Prelude Festival Announces Full Lineup

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presents its annual PRELUDE FESTIVAL on October 4, 5, and 6 at The Graduate Center, CUNY, The City University of New York, curated by Andrew Kircher in collaboration with Frank Hentschker.

Since 2003, the PRELUDE FESTIVAL has given audiences a first look at new work and ideas by groundbreaking theatre and performance artists based in New York City. PRELUDE has presented more than 300 emerging artists, including Sarah Benson, Big Art Group, Cynthia Hopkins, Young Jean Lee, Nature Theater of Oklahoma, and 600 HIGHWAYMEN alongside legendary figures like Richard Foreman, Marina Abramovi?, Mabou Mines, Charles Mee, and many more.

Curator Andrew Kircher has assembled a program of significant new works-in-process and scholarship. By merging the critical with the creative, PRELUDE will provide a space for artists to share, engage, and discover emerging practices in form, craft, and technology.

"Prelude has always signaled where the theater is going next. It forecasts the new forms, new ideas, and new critical frameworks that will define performance in this city in the years to come. This year's program features exciting new work by some of the most pioneering artists and critical thinkers of this moment," says Kircher.

This year, PRELUDE continues the Studio Visit series. These evening-length hybrid performance events offer audiences a multi-angled view of the featured artist and their craft. Each Studio Visit will include an introduction by the artist, a presentation of new work-in-process, a critical response essay, and a Q&A with the respondent.

Studio Visit artists include: Julia May Jonas & Sarah Hughes [critical response by Jess Barbagallo], Witness Relocation / Dan Safer [critical response by Jane Comfort], Kristine Haruna Lee & Aya Ogawa [critical response by Diep Tran], Jaamil Olawale Kosoko [critical response by Rizvana Bradley], and Nikki Appino & Saori Tsukada [critical response by Che Gossett].

Toast the opening of the PRELUDE Festival on Thursday, October 4 with cocktails by Kathryn Hamilton/Sister Sylvester, constructed from and featuring DNA harvested from Berliner Ensemble costumes, including Bertolt Brecht's hat. On Saturday, October 6 join us in celebrating the festival's closing night and 2018 FRANKY Award recipient Daniel Alexander Jones at The Liberty NYC (29 W 35th St).

Created by Caleb Hammons and named in honor of MESTC executive Director and PRELUDE founder Dr. Frank Hentschker, the FRANKY award recognizes an artist who has made a long-term, extraordinary impact on contemporary theatre and performance in New York City.

PRELUDE will also showcase samples of new work by:

Janine Renee Cunningham & Andrew Goldberg, nicHi douglas, Tabatha Gayle & Sam Kebede, Ben Gassman & Brandon Woolf, Joshua William Gelb, Nehemiah Luckett, & Moe Yousuf, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Trish Harnetiaux & Knud Adams, James & Jerome, Modesto Flako Jimenez, Pig Iron Theatre Company, Jess Conda, Jenn Kidwell, Mel Krodman, James Allister Sprang as GAZR, Mariana Valencia, Artem Yatsunov, and more.

Hosted by the Graduate Center, the focal point for advanced research in the CUNY system, the PRELUDE Festival is uniquely positioned to celebrate the artistry of criticism and scholarship alongside new works of theatre and performance. This year's program will include New Dramaturgy presentations by Amy Cook, Bertie Ferdman with David Levine, and Jimmy Maize and Tectonic Theater Project.

Additionally, on Saturday, October 6th at 3:00pm PRELUDE will present the all new PRELUDE Arcade featuring media performance from Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble; Graham Sack, Sarah Hughes, Matthew Niederhauser & John Fitzgerald; and Lisa Szolovits.

PRELUDE remains the only theatre and performance festival dedicated exclusively to New York City theatre artists. PRELUDE represents the only theatre and performance festival that is completely FREE and open to the public. For the full festival schedule, please visit

All PRELUDE events will be at the

CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street, New York, NY 10016.

All are free of charge and open to the public. First come, first served.

All programs are subject to change.

Andrew Kircher is the Director of the Devised Theater Initiative and Associate Dramaturg at The Public Theater. As a creative producer, he has worked with companies including Ars Nova and Les Freres Corbusier and was previously the associate director of the Under the Radar Festival. He is a PhD candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center and is currently writing a dissertation entitled Dramaturgies of Intellectual Property Law in Read-Write Theatre.

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center [MESTC] is a non-profit center for theatre, dance, and film affiliated with CUNY's Ph.D. Program in Theatre. The Center's mission is to bridge the gap between academia and the professional performing arts communities both within the United States and internationally.

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