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Theater in Quarantine to Air Livestream Dance Performances

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Theater in Quarantine to Air Livestream Dance Performances

Theater in Quarantine, a new performance laboratory from writer/director/performer Joshua William Gelb, has announced a new series of live streamed performances dedicated to the exploration of the theatrical experience inside the digital space. Running July 16 - September 12, new works premiere every other week on Gelb's YouTube channel followed by a live chat with Gelb about the challenges of making work in isolation.

On July 16, August 13, and September 12, Theater in Quarantine debuts Closet Works, a collection of short dance-based works featuring choreography by Katie Rose McLaughlin (Hadestown). Special guests Sanaz Ghajar, Veronica Jiao, and Raja Feather Kelly (A Strange Loop) participate in the July 16 edition.

Closet Works is presented by the Invisible Dog Art Center with additional support from Mamie Kanfer and Justin Stewart.

As New York City begins to reopen amid vital protests and the threat of a second wave looms, Theater in Quarantine remains dedicated to producing new live experiences while brick and mortar theaters remain closed.

Shortly after the coronavirus pandemic closed all theaters in mid-March, Gelb transformed a 2' x 4' x 8' closet inside his East Village apartment into a white-box theater. Gelb says, "When everything shut down, I set out to adapt to the digital form without sacrificing the integrity of the live event. How can we artfully push against the boundaries of this new social distance to theatrically embrace the limitations of remoteness? What we might consider our shared theatrical values? And how might we continue to collaborate responsibly even while we social distance?"

Starting on March 30, Gelb and his collaborators started releasing pre-recorded studies in movement, clown, camera orientation, and perspective - building towards more complex theatrical experiences. On April 23, they premiered Theater in Quarantine's first live-stream performance: an adaptation of Kafka's The Neighbor which has been followed by an unauthorized edit of Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape and collaborations with artists like Scott R. Sheppard (Underground Railroad Game), Nehemiah Luckett (Jazz Singer), and Ellen Winter (36 Questions).

"I often think about Peter Brook's invocation of the empty space when standing in front of my closet," says Gleb. "How can this utilitarian container, so uncomfortably small, so disproportionate in its aspect ratio, become a stage for the imagination? And it's here I find the central metaphor, and perhaps appeal, of the entire project - it's about as obvious as you might expect - that my attempts not only to make art in this confinement but to exist whatsoever, are not so dissimilar from what many of us are experiencing. There is frustration, and boredom, and lots of loneliness. But there is also great potential and for once an expanse of time that we have the chance to fill not with mere anxiety but with the thoughtful, rigorous creative impulse."

Please visit joshuawilliamgelb.com for more information and youtube.com/joshuawilliamgelb to stream all of the Theater in Quarantine original works.

About the Artists

Joshua William Gelb is an East Village-based director, performer, and librettist currently building theater out of his converted closet christened the Theater in Quarantine. Prior to the pandemic, Gelb created the musical interrogation of the 1927 Al Jolson film Jazz Singer (New Yorker critic's pick) which was commissioned and built-in residence at Abrons Arts Center with Nehemiah Luckett. Previously in residence at Abrons, Gelb conceived and directed the sesquicentennial anniversary reimagining of America's supposed first musical The Black Crook (NYT Critic's Pick), about which he lectured at Harvard University's Houghton Library. His Drama Desk-nominated adaptation of A Hunger Artist, created with Sinking Ship, continues to tour. Other work has been presented at Ars Nova, LMCC Process Space, New Ohio, Joe's Pub, Polyphone Festival, and Target Margin. Gelb participated in the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, is an associate artist with Sinking Ship, and teaches Theater Collaboration at Cooper Union. Visit joshuawilliamgelb.com for more information.

