Hilary Bettis & Sheila Callaghan World Premieres Set for New Georges' 25th Anniversary Season

By: Jul. 05, 2016

In its 25-year history, New Georges has brought forth an unprecedented generation of women playwrights and directors, providing them with steady artistic support and first or career-transforming productions in New York City. New Georges will celebrate its anniversary season with the World Premiere of Hilary Bettis' Alligator, directed by Elena Araoz, presented in collaboration with The Sol Project this fall, and of Sheila Callaghan and Daniella Topol's collaboratively-created Water at 3LD Art & Technology Center in June of 2017 as part of Water City, a multi-disciplinary art event.

"It feels a bit unreal to reach this milestone! But when I look at this season, with its emphasis on experimentation and artists we love, I know exactly why we're still making plays," says Founding Artistic Director Susan Bernfield. "We're thrilled to launch the very necessary Sol Project with a playwright and director we've been eager to produce; and to return to 3LD with Sheila and Daniella 11 years after Dead City, a significant production for us all. The core of our work, all year long, remains serving a thriving 200-member artist community -- devising programs to meet their ever-changing needs, sometimes just offering a hearty conversation."

World Premiere


Written by Hilary Bettis, Directed by Elena Araoz

Presented in collaboration with The Sol Project

November 22-December 17 at The ART/New York Theatres (53rd Street and 10th Avenue)

New Georges is proud to be the first partner theater of The Sol Project, a new multi-year initiative intended to raise the visibility of Latina/o playwrights in the theater ecology of New York City and nationwide. The Sol Project, led by Jacob Padr?n, will pair 12 Latina/o playwrights with 12 leading Off Broadway theaters who produce their plays in their mainstage seasons, and then with regional partners who commit to the continued life of the plays. Alligator will be presented at the new ART/New York Theatres at 53rd Street and 10th Avenue, where New Georges will be a pilot company in the theaters' opening months.

Emerald and Ty are twin orphaned teenagers who live in the backwoods of the Florida Everglades and wrestle 'gators in a roadside attraction. Careening through encounters in their small tourist town, they meet self-destructive young locals looking for a future and desperate young wanderers looking for a home; all carry secrets under ever-present layers of desire. Alternately realistic and surreal, scored with gritty rock music, Alligator is a muscular, satisfying play about learning to tame our darkest impulses.

World Premiere


Created by Sheila Callaghan & Daniella Topol with Liza Birkenmeier and the design team
Co-produced with 3LD Art & Technology Center as part of WATER CITY

June 4-30, 2017 at 3LD Art & Technology Center (80 Greenwich Street)

New Georges and 3LD Art & Technology Center will present Water, created by Sheila Callaghan and Daniella Topol with Liza Birkenmeier and a design team that includes Set Designer Louisa Thompson (Gatz; Blasted); Lighting Designer Barbara Samuels (O, Earth; Great Lakes); Video Designer Cory Einbinder (The Service Road); and original music and sound design by Broken Chord Collective (Eclipsed) & John P. Hastings (The Experimental Music Yearbook).

Water, a collaboratively created piece of participatory theater that explores human relationships to the environment in the face of profound ecological threat, reunites playwright Callaghan, director Topol, New Georges and 3LD eleven years after the extended run of New Georges' critically-acclaimed 2006 production of Callaghan and Topol's Dead City, the first production to open at 3LD.

Water will be part of Water City, a month-long, multi-disciplinary art event, curated by New Georges Deputy Artistic Director Sarah Cameron Sunde, featuring performances, artwork and conversations that confront the global water crisis. Water City will include Sunde's own 36.5 / a durational video with the sea, a six-channel video installation that combines footage from six locations in which Sunde has performed 36.5 / a durational performance with the sea, in which she stands in water for a full tidal cycle; and additional thematically-linked works of visual or participatory art. Featuring both theatrical and visual arts components, Water City will spark conversation between theater and visual artists and break down borders between our fields.

