondova, Jocelyn Kuritsky, Maren Langdon, Roger Lirtsman, Malcom Madera, Maria McConville, Melissa Miller, Michael Piazza, Lynne Rosenberg, Caitlin McDonough Thayer, Ian Unterman, Molly Ward, and Travis York.
Production design for The Tenant is by Gabriel Hainer Evansohn; costume design is by Jessica Pabst; lighting design is by Carl Faber; sound design is by Brandon Walcott with original scoring contributed by Duncan Sheik and David Van Tieghem; video design is by Josh Higgason, Alex Koch, Dave Tennet, and Kate Freer.
About Woodshed Collective
Woodshed Collective (Teddy Bergman, Gabriel Hainer Evansohn, Carl Faber, Emily Fishbaine, Jocelyn Kuritsky, Jessica Pabst, and Stephen Squibb) creates installation theater presented free of charge to the public. The company realizes handcrafted, visceral worlds in diverse locations for audiences to explore, athleticizing their senses, emotions, and minds. Inspiring spectators to claim a presence that helps author the experience itself, our productions aim to create a genuine sense of wonder.
Woodshed Collective is the most recent evolution of what began as a method of production. Founded at Vassar College in the spring of 2002 as the Woodshed Theater Ensemble, the company initially sought to deemphasize the traditional, hierarchical model of theatrical production. Growing out of an educational background that emphasized critical thinking and dialogue, the members of the Ensemble developed productions of known plays through collaborative, extended discussion and non-traditional rehearsal techniques.
When the company relocated to New York City, it soon became clear that the method needed to be re-imagined. What had made sense in an academic environment-producing canonical or established texts in new ways-now limited potential. New York inspired the company not only to produce in inventive ways, but to produce new texts in new ways; and, in a city bursting with new voices the company was anxious to collaborate with the wealth of exciting artists working within the greater theatrical community. Additionally, New York prompted a rethinking of the relationship between audience and performance. The goal became to create fully realized theatrical worlds for our audiences to explore from the ground up.
Over a period of four years Woodshed Collective has evolved from staging a proscenium production of Federico Garcia Lorca's Blood Wedding, in an established downtown theater, to conceiving, adapting, and producing a massive, multi-layered installation of Herman Melville's The Confidence Man on a decommissioned steamship in the Hudson River. The energy formerly spent on developing ideas for an already existing text moved into developing the text and production simultaneously.
About West-Park Presbyterian Church
West-Park Presbyterian Church, located on the corner of 86th and Amsterdam, has a long history of having intimate ties with the arts and culture. Having hosted a number of theatrical companies in the past, West-Park is is pleased to welcome the Woodshed Collective as artists-in-residence for the months of August and September. West-Park also has a long history of deep engagement with social issues. A founding church in the More Light movement, which fought to end the ban on ordaining LGBTQ people within the Presbyterian Church, West-Park has a long-standing commitment to social justice. West-Park's vision for the future is made manifest in the Center @ West-Park, a community-based project for social and spiritual transformation. The Center will be a home for people of many faiths and those who simply share a passion for and commitment to exploring and bettering the world. West-Park also celebrated its 100th anniversary this year in a year-long series of events called 100+. The celebration, which has included a concert series, theatrical productions, and more, will culminate this December in a gala event to celebrate West-Park's rich history and its commitment to the future.
The Tenant performs at West-Park Presbyterian Church on the following preview schedule: Monday through Saturday 8pm, with no performances on Friday, August 19 and an added performance on Sunday, August 21. Beginning Friday, August 26, the performance schedule is Wednesday through Friday at 8pm and Saturday at 7pm and 10:30pm. (There is no performance on Thursday, August 25.) Tickets are free and may be reserved at www.woodshedcollective.com. For more information about The Tenantand Woodshed Collective, visit www.woodshedcollective.com. You may find more information at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TSXF_0YIDE.