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NYU Skirball Announces 24-Hour MOUNT OLYMPUS, Return Of GATZ, and More!

NYU Skirball Announces 24-Hour MOUNT OLYMPUS, Return Of GATZ, and More!NYU Skirball's 2018-19 season will open at midnight on September 8, 2018 with an all-night theater storytelling marathon from the U.K.'s acclaimed Forced Entertainment theater company, followed by their Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare, adaptations of all 36 Shakespeare plays, starring everyday household objects.

The theater season will include the North American premieres of Jan Fabre's monumental, 24-hour Mount Olympus: to glorify the cult of tragedy; National Theatre of Scotland's Adam, the true story of a transgender man's fight across borders and genres; and Milo Rau's Five Easy Pieces, featuring seven young child actors. Gatz, Elevator Repair Service's award-winning, eight-hour adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," returns for 8 performances, and adult circus/burlesque performances feature companies from Montreal and Australia.

The Schedule:


Saturday, September 8 at midnight - Sunday, September 9 at 6 am

This may be the longest all-night bedtime story ever told. Inspired by the classic story, "One Thousand and One Nights," Tales of the Arabian Nights, the storytelling begins at midnight and continues until dawn, with never-ending tales that explore the relationship between a story, its storyteller, and its audience. Audiences are free to come and go over the course of the six-hour performance.

A story is told, made up live, dragged from memory by a line of performers who compete, interrupting, exaggerating, taking over each other's narratives and incorporating stolen bits into their own tales. It is a long, mutating and endlessly self-cancelling story. It's a story that shifts register and genre - from folk tale to parable, from pub anecdote to half-remembered film plot, from raucous joke to ghost story, kids story or philosophical fable. Video Clip: And on the Thousandth Night


Tuesday, September 11 - Sunday, September 16 (See for schedule)

A Salt and Pepper shaker for the king and queen. A ruler for the prince. A spoon for the servant. Lighter fluid for the Innkeeper. A water bottle for the messenger.

One by one, Forced Entertainment performers condense every Shakespeare play ever written into a series of 36 intimate and lovingly made miniatures, played out on an everyday table-top using a collection of un-extraordinary everyday objects. The stories of the plays vividly come to life over six nights, as the act of storytelling and theater itself is celebrated.

Forced Entertainment has long had an obsession with virtual or described performance, exploring in different ways over the years the possibilities of conjuring extraordinary scenes, images and narratives using language alone. In a brand-new direction for the company, Complete Works explores the dynamic force of narrative in a simple and idiosyncratic summary of Shakespeare's comedies, tragedies, histories and late plays, creating worlds as vivid as they are strange. Video trailer: Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare

Forced Entertainment, based in Sheffield, U.K., was founded in 1984 by six theater artists who have sustained a unique collaborative practice for more than thirty years, confirming their position as trailblazers in contemporary theater. The group produces work that explores and often explodes the conventions of genre, narrative and theater itself, drawing influence not just from drama but from dance, performance art, music culture and popular forms such as cabaret and stand-up. Its trademark collaborative process - devising work as a group through improvisation, experimentation and debate - has made them pioneers of British avant-garde theater and earned them an unparalleled international reputation.


Wednesday, October 17 at 7:30 pm

A FREE performance, part of the Karl Marx: On Your Marx Festival

P Project tests Marx's theories on capitalism by offering audiences cold, hard cash in exchange for a performance. Ivo Dimchev is a Bulgarian performing artist, known internationally for his provocative and often controversial works of performance art. P Project (2012) is an escalating, interactive performance where actual cash fuels participation based on several P words, such as Piano, Pray, Pussy, Poetry, Poppers, and so on. The People will be offered several opportunities to Participate in the P Project, for which they be Paid quite well.

P Project is part of NYU Skirball's pay-what-you-think-it's-worth, two-week commemoration of the great philosopher Karl Marx's 200th birthday. Admission to all performances is free: however, audiences will receive an invoice detailing the cost of every element of the production (supply). They are then free to determine the worth of the production and donate accordingly (demand) thus enabling the artists to "earn money in order to live and write."

Ivo Dimchev, is a Bulgarian choreographer, visual artist, singer-songwriter, now living in London. His work is extreme and colorful mixtures of performance art, dance, theater, music, drawings and photography. Dimchev has created over 30 pieces, has received numerous international awards, and has presented his work across Europe, South America and North America. He is the founder and director of Bulgaria's Humarts Foundation, organizes an annual competition for contemporary Bulgarian choreography, is an Artist in Residence at Kaaitheater in Brussels, and tours extensively. In 2014, he opened MOZEI in Sofia, Bulgaria, as an independent space for presenting contemporary art and music.


Friday, October 26 & Saturday, October 27 at 7:30 pm

A FREE performance, part of the Karl Marx: On Your Marx Festival

A NYC premiere set in the California Republic of 1848, Non-Western is a quick-change musical fantasy that plays with the tropes of the Western genre. Economic desires motivate its figures, from ranchero to coyote, all of whom are portrayed by the three members of My Barbarian in an unstable exchange of costumes, puppets, action figures and projections. Even as class drama drives the plot, the colonial situation confuses a Marxist analysis, and signals the kinds of appropriations and adaptations Marxist critique undergoes in the non-West. Songs include "Toward a Leftist Positionality" and "The Form of Personal Property."

My Barbarian is a performance group made up of Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade. Their work plays with social difficulties and theatricalizes historic problems. Since 2000, they have presented work in major venues internationally, in solo and group exhibitions, museum programs and theater festivals. They were included in two Performa Biennials, two California Biennials, the Biennale de Montréal, and the Whitney Biennial. They've received awards and fellowships from United States Artists, Foundation for Contemporary Art, Art Matters and the City of Los Angeles.


