Performance Space 122 Presents Newyorkland

Performance Space 122 Presents Newyorkland

Performance Space 122 is set to present the New York premiere of Newyorkland, from performance group Temporary Distortion. Merging film and live performance, the work follows four cops who struggle with the rigorous demands of the NYPD. Newyorkland was commissioned by PS122 as part of COIL, PS122’s annual performance festival.

14 performances of Newyorkland will take place Jan 12–28 (see schedule above) at the Howard Gillman Performance Space at the Baryshnikov Arts Center. Critics are welcome as of January 13 for an official opening of January 17. Tickets are $20 ($15 for students, seniors) and can be purchased online at or by phone at 212.352.3101. The Baryshnikov Arts Center is located at 450 West 37th Street in New York City.

Both terrifying and touchingly vulnerable, Newyorkland sheds a dark light on the secretive, fraternal society that is the NYPD and the thin line that officers must walk between righteousness and corruption. The work combines representations of cops from TV and film with testimonials from police officers in director Kenneth Collins immediate family. In merging this private history with fiction, Collins has set out to create one of his most personal works to date. The Seattle Times writes, “Newyorkland is a fascinating window into a cop's often isolating experiences.”

Staged in one of the company’s signature box-like structures, Newyorkland fuses live performance and film to create a claustrophobic, yet meditative work. The box-like installation serves as a framework for the both the performers’ restrained acting style and as a canvas for the arresting images of video designer William Cusick, who blends cinéma vérité, documentary realism and pure fiction. “Seamless and gorgeous,” writes Seattle’s The Stranger, “a dreamy, poetic, abstracted, and sometimes scary meditation on what it's like to live behind a badge.”

Newyorkland features direction and set and lighting design by Kenneth Collins, video design and direction by William Cusick, music and sound by John Sully, and costumes by TaraFawn Marek. The stage cast includes Nick Bixby, Daniel Brown, Al Di Martino and Brian Greer. Prior to PS122, Newyorkland was presented at Theatre Junction (Calgary, Canada) and On the Boards (Seattle, Washington).

About Temporary Distortion

Since its inception in 2002, Temporary Distortion has earned a reputation for pushing the boundaries of theater by staging unsettling, meditative performances in claustrophobic, boxlike structures that feature minimal physical movement and a uniquely restrained acting style. In the company’s work, projected video is juxtaposed with live performance to create dreamlike double worlds that fracture traditional notions of narrative coherence and merge film, performance, and visual art.

In these four-dimensional theatrical installations, the performers never make eye contact, never touch and barely move. Meanwhile, a journey on film unfolds around them in a hyper-real world of blood, sweat, and death that is ironically more physical than the presence of the live performer.

Steadily gaining recognition and critical acclaim through international touring over the past three years, Temporary Distortion is led by longtime collaborators Kenneth Collins and William Cusick, Newyorkland follows Welcome to Nowhere (bullet hole road) (2007), a deconstruction of the American road movie, and Americana Kamikaze (2009), the company’s western-infused translation of Japanese horror. In his review of Kamikaze in The New York Times, critic Jason Zinonman wrote, “Temporary Distortion, integrating mind-blowing video images and theatrical tension, has created a nightmarish pop aesthetic that deserves your attention.”

Temporary Distortion is based in New York City, where its work has been presented at The Chocolate Factory, The Ontological-Hysteric Theater and Performance Space 122. The Company’s work has also been presented internationally at: Brisbane Powerhouse (Brisbane, Australia), Exit Festival (Paris, France), Gare Saint-Sauveur (Lille, France), LiFE (Saint-Nazaire, France), Mois Multi (Quebec City, Canada), Prague Quadrennial (Prague, Czech Republic), Salzburg Festival (Salzburg, Austria), SPAC (Shizuoka, Japan), Théâtre de l’Agora (Évry, France), Théâtre Garonne (Toulouse, France), Theatre National de Toulouse (Toulouse, France), Trafó (Budapest, Hungary), Usine-C (Montreal, Canada), Via (Maubeuge, France).