Katie Rose McLaughlin is an NYC-based choreographer originally from Minneapolis, MN. Her choreography has been presented by The Chocolate Factory, Catch, the Invisible Dog Art Center, HERE Arts Center, CounterPointe, newMoves Contemporary Dance Festival, Dixon Place, Little Theater, AUNTS, Movement Research at Judson Church, Center for Performance Research, Triskelion, 9x22 DanceLab, Links Hall, Red Eye Theater, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the International Festival of Art & Ideas. She was an artist-in-residence at LMCC's Process Space (2017), Dance Lab New York (2017), Kaatsbaan International Dance Center (2017), the Barn Arts Collective (2015 & 2016), and LMCC's SPARC program (2013). Katie Rose is the Associate Choreographer of the Tony-award winning Broadway show Hadestown directed by Rachel Chavkin and choreographed by David Neumann.
 Notable theater credits include Orlando (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Indecent (Weston Playhouse), Bear Slayer (Ars Nova), and The Black Crook (Abrons Arts Center). In 2013, she co-founded and became the Artistic Director of Designated Movement Co., a dance/theater company interested in blurring the lines between forms. Visit Katierosemclaughlin.com for more information.

Raja Feather Kelly is a choreographer, director, and the artistic director of the feath3r theory. A three-time winner of the Princess Grace Award, Raja is the 2019-2020 Randjelović/Stryker Resident Commissioned Artist at New York Live Arts, a Creative Associate at The Juilliard School, an inaugural Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, a 2019 Creative Capital award recipient, and the Artist Laureate at The Invisible Dog since 2013. Over the past decade, Kelly has created fifteen evening-length premieres with his company the feath3r theory as well as directing and choreographing extensively for Off-Broadway theatre in New York City.Raja is the choreographer for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize winning Drama FAIRVIEW, written by Jackie Sibblies-Drury; directed by Sarah Benson and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize winning Musical A STRANGE LOOP, Written by Michael R. Jackson; directed by Stephen Brackett. Frequent collaborators include: Lileana Blain-Cruz, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, and Sarah Benson. He was born in Fort Hood, Texas and holds a B.A. in Dance and English from Connecticut College. Visit http://thefeath3rtheory.com/ for more information.

Theater in Quarantine July - September 2020 Season

Closet Works

July 16 at 7pm and 9pm
with guests artists Sanaz Ghajar, Veronica Jiao, and Raja Feather Kelly

A monthly Theater in Quarantine performance lab of short dance-based work featuring choreographer Katie Rose McLaughlin and special guest artists. Presented by the Invisible Dog Art Center with additional support from Mamie Kanfer & Justin Stewart, Closet Works is dedicated to creating work that embraces the architecturally imposed constraints that have defined this current moment of unprecedented isolation and unrest. Performed in TIQ-founder Joshua William Gelb's 2' x 4' x 8' closet in the East Village, Closet Works is a virtual playground exploring new methods of remote collaboration and physical performance.

The 7th Voyage of Egon Tichy

July 30 at 7pm and 9pm

When space traveler Egon Tichy's ship gets hit by a chunk of interstellar detritus, sending him careening into a minefield of time vortexes, a series of increasingly absurd events makes his chances of fixing things ever less likely, and even the simplest task becomes infinitely complicated. This slapstick science-fiction adventure created with Jon Levin and Josh Luxenberg (Sinking Ship's Drama Desk Nominated A Hunger Artist) propels Theater in Quarantine into its most technically ambitious production to date improbably trapping TiQ founder/performer Joshua William Gelb amidst an exponentially expanding cast of one. The 7th Voyage of Egon Tichy is directed by Jon Levin and features text by Josh Luxenberg, sound by Florian Staab, scenic design by Peiyi Wong, and video design by Jesse Garrison.

Closet Works

August 13 at 7pm and 9pm
Please see the description above.

Footnote for the End of Time

August 27 at 7pm and 9pm

Time stops for a Jewish playwright sentenced to death during the Nazi occupation of Prague in this brand new retelling of Jorge Luis Borges' classic short story The Secret Miracle. Created for spoken word and chamber orchestra, this new translation sets Borges' words to verse with an accompaniment inspired by Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, itself composed in a Nazi POW camp. Footnote for the End of Time features text by Joshua William Gelb, music by Alex Weston, and direction by Jon Levin.

Closet Works

September 12 at 7pm and 9pm

Please see the description above.


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