Ars Nova Partners with Julio Torres To Identify, Develop, & Commission New Comedy

To celebrate this new alliance, Torres will return to the Ars Nova stage on October 26 to host SHOWGASM.

By: Sep. 29, 2023
Ars Nova Partners with Julio Torres To Identify, Develop, & Commission New Comedy

Ars Nova, “a company known for pop-culture-savvy experimentation, with a hipness that sets it apart” (New York Times), under the leadership of Founding Artistic Director Jason Eagan, Producing Executive Director Renee Blinkwolt and Managing Director Casey York, has announced a new partnership with writer, comedian, and actor Julio Torres to identify, develop, and commission full-length projects from early career comedy artists. This one-of-a-kind collaboration further expands Ars Nova's two-decade commitment to new comedy at a time when support systems in New York City have decreased.

Torres and Ars Nova share a dedication to providing comedians with opportunities for development and production outside of the traditional model of sketch shows and 10-minute sets. The partnership will offer funding up-front to create brand new, uniquely theatrical shows while providing mentorship and development resources to the artists involved. This new initiative is part of Ars Nova's emboldened commitment to being a home for early career comedy, music, and theater artists.

The first of these new comedy commissions will go to Ars Nova Vision Residency Alum River L. Ramirez. Future commissions will be announced at a later date.

To celebrate this new alliance, Torres will return to the Ars Nova stage on October 26 to host SHOWGASM. – Ars Nova's untamed variety-show-meets party that serves up comedy, burlesque, and everything (and anything) in between. SHOWGASM. will feature performances by the newly commissioned River L. Ramirez, as well as Spike Einbinder, Macy Rodman, Max Wittert and more. Tickets are Name Your Price starting at $5 with every dollar going directly to the artists involved.

Recently featured on Time Magazine's prestigious 2023 Time100 Next list, Torres, co-creator, writer, and executive producer of the HBO series Los Espookys, first performed on the Ars Nova stage in 2014. He is the writer, director, and star, alongside Tilda Swinton, of the soon to be released film Problemista from A24.

Julio Torres said, “This is such a dream—I get to guide Ars Nova into commissioning shows from my brilliant friends, starting with the unique and powerful River L. Ramirez, who has been an inspiration of mine since I met them years ago doing open mics. Many years ago, John Early introduced me to Ars Nova where I had my first solo show. I'm proud that now I get to put the spotlight on others and give them the resources they need to translate their talent and experience into formal commissions by a welcoming theater.”

Founding Artistic Director Jason Eagan remarked, “Julio is a singular talent whose groundbreaking work in comedy and television continues to redefine our culture. We're ecstatic to have him actively in our community again and inspired by his desire to help the next wave of comedy talent break barriers, by getting their work made and seen. Placing this partnership alongside our ongoing comedy residency program CAMP, led by Matt Gehring and Mahayla Laurence, further cements Ars Nova's commitment to its comedy, music, theater, and everything-in-between, mission.”

Please visit the link below for more information and to purchase tickets to SHOWGASM.


About Julio Torres

Julio Torres is a Brooklyn-based comedian, writer, and filmmaker. Julio was an Emmy-nominated and WGA-winning writer for Saturday Night Live, and his work on SNL has received much acclaim from The New York Times, Vulture, Vanity Fair and more. Julio has guest starred on HBO's High Maintenance, Search Party (HBO Max), Shrill (Hulu), and the film Together Together with Ed Helms and Patti Harrison. Julio has also performed stand up on Late Night With Seth Meyers as well as The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. In 2017, Julio headlined his first solo hour at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, My Favorite Shapes: By Julio Torres to rave reviews, which became an hour-long HBO comedy special in 2019 produced by Lorne Michaels and A24. Julio starred in the HBO series Los Espookys, which he co-created with Fred Armisen and Ana Fabrega. Los Espookys subsequently garnered a Peabody award for 2023 Entertainment and a GLAAD award for Outstanding Spanish-Language Scripted Television Series in 2023 and was named one of New York Times “Best Shows of 2022.” Julio's next television show, Fantasmas, will premiere in 2024 on HBO. On the feature side, Julio's directorial debut Problemista, which he wrote and stars in alongside Tilda Swinton, premiered at SXSW and will premiere theatrically in 2024 with A24 and Emma Stone's Fruit Tree Films producing. Julio's first book, I Want To Be A Vase was also recently released through Simon & Schuster's Atrium Books. TIME Magazine recently named Julio a 2023 TIME100 Next Artist.