Saturday, November 10 at 5 pm - Sunday, November 11 at 5 pm

"Majestic, exhausting and exhilarating - a hallucinatory vision of Homeric themes ... a night-time garden orgy." - The Guardian (U.K.)

Belgian director Jan Fabre's monumental masterpiece, Mount Olympus: To glorify the cult of tragedy (a 24-hour performance), will have its North American premiere with a one-day-only performance at NYU Skirball from Saturday, November 10 at 5pm through Sunday, November 11 at 5 pm. This is the only chance for U.S. audiences to experience Mount Olympus - there are no other performances scheduled this year.

Mount Olympus is a graphic, Dionysian orgy of madness, murder and that invites audiences to join its 27 performers in a transformative, 24-hour catharsis. It is not a modernization of Greek tragedy, but rather a hallucinatory vision of Homeric themes and characters, blending dance, poetry, and music with stories of murder, bloody battles, rampant sexuality, death and raving madness. Jan Fabre takes the audience to the marrow of the tragedy.

Over the course of 24 hours, the Gods, heroes and demons of Greek mythology spring to life: Dionysus, Odysseus, Ulysses, Phaedra, Hercules, Jason, Agamemnon, Oedipus, Medea, Electra and Clytemnestra appear, wrenching open their flaws until they are left in tatters, smashed by violence, hubris, laughter and ecstasy.

Mount Olympus is performed without intermission, for 24 hours straight, allowing audiences and performers share a vivid, emotional connection. The outside world is shut out, and time plays a leading role. The performers wake and sleep on stage, and rest areas will be set up in the NYU Skirball lobbies for audience members who wish to nap. Coffee, food, yoga, Tarot readings, relaxation activities and other special events will be ongoing throughout the 24-hours.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for New Yorkers to experience a monumental and exhilarating work," said Jay Wegman, Director, NYU Skirball. "People who have been lucky enough to attend one of its rare international performances report a transformative, cathartic experience, unlike anything they have experienced before. We are thrilled to present its first and only North American performance."

Jan Fabre, acclaimed multidisciplinary artist and author, is known as one of the most innovative and versatile artists of his time, pushing the boundaries of art and performance. Chaos and discipline, repetition and madness, metamorphosis and the anonymous are all indispensable ingredients in Fabre's works. In the 1970s, Jan Fabre caused a sensation as a performance artist, shaking the foundations of the European theater establishment and received international attention with his large-scale exhibitions, including Heaven of Delight (2002), a fresco on the ceiling of the Mirror Room at the Royal Palace in Brussels made up of jewel-beetle wing cases. He was the first living artist to present his work at the Louvre, Paris, and was the first living artist to create?a large-scale exhibition at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, in 2016.

Elevator Repair Service: GATZ

Wednesday, January 23 - Sunday, February 3

Gatz, the critically lauded performance of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," was last seen in New York in 2012. Created by Obie-winning ensemble Elevator Repair Service, this multi-award-winning play, with a cast of thirteen, is a theatrical tour de force - not just a retelling of the Gatsby story but a thoroughly entertaining dramatization of the entire novel, word for word. Gatz will be presented as a marathon eight-hour event, including two intermissions and a dinner break.

Elevator Repair Service, based in NYC, has been making original theater since 1991. Under the direction of Artistic Director John Collins, ERS has achieved national and international recognition with its extensive body of work and has influenced a generation of theater-makers. The company's performances have been presented in Europe, Australia, Asia, South America and across the United States, and have been recognized with numerous awards.


Thursday, February 14 - Saturday, February 16 at 7:30 pm

Adam, a North American premiere, is the remarkable, true story of a young trans man, born in Egypt. Trapped in a deeply conservative society where falling in love with the wrong person can get you killed, he had to escape. He typed this question into his laptop: "Can the soul of a man be trapped in the body of a woman?" What followed was beyond his wildest dreams. Adam features a score sung by a virtual choir of trans and non-binary individuals from across the world who are projected onto the stage. It is both a bold exploration of the experience of a young transgender person and an ambitious experiment with theatrical form, blending storytelling, classical composition and mass digital elements from participants from around the globe.

The National Theatre of Scotland is dedicated to playing the great stages, arts centers, village halls, schools and site-specific locations of Scotland, the U.K. and internationally. As well as creating groundbreaking productions and working with the most talented theater-makers, the company produces significant community engagement projects, innovates digitally and works constantly to develop new talent. Founded in 2006, the company has become a globally significant theatrical player, with an extensive repertoire of award-winning work.


Thursday, March 7 - Saturday, March 9 at 7:30 pm

"The entire audience came out of the performance with a smile on their face, and at the same time had their stomach in knots. It was completely incredible." - RTBF Radio

Five Easy Pieces, a North American premiere, probes the limits of what children know, feel, and do, as seven children present the true story of notorious Belgian child killer Marc Dutroux. Swiss director Milo Rau and his International Institute of Political Murder (IIPM) explore aesthetic and theatrical questions that blend together with moral issues: How can children understand the significance of narrative, empathy, loss, subjection, old age, disappointment, or rebellion? How do we react if we see them acting out scenes of violence or love and romance? What does that say about our own fears and desires? Together with CAMPO Arts Centre from Ghent, Rau created his first work with children on stage. It will be presented in Flemish, with English supertitles.

MILO RAU, a Swiss theater and film director, journalist, essayist, and lecturer, founded the theater and film production com­pany International Institute of Political Murder (IIPM) which he has been running ever since. His productions, campaigns and films have been invited to some of the biggest national and inter­national festivals. The Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique recently named him "one of Europe's most sought-after directors" with the German weekly Der Freitag describing him "as the most controversial theatre director of his generation."

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