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Park Avenue Armory Announces 2023 Season Featuring THE DOCTOR North American Premiere Starring Juliet Stevenson

Park Avenue Armory Announces 2023 Season Featuring THE DOCTOR North American Premiere Starring Juliet Stevenson

The Armory’s 2023 Wade Thompson Drill Hall programming will begin in February with the North American premiere of LOVE by playwright and director Alexander Zeldin.

With an adventurous array of new commissions, world and North American premieres, and New York debuts from singular artistic voices who illuminate new visions of our world and ourselves, Park Avenue Armory has announced programming for its 2023 season. Spanning genres and often defying categorization, each work will be elevated by the large-scale creative possibilities of the Armory's space, including its 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall. The Armory's historic period rooms will continue to house more intimate engagements through its Recital Series as well as its Artists Studio series curated by renowned artist, composer, and jazz pianist Jason Moran, which this year features a range of programming presented by the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Inc. (AACM), who will be Armory artists-in-residence for 2023. These programs will be complemented by the institution's public programming series Making Space, which returns for its second season curated by Tavia Nyong'o, the Armory's Curator of Public Programming.

"From the time of our founding, the Armory has been a grand canvas in service of a unique artistic mission," said Rebecca Robertson, Park Avenue Armory's Founding President and Executive Producer. "Invited to harness the boundless possibilities of the Drill Hall, each of the artists this season will push the limits of their respective forms and offer perspectives that speak to the important issues of our communities here in New York and around the world."

"Our programming for 2023 reflects the artistic throughlines the Armory has built upon year over year, giving space to today's brightest talents across disciplines and allowing their ever-relevant work to thrive and expand in a new environment," added Pierre Audi, Marina Kellen French Artistic Director at Park Avenue Armory. "This year, we will stage two highly original and topical theater productions, one of which will introduce a major talent to the US; brand new operatic and electronic musical works, both forged through collaboration and specifically commissioned with the Armory's spaces in mind; and an epic reimagination of one of the most iconic works of contemporary dance, furthering a commitment to our essential choreographers."

The Armory's 2023 Wade Thompson Drill Hall programming will begin in February with the North American premiere of LOVE, an intimate theater experience created by British playwright and director Alexander Zeldin, also making his New York debut. LOVE is the central play in Zeldin's trilogy The Inequalities, which explores the human impact of austerity in Great Britain and has toured throughout Europe following its premiere at The National Theatre in 2016. Described by Financial Times as "gentle, often funny, but ultimately devastating," LOVE brings audiences into the lives of several families in temporary public housing in the days leading up to Christmas, in an immersive, lived-in stage design by Natasha Jenkins that dissolves the boundaries between staged action and seated theatergoers. LOVE is a hyper-realistic and radically honest work that shines a light on a broken social system while reinforcing the fundamental human need for community and connection.

Following his acclaimed repertory productions of Hamlet and Oresteia in summer 2022, Armory-championed director and playwright Robert Icke returns to the Drill Hall for the North American premiere of The Doctor, his original, contemporary play which was awarded Best Director (2019 Evening Standard Theatre Awards) and Best Actress (2019 Critic's Circle Theatre Awards) when it premiered at the Almeida Theater, and unanimous acclaim for its recent West End transfer. Leading the cast and reprising her critically acclaimed role is British actress and frequent Icke collaborator Juliet Stevenson, performing on the New York stage for the first time in 20 years. A loose adaption of Arthur Schnitzler's Professor Bernhardi, The Doctor follows the story of Ruth Wolff, a founding doctor at a leading medical facility, who prohibits a priest from visiting a young patient on her deathbed. Featuring intentionally subversive casting that upends identity-based assumptions, as well as an on-stage drummer amplifying the pressure Ruth faces, The Doctor lays bare social schisms and the complicated relationships between medicine and religion, race and gender, and public sentiment and private funding.

In a rare solo performance, Jonas Kaufmann, heralded as the world's greatest tenor, will appear at the Wade Thompson Drill Hall in October in the world premiere of Doppelganger, a theatrical staging of Franz Schubert's Schwanengesang ("Swan Song"), led by one of opera's most adventurous directors, Claus Guth, with sets by award-winning designer Michael Levine. A longtime collaborator of Kaufmann, the incomparable pianist Helmut Deutsch provides the piano accompaniment to the cycle. Composed in 1828 in Schubert's final days, Schwanengesang is a wrenching collection of songs that portray a man in despair, delusion, and at times, in ecstasy. The production folds in additional Schubert repertory as well as sound compositions by Mathis Nitschke. The myriad emotions that the cycle runs-from the jubilant "Liebesbotschaft" to the somber depth of "Der Doppelgänger"-will be conjured in a virtuosic performance by Kaufmann, paired with an evocative soundscape and transformative light and video projections to form a piece that is part performance, part installation art. Drawing on the universal themes of love and loss, Doppelganger portrays an individual emerging from tragedy, reconciling pangs of grief and isolation with the impulse to find comfort in community.

