Franz Kafka's A HUNGER ARTIST Brings Puppets, Toys, and A Spark of Magic to The Tank's Flint & Tinder Series
The Tank (Rosalind Grush and Meghan Finn, co-artistic directors) is thrilled to present the world premiere of Franz Kafka's A HUNGER ARTIST, adapted from Kafka's story by Sinking Ship Productions, created collaboratively by performer Jonathan Levin, writer Josh Luxenberg, and director Joshua William Gelb. Part of The Tank's Flint & Tinder series, A HUNGER ARTIST begins performances on Thursday, June 1 for a limited engagement through Friday, June 27. Press Opening is Wednesday, June 7 at 8 PM. Performances are at the Connelly Theater (220 East 4th Street, between Avenues A & B). Tickets are $15 - $35. To purchase tickets, visit www.thetanknyc.org.
The performance schedule is: June 1 at 8 p.m.; June 3 at 6:30 p.m.; June 4 at 2 p.m.; June 5 at 8 p.m.; June 6 at 8 p.m.; June 7 at 8 p.m.; June 9, at 7 p.m.; June 10 at 7 p.m.; June 11 at 3 p.m.; June 13 at 8 p.m.; June 15 at 8 p.m.; June 16 at 7 p.m.; June 17 at 2 p.m.; June 17, 2017 at 7 p.m.; June 18 at 8 p.m.; June 19 at 8 p.m.; June 20 at 8 p.m.; June 21 at 7 p.m.; June 21 at 9 p.m.; June 26 at 8 p.m.; June 27 at 8 p.m.
A man sits alone in a cage, starving himself for your entertainment. Once cheered by thousands, the Hunger Artist is now forgotten by everyone except his one-time manager. What begins as a simple nostalgic story transforms into a startlingly inventive, darkly comic trip into the nature of memory, art, performance, and spectatorship, as told by the only person who remembers an artist whose act was simply...to hunger.
This new work from Sinking Ship, acclaimed for their visually inventive productions, was called "beautifully imagined" by Culturebot in its workshop production at the New Ohio Theater Producers Club in 2016. A HUNGER ARTIST uses puppetry, Victorian miniatures, and an inspired and sophisticated audience participation segment to draw viewers into a carnival world that unfolds magically on stage.
A HUNGER ARTIST was one of the few stories that Kafka did not order burned after his death. Kafka was still editing the piece when he succumbed to tuberculosis in 1924. Because the disease caused his throat to close, Kafka died of starvation while he was working on it.
After the NYC run, A HUNGER ARTIST will go on to the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival, the largest performing arts festival in the world, where it will run at Zoo Venues. In December, it heads to the Baltimore Theatre Project in Baltimore, Maryland.
A HUNGER ARTIST is the latest production in The Tank's Flint & Tinder series, which over the past few seasons has garnered critical acclaim and four Drama Desk nominations for "Unique Theatrical Experience."
The design team includes Peiyi Wong (set and costume design); Michael McGee (lighting design); M. Florian Staab (sound design, based on an original design by Joshua William Gelb); Charlie Kanev and Sarah Nolen (puppetry design); and Jonathan Levin (props and toy theater).
Josh Luxenberg (playwright/co-creator) is Sinking Ship's co-Artistic Director. He is also the General Manager of the Connelly Theater, and co-curator of The Tank's flagship theater series Flint & Tinder. Credits with SSP include: A Hunger Artist (Connelly Theater/The Tank, upcoming) Powerhouse (New Ohio, O'Neill Playwrights Conference Finalist), Ocean (Mabou Mines Residency), Flatland (EST/Sloan Commission), There Will Come Soft Rains (FringeNYC). His programming at the Connelly includes Futurity (Soho Rep./Ars Nova), Lypsinka!, The Offending Gesture (The Tank), and Daniel Kitson's A Show for Christmas. Josh has also worked as an assistant director at Baltimore CENTERSTAGE, Paper Mill Playhouse, NYMF, Virginia Stage, and a writer's assistant at Playwrights Horizons. He worked in the writer's office of HBO's The Wire, and is an alum of the Baltimore School for the Arts and Oberlin College.
Joshua William Gelb (director/co-creator) is a director, performer, and librettist whose recent projects include a re-imagining of America's supposed first musical The Black Crook at Abrons Arts Center. Also Bear Slayer (Ars Nova), Party in the USA (Incubator Arts/Edinburgh Fringe), Clara Not Clara: A Nutcracker (Minnesota Dance Theater/Knockdown Center), Dukus (Target Margin Lab), Sometimes in Prague (Ice Factory/Joe's Pub/Polyphone Festival), and Blind Alley Guy (Incubator Arts Project). Gelb received his MFA at Carnegie Mellon, was a member of the 2012 Lincoln Center Directors Lab and is an associate artist with Sinking Ship Productions.