Hilary Bettis (Playwright, Alligator) writes for the theater, television and film. Her work includes: Dolly Arkansas, Blood & Dust, The Ghosts of Lote Bravo, The History of American Pornography, Alligator, Dakota Atoll, Mexico and American Girls. A two-time recipient of the Lecomte du Nouy Prize from Lincoln Center, she is a 2015 graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwright Fellowship at The Juilliard School. Bettis has received fellowships and residencies at the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, York Theatre Workshop, SPACE at Ryder Farm, La Jolla Playhouse, New York Foundation for the Arts, Playwrights' Week at The Lark, Audrey Residency at New Georges, The Kennedy Center/NNPN MFA Workshop and more. As a screenwriter, Bettis has written and produced short films, B'Hurst and The Iron Warehouse, which have screened worldwide. She works as a staff writer for the TV series The Americans. www.hilarybettiswriter.com

Elena Araoz (Director, Alligator) is a stage director for theater and opera. This season in NYC, she directs Octavio Solís's Prospect (Boundless Theatre Company), Dipika Guha's Mechanics of Love, and will devise She-She-She with Virginia Grise and Hook & Eye for Ice Factory Festival, New Ohio Theatre. She will direct Naomi Wallace's The Retreating World (Great Plains Theatre Conference) and Two Arms and a Noise (Bucharest International Theatre Platform), which she wrote and directed as a NYTW fellow. She was named The Drama League's inaugural Beatrice Terry Resident, where she wrote Plastic Drastic, an eco-aware musical adaptation of The Odyssey, and directed for the Rose Theatre. Other productions: Architecture of Becoming (Women's Project), two Carl Djerassi plays (Off-Broadway), Li Tong's The Power (Beijing), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Prague Shakespeare), Mac Wellman's Wu and Horrocks (Sleeping Weazel, ArtsEmerson), Natalia Naman's Lawnpeople(Cherry Lane Mentor Project), La Traviata (NYCO, BAM), Lucia di Lammermoor (Opera North), Falstaff (Brooklyn Philharmonic, BAM), Latin Lovers (Glimmerglass Opera). Araoz is a New Georges affiliated artist, and a founding member and serves on the artistic collective of The Sol Project. www.elenaaraoz.com

Sheila Callaghan's (Co-creator, Water) plays have been produced and developed with Soho Rep, Playwrights Horizons, Yale Rep, South Coast Repertory, Clubbed Thumb, The Lark, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, New Georges, The Flea, Woolly Mammoth, Boston Court, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, among others. Sheila is the recipient of the Princess Grace Award for emerging artists, a Jerome Fellowship from the Playwright's Center in Minneapolis, a MacDowell Residency, a Cherry Lane Mentorship Fellowship, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and the Whiting Award. Her plays have been produced internationally in New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Germany, Portugal, and the Czech Republic. These include Scab, Crawl Fade to White, Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake), We Are Not These Hands, Dead City, Lascivious Something, Kate Crackernuts, That Pretty Pretty; or, The Rape Play, Fever/Dream, Everything You Touch, Roadkill Confidential, Eleveda, Bed, andWomen Laughing Along with Salad. She is published with Playscripts.com and Samuel French, and several of her collected works are published with Counterpoint Press. She has taught playwriting at Columbia University, The University of Rochester, The College of New Jersey, Florida State University, and Spalding University. Sheila is an affiliated artist with New Georges and Clubbed Thumb and a member of the Obie winning playwright's organization 13P. Sheila is also an alumna of New Dramatists. In 2010, Callaghan was profiled by Marie Claire as one of "18 Successful Women Who Are Changing the World." She was also named one of Variety magazine's "10 Screenwriters to Watch" of 2010. Sheila is currently a writer/producer on the hit Showtime comedy Shameless and a founder of the feminist activist group The Kilroys. In 2016 she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her work on the Hulu comedy series Casual.

Daniella Topol (Co-creator, Water) is thrilled to work with New Georges again after directing Dead City at 3LD ten years ago. Other NY productions include Ironbound by Martyna Majok (Rattlestick/Women's Project; Steppenwolf; Roundhouse Theatre), When January Feels Like Summer (Ensemble Studio/P73), How the World Began by Catherine Treischmann (Women's Project; South Coast Rep), Charles Ives Take Me Home by Jessica Dickey (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), Jesus in India by Lloyd Suh (Ma-Yi Theatre; Magic Theatre), Sheila Callaghan's Lascivious Something (Women's Project/Cherry Lane), Carla Ching's The Sugarhouse at The Edge of the Wilderness (Ma-Yi Theatre), Judith Thompson's Palace of the End (Epic). Regionally, she has directed Rachel Bonds' Five Mile Lake (South Coast Rep), Rajiv Joseph's Monster at the Door (Alley Theatre), Susan Bernfield's Stretch (People's Light and Theatre Company), Niko Tskalakos and Janet Allard's Pool Boy (Barrington Stage) among others, and next season will be directing Jacqueline Lawton's Intelligence (Arena Stage).