In a world premiere commission performed across five nights, experimental Venezuelan singer, composer, producer, and performance artist Arca (Alejandra Ghersi Rodríguez) will take over the Drill Hall with her new work Mutant;Destrudo. A frequent collaborator of artists like Björk, Rosalía, and FKA twigs, Arca's discordant and ecstatic artistry resides at the intersection between the body, technology, and queer electronic music traditions. This Armory commission will continue Arca's bold world-building and deconstruction of gender, femininity, and pop sensibilities, featuring close friends and collaborators congregated under this shared vision. With her signature creative synthesis of music, performance art, costuming, and technology, Arca will reexamine the ritual of the concert as a moment of heightened connection between artists and audiences.

The 2023 season will conclude with The Rite of Spring / common ground[s], a pairing of Pina Bausch's seminal choreography set to Stravinsky and a tender duet newly created and performed by Germaine Acogny, founder of École des Sables in Senegal and known as "the mother of African contemporary dance" and Malou Airaudo, an early member of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch who performed leading roles in many of Bausch's original pieces, including The Rite of Spring. The newly assembled company for The Rite of Spring is comprised of 36 dancers from 14 African countries and is dedicated exclusively to performing Bausch's renowned 1975 choreographic interpretation of Igor Stravinsky's chaotic and controversial composition. On a peat-covered stage, this visceral modern classic explores the raw violence of ritual and sacrifice as the seasons change from winter to spring. Leading the program is common ground[s], a first-time collaboration between Acogny and Airaudo, who choreographed and perform in a new work exploring the two women's shared histories and emotions through a poetic duet. The two pieces in succession create a powerful, poignant exploration of exchange between individuals, cultures, and eras. This program marks a global collaboration between the Pina Bausch Foundation in Germany, the international center for African dance École des Sables in Senegal, and the UK's Sadler's Wells, presented by the Armory.

Throughout the season, the Armory will also offer intimate performances, salons, artist talks, and educational programs in its historic period rooms. In 2023, the longstanding Recital Series, presented in the Board of Officers Room, will feature classical and contemporary works performed by baritone Stéphane Degout, tenor Allan Clayton (who recently appeared as Hamlet at the Met Opera), soprano Julia Bullock (returning to the Armory following her lead role in 2022's Upload), pianist Pavel Kolesnikov, mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey, and contemporary percussion quartet Sandbox Percussion.

Artists Studio engagements in the Veterans Room, curated by MacArthur "genius" and jazz pianist Jason Moran, will spotlight the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Inc. (AACM). For nearly 60 years, this revolutionary collective of artists, musicians, and creators from a range of backgrounds have been blending art forms and pushing boundaries. Their body of work has achieved lasting significance across borders of musical genre and geography and plays a critical role in the ever-evolving process of music creation. The collective's in-depth residency at the Armory will include performances of newly composed works, workshops and open rehearsals, lectures, exhibitions of historic artifacts and photographic surveys, and engagements with students from the Armory's arts education programs. Programs will feature experimental composer and musicologist George Lewis, a quintet led by percussionist Reggie Nicholson, pianist Amina Claudine Myers, and others from the collective.

Additionally, the Armory will present Making Space, its public programming series of talks, salons, symposia, performances, and other activations that bring artists, activists, cultural leaders, scholars, and audiences into dialogue about contemporary issues through an artistic lens. Curated by Armory Curator of Public Programming Tavia Nyong'o, Making Space will bring visionaries including lighting designer Jane Cox, playwright Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, set designer Mimi Lien and sound designer and composer Mikaal Sulaiman to the Armory to participate in a symposium on the intersection between race and creative design; a musical reappraisal of the Black Arts Movement led by Carrie Mae Weems and Carl Hancock Rux; a reflection on a 1984 conversation between James Baldwin and Audre Lorde hosted by Claudia Rankine; and additional events curated in dialogue with the Armory's Drill Hall programs, including LOVE, The Doctor, and Doppelganger.

Single tickets and subscriptions for the 2023 season will go on sale on Tuesday, November 15 at armoryonpark.org / (212) 933-5812.

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