Aaron Landsman's NIGHT KEEPER Comes to The Chocolate Factory Theater

Performances run March 27 - April 8, 2023.

By: Mar. 17, 2023
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Aaron Landsman's NIGHT KEEPER Comes to The Chocolate Factory Theater

The Chocolate Factory Theater presents the world premiere of Night Keeper, a new theater performance by Aaron Landsman. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased in advance at (866) 811-4111 or www.chocolatefactorytheater.org.

Aaron Landsman's new performance is staged environmentally throughout The Chocolate Factory Theater's stark industrial space, accumulating momentum through layers of design, text, sound and movement. Night Keeper takes over the Chocolate Factory space the way a city night takes over your apartment: light from the street leaks in, a phone notification interrupts; the sounds of people passing on the street draw you to the window.

Night Keeper is a collection of moments (performed by Jehan Young and David Guzman) which accumulate and interweave: a parent talks to a child who cannot sleep; a figure in darkness ruminates on the similar luminosity of lightning bugs and cell phones; another comments on the comings and goings in her building at night.

Within an environment (designed by Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew and Jon DeGaetano) of thin filaments, dim glows, and projector beams, drawings (by Jess Barbagallo) unfurl before our eyes, or appear as animations on walls. Norman Westberg's (Swans) ambient score of guitar loops and rhythms, by turns delicate and intense, turns the whole room into a clock; the audience - seated strategically throughout the space - witnesses the performance from up close, and then across the room, and then in total darkness, welcoming our collective sleeplessness as a form of communion.

Written and Directed by Aaron Landsman. Performed by Jehan Young and David Guzman. Music by Norman Westberg. Choreography by Hilary Clark. Drawings by Jess Barbagallo. Visual Design by Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew and Jon DeGaetano. Assistant Director: Janine Cunningham.

Aaron Landsman last appeared at The Chocolate Factory Theater with the premiere of Running Away From The One With The Knife in March 2015.

Night Keeper is commissioned by The Chocolate Factory Theater with support from Creative Capital, A Loghaven Artist Residency, Princeton University Research Funds, Creative Rebuild New York's Artist Employment Program and A Baryshnikov Arts Center Summer Residency.

Aaron Landsman is a theater artist and teacher. His work includes site-specific productions in the kinds of places where people perform their lives: homes, offices, buses and meeting rooms, as well as more traditionally staged works. Landsman is an Abrons Arts Center Social Practice Artist-in-Residence, a 2017-18 Guggenheim Fellow in Theater, a former Arts Fellow and current Visiting Lecturer at Princeton, and the 2013-15 Gammage resident artist at ASU Gammage. His recent projects have been presented in New York at Abrons Art Center, The Chocolate Factory Theater, EMPAC, and HERE Art Center. In 2016, his diptych of theater works Empathy School/Love Story premiered at Abrons, garnering Critic's Pick reviews from The New York Times and Time Out New York. From 2012-14 his participatory theater work City Council Meeting, created with Mallory Catlett and Jim Findlay, was presented in Houston, Tempe, New York, San Francisco and Keene, NH, with funds from NPN, NEFA's National Theater Project, MAP, Jerome and LMCC. He is currently in year three of a 20-year art and activism project about gentrification called Perfect City, which is being funded by LMCC, the Rubin Foundation, Graham Foundation, Abrons Arts Center, and 200+ Kickstarter donors. He was recently commissioned by Gaudeamus Musikweek to write the libretto for the new music-theater work Follow, composed by Igor Silva and performed by Ensemble Klang with vocalist Stephanie Pan. Follow toured the Netherlands and Portugal in Fall 2021. As a performer, Landsman worked for ten years with Elevator Repair Service Theater, with whom he performed at The Public, New York Theater Workshop, and on tour in the US, Europe, UK and Australia. Landsman's first book, The City We Make Together (co-authored with Mallory Catlett), was published in August 2022 by the University of Iowa Press.

Hilary Clark is a dancer, teacher and choreographer, performing in pivotal experimental dance and theater based work, touring nationally and internationally. She received a New York Dance and Performance Award (2008) for her work with Tere O'Connor (2004-2014), luciana achugar (2005- 2015), and Fiona Marcotty.

Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew is an award-winning designer for theater, opera, dance, musical, music performances, installation and immersive experiences. As a designer she aims to create a visual environment that is organically integrated into the landscape and language of the production.

A classically-trained actor, occasional dancer and emerging arts manager, Jehan O. Young hails from Atlanta, Georgia by way of California. Holding a BA & MFA in Drama & Acting from Spelman College and Columbia University, respectively, Jehan was a charter Arts Management Fellow with The Field Leadership Fund and currently serves as a company member and corps coordinator for Kotchegna Dance Company, a West African performance troupe specializing in the dance and drum traditions of the Ivory Coast. Jehan has performed internationally and appeared on numerous stages across New York City including countless esteemed basements with working pipes and a black curtain.

Best known for his work with the seminal outfit SWANS, Norman Westberg's output beyond that group is sprawling and restless. His name recurs and ripples through many interconnected micro-histories surrounding New York City's music and art scenes. From appearances in film works associated with the Cinema Of Transgression, through to his participation in bands such as The Heroine Sheiks and Five Dollar Priest, Westberg's name is woven deeply into the fabric of New York over the past three decades.

Jess Barbagallo is a writer and performer who has worked with Big Dance Theater, Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf and The Builders Association. Barbagallo is a founding member of Half Straddle, the Red Terror Squad and the Dyke Division of 2HC. Barbagallo's writing appears regularly in Art Forum online.


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