Sarah Cameron Sunde (36.5 / a durational video with the sea) is a director, translator, and interdisciplinary artist working in the realms of theater, performance, video and public art. She is Deputy Artistic Director of New Georges, leads the live art cohort Lydian Junction, and is known internationally as Jon Fosse's American-English director/ translator, having directed and translated five U.S. debut productions in New York City and Pittsburgh: Night Sings Its Songs, deathvariations, Sa Ka La, A Summer Day, and Dream of Autumn; translations published by PAJ. Other theater credits include world premieres at 3LD Art & Technology Center (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), Rattlestick (The Amish Project), Kennedy Center (No Place Called Home), Guthrie Theater (What May Fall), and New Georges (Good Heif). Her work has been produced or developed at EFA Project Space, Epic Theatre Ensemble, Soho Rep, Lincoln Center Director's Lab, Women's Project, residencies at The Watermill Center, Hermitage Foundation and presented internationally in Norway, the Netherlands, Mexico, China, Uganda and Iraqi Kurdistan. Other honors: Princess Grace Award, Creative Climate Award first prize 2015, American Scandinavian Society Artist Award, NYTheater.com Person of the Year Award. Her current large-scale public work, 36.5 /a durational performance with the sea, has been performed and exhibited in Maine, San Francisco, Mexico and The Netherlands, and will take place in Bangladesh in fall 2016. She holds a BA in Theater from UCLA and an MFA in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice from the City College of New York, CUNY.

New Georges, founded in 1992, is one of New York City's premiere downtown theaters, a strategically small company with a national reputation as a hub and a launchpad for the most adventurous theater artists (who are women) working today. Through productions of boundary-pushing new plays, several varieties of play development programs, and our indispensable workspace, The Room, we support the largest ongoing working community of women theater artists in New York City and have launched an unprecedented generation of women playwrights and directors. Honors for New Georges, its plays and its people include 3 Obie Awards, The Lilly Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the Kesselring Prize, and New York Magazine has called New Georges an "important, risk-taking organization." Notable productions include Kate Benson's 2015 Obie Award-winning A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes, directed by Lee Sunday Evans; MArielle Heller's The Diary of a Teenage Girl, directed by Sarah Cameron Sunde and Rachel Eckerling; Eisa Davis' Angela's Mixtape, directed by Liesl Tommy; Jenny Schwartz's God's Ear, directed by Anne Kauffman; Heidi Schreck's Creature, directed by Leigh Silverman; Sheila Callaghan's Dead City, directed by Daniella Topol; and Lisa D'Amour's Anna Bella Eema, directed by Katie Pearl; we have provided critical early-career opportunities to additional playwrights and directors who include Lucy Alibar, Rachel Bonds, Rachel Chavkin, Rachel Dickstein, Portia Krieger, Maria Mileaf, Lila Neugebauer, Jen Silverman, Diana Son, Kathryn Walat, Tracey Scott Wilson, Anna Ziegler and many more.

The Sol Project is a New York City-based initiative catalyzing change via a national movement to provide productions by Latina/o playwrights, bringing the stories and culture of their community to the fore of the American theater. Inspired by the playwrights' collective 13P, Artistic Director Jacob G. Padrón devised a model for a highly visible platform for Latina/o playwrights, first in New York City and then nationwide. At heart, it is a simple idea: 12 playwrights, both emerging and established, are partnered with Off-Broadway companies throughout New York City who produce their plays. Regional partners then commit to the continued life of each play once it has premiered in New York, with second, third and fourth productions. A conversation is created among the companies, and our plays sit side by side with those of other writers in the mainstream of the American theater. The Sol Project's artistic collective is comprised of its founding members Claudia Acosta, Elena Araoz, Adriana Gaviria, David Mendizabal, Padrón and Laurie Woolery. www.solproject.org

3-Legged Dog was founded in 1994 by a group of artists working at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater and has become one of the leading experimental arts groups in New York. Today, working out of our home in Lower Manhattan, 3LD is a one-of-a-kind organization equipping artists with both the technology and support to fully realize often large-scale, experimental, cross-disciplinary artworks. Unlike any other organization in the city, we offer an average of 700 artists a year access to state-of-the-art equipment, technology, training, expert advice and tools for creation developed at the forefront of the field. Since opening the doors of our facility in 2006, we have produced or coproduced 90 multimedia productions and 7 films, while continuously serving artists from New York and beyond through training, production support, subsidized space and free equipment for development. www.3ldnyc.org

2023 Regional Awards


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