About River L. Ramirez

River L. Ramirez (they/them) is a NYC based experimental performance artist, comedian, musician, storyteller and writer who wrote, produced and directed the comedy special program “Pervert Everything” for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim (2018) Ramirez appears alongside Fred Armisen on HBO's Los Espookys (2022), and does character voice over work for Adult Swim's Birdgirl as the character Charlie (2022), and Teenage Euthanasia as AI Operator and Shelley #3 (2022). This year they will be featured in Julio Torres' Problemista.

Ramirez's performance practice extends beyond the limits of television and comedy, their live performance practice being integral to their art. Ramirez teaches performance and public speaking at The Brick Aux in BK and performs experimental comedy at Littlefield in BK. They have been commissioned for original musical and dance based performances by Baryshnikov Arts Center (2021), Gibney (2022), Ars Nova Vision Residency program (2022), and Moma PS1 (2019). In 2022 they toured their latest music/storytelling, experimental comedy show “Ghostfolk” at the Wiesbaden Biennale in Germany and toured solo as an opening act for Will Butler and The Sister Squares. They have written for High Maintenance (2019) and The National Lampoon Radio Hour (2019). Named one of Comedy Central's Up Next Comedians for 2018, Ramirez was featured in the San Francisco ClusterFest comedy festival, and performed at The Public Theater in New York as part of the January, 2019, Under the Radar Festival. They have been featured on Forbes 30 under 30, The New York Times, Art in America, SSense, and their writing has been featured in CRACKED, VICE, MoMa Magazine, WAIF, and more. You can follow them everywhere online @pileoftears

About Ars Nova

Ars Nova exists to discover, develop, and launch singular theater, music and comedy artists in the early stages of their professional careers. Our dynamic slate of programs supports outside-the-box thinking and encourages innovative, genre-bending new work. Dubbed by The New York Times as a “fertile incubator of offbeat theater,” Ars Nova blurs genres and subverts the status quo. With our feverish bounty of programming, we are the stomping ground and launching pad for visionary, adventurous artists of all stripes. By providing a protective environment where risk-taking and collaboration are paramount, Ars Nova amplifies the voices of a new generation of diverse artists and audiences, pushing the boundaries of live entertainment by nurturing creative ideas into smart, surprising new work.

Ars Nova has been honored with an Obie Award and a Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics' Circle for sustained quality and commitment to the development and production of new work. Notable past productions include: three-time Lortel Award-winner Oratorio for Living Things by Heather Christian, directed by Lee Sunday Evans; “Outstanding Musical” Lortel Award-winner and The New York Times' “Best of 2018,” Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future, created by Andrew R. Butler, directed by Jordan Fein; The Lucky Ones, created by The Bengsons and Sarah Gancher, directed by Anne Kauffman; “Outstanding Musical” Lortel Award-winner KPOP, created by Jason Kim, Max Vernon, Helen Park, and Woodshed Collective, directed by Teddy Bergman; “Best New American Theatre Work,” Obie Award-winner and “one of the best new plays in the last 25 years” (The New York Times), Underground Railroad Game by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard, directed by Taibi Magar ; The New York Times' and New York Post's “Best of 2015,” Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl, directed by Rachel Chavkin; the Tony Award-winning smash-hit Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 by Dave Malloy, directed by Rachel Chavkin; the world premiere of the 2009 season's most-produced play boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, directed by Alex Timbers; the show that put Bridget Everett on the map, At Least It's Pink by Everett, Michael Patrick King, and Kenny Mellman, directed by King; and Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Kail's first New York production, Freestyle Love Supreme by Anthony Veneziale and Miranda, directed by Thomas Kail (Broadway 2019).

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