Jonathan Levin (performer/co-creator) is an international director, performer and puppeteer. He is the Co-Artistic Director of Sinking Ship Productions, directing POWERHOUSE at the New Ohio Theatre (NYTimes Critics Pick) in 2014, Solaris in 2016 (in development) at the Mabou Mines Resident Artist program, Flatland (2011), an EST/Sloan Foundation commission, and There Will Come Soft Rains (2008) at FringeNYC (Excellence Award for Outstanding Direction). In addition to his work in NYC, Jon is also a founding member of The Krumple Theatre Company, an international ensemble based in Norway. With The Krumple, he has co-directed and performed in Go to Sleep, Goddamnit! and Do Not Feed the Trolls in theaters across Norway, in England and NYC from 2013-present. Jon has also performed as a puppeteer in Banksy's "Better Out than In", NYC, Wakka Wakka's SAGA (Norway, Iceland, Croatia, Slovenia), and as an actor with in Le Mot Juste's The Overcoat (UK). Jon is a graduate of L'école Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq and holds a BA from Oberlin College in theater and neuroscience.
About Sinking Ship Productions
Sinking Ship Productions creates work that is the theatrical version of circumnavigating the globe in a questionably seaworthy vessel: grand and ridiculous, unadvisedly ambitious, walking the fine line between courageous and foolhardy.
Sinking Ship, a Brooklyn-based theater company, is the creative collaboration between Jonathan Levin and Josh Luxenberg. We work with a core group of Associate Artists, combining physical theater, puppetry, music and movement in delightful, strange and unexpected ways. Our productions have grappled with concepts such as the creation and destruction of the universe as imagined by science fiction writers, how a man's search for connection could ultimately lead to complete isolation, and the limits of human understanding through the search for extra dimensions of space in theoretical physics. We like big ideas.
Sinking Ship's original works include There Will Come Soft Rains (FringeNYC, extended at Barrow Street Theater, 2008), Flatland (work-in-progress, EST/Sloan Foundation Commission, 2010), Powerhouse (work-in-progress at FringeNYC, 2010; premiere at New Ohio Theatre, 2014, O'Neill Playwrights Conference Finalist, 2012; New York Times Critics Pick), Ocean (work-in-progress, Mabou Mines Resident Artist Program, 2016), A Hunger Artist (work-in-progress showings at The Freight Residency Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, NY, Cloud City, Jalopy, 2015, and at New Ohio Theater Producers Club, 2016).
In addition to producing original work, Sinking Ship also runs the popular puppet and music series Puppet Playlist, which has played to sold-out crowds since 2009, becoming one of New York's premiere venues for original short-form puppetry.
About The Tank
The Tank is a Manhattan-based non-profit arts presenter and producer. We serve emerging artists engaged in the pursuit of new ideas and forms of expression. Our goal is to foster an environment of inclusiveness and remove the economic barriers from the creation of new work for artists launching their careers and experimenting within their art form. The heart of our services is providing free performance space in the 62-seat blackbox that we operate in Manhattan, and we also offer a suite of other resources such as free rehearsal space, promotional support, and artist fees. Our programming is multi-disciplinary, representing disciplines including theater, music, dance, comedy, film, and storytelling. We keep ticket prices affordable and view our work as democratic, opening up both the creation and attendance of the arts to all and positioning the arts within civic and socio-political discourse.
Founded in 2003 by nine emerging artists, The Tank has since provided an artistic home for tens of thousands of New York City-based performers. Recent successes produced by The Tank as part of Flint & Tinder include Manual Cinema's Ada/Ava (Drama Desk nomination for Unique Theatrical Experience, New York Times Critics' Pick), Mac Wellman's The Offending Gesture (New York Times Critics' Pick), Andrew Schneider's youarenowhere (Drama Desk nomination for Unique Theatrical Experience, New York Times Critics' Pick), and Torry Bend's The Paper Hat Game (New York Times Critics' Pick). Artists who have presented work at The Tank early on in their careers include Alex Timbers (Tony-nominated theater director), Reggie Watts (theater performer/comedian/ musician currently the bandleader on The Late Late Show with James Corden), Amy Herzog (Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright), Lucy Alibar (whose one-act play Juicy and Delicious premiered at The Tank and was adapted to be the Oscar-nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild), Andrew Bujalski (film director, Computer Chess), and We Are Scientists (rock band). The Tank also presented the premiere of A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant by Kyle Jarrow, which won an Obie Award and went on to a national tour. The Tank has been honored with an official City Council proclamation, chosen for the WNYC *STAR* initiative, and featured on CNN, BBC, the New York Times, and more.
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