Newyorkland is made possible with commissioning support from Performance Space 122. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional support provided by the Arts Collaboration Lab, a partnership between Columbia University School of the Arts and Performance Space 122 in July 2011, and The Greenwall Foundation

About Performance Space 122

For over 3 decades, Performance Space 122 has been a hub for contemporary performance and an active member of the cultural community in N.Y.C. and across the globe. In 1980, the organization was founded by Charles Moulton, Charles Dennis, Tim Miller and Peter Rose to offer artists rehearsal and performance opportunities in the revamped cafeteria of a former New York City public school (PS 122) at the corner of First Avenue and Ninth Street in New York’s East Village. In 1986, under the artistic direction of Mark Russell, the organization doubled its programming by converting the gymnasium on the first floor of the school building into a second performance space. Over the past 30 Years, PS122 has brought forward not only artists, like John Leguizamo, Jonathan Ames, Eric Bogosian, the Blue Man Group or Annie Dorsen who have gone on to make waves in commercial arenas on Broadway or at HBO, but also artists who have triggered national debate about political and ethical issues, like the original “NEA four”, Ethyl Eichelberger (HIV/AIDS activist), or more recently Young Jean Lee and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (contemporary social critiques), as well as artists who have radicalized aesthetic form like Meredith Monk, Spalding Gray, Ron Athey, Richard Maxwell, Elevator Repair Service, Radiohole, Adrienne Truscott, Verdensteatret (Norway), Rabih Mroué (Lebanon), Philippe Quesne (France), and Maria Hassabi (Cyprus).

In the past 7 years, under the curatorial vision of Artistic Director Vallejo Gantner, PS122 has developed a set of Presenting Programs that include commissions and presentations of New York, national and International Artists working in contemporary performance, theater, dance, multi-disciplinary, new music, media and installations. All of the programs at PS122 have been designed to further the creative process for our artists and launch them into more sustainable careers. In the last two years PS122 has shifted focus to better serve audiences, both locally, nationally and internationally by advocating and building partnerships across the globe. The results of these efforts have benefited our artists by increasing their local exposure and earning capacity, and by expanding their touring opportunities and therefore also the life-span and reach of their works.

Beginning this season, PS122 has embarked on one of the most unusual and potentially radical shifts in the 30-year history of Performance Space 122, its artists, and its community, including a re-structuring of our artist support, a business model overhaul, and the renovation of our building. As PS122’s East Village home undergoes a much-needed interior renovation supported primarily by the City of New York, DCA and DDC, PS122’s core activity continues to be providing audiences with contemporary live performance.

Twitter: @PS122

Performance Space 122 receives support from the following organizations: Alacran, American Association of Performing Arts Presenters: Cultural Exchange Fund, Axe-Houghton Foundation, The Booth Ferris Foundation, Edith C. Blum Foundation, British Council, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Continuum Health, Crumpler, Culture Ireland, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Eastern Bloc, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Gawker Media, Gesso Foundation, Grayson Maine, Great Brewers, The Greenwall Foundation, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, Jerome Foundation, Jerome Robbins Foundation, Jewish Communal Fund, The Lambent Foundation, Lila Acheson Wallace Fund for the Arts/The New York Community Trust, Mary Queen of Scots, McGraw Hill Companies, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New York Theater Program, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, The Morrison & Foerster Foundation, Monsieur Touton, National Performance Network (NPN), New England Foundation for the Arts/National Dance Project (NDP), New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council for the Arts, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, San Arturo, Peg Santvoord Foundation, Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, The Puffin Foundation, The Scherman Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, SPiN New York, Time Warner Cable, Tony Randall Theatrical Fund, Trust for Mutual Understanding, Two Boots, Vbar St. Marks and Veselka.