Cast & Creative Team Set for TRAVELS World Premiere at Ars Nova

Directed by Andrew Scoville, Travels runs March 20, 2024 - April 20, 2024, at Ars Nova.

By: Feb. 14, 2024
Cast & Creative Team Set for TRAVELS World Premiere at Ars Nova
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The cast and creative team has been revealed for the Off-Broadway world premiere of Travels, a sonic narrative collection by James Harrison Monaco, at Ars Nova. Directed by Andrew Scoville, Travels runs March 20, 2024 - April 20, 2024, at Ars Nova.

A symphony of stories finds its rhythm in Travels, a vivid travelogue set to music by James Harrison Monaco. Weaving global movement, desire and heartbreak into an electro thrill ride, Travels reimagines oral traditions for the 21st century, unpacking how far you can go when you really listen.

The cast for Travels includes El Beh (Bark of Millions), Ashley De La Rosa (Mean Girls, (pray), Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Mehry Eslaminia (1776), James Harrison Monaco (The Conversationalists), and John Murchison (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, Oratorio for Living Things). 

The creative team for Travels includes Or Matias (music supervision), Diggle (set designer), Sarita Fellows (costume designer), Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (lighting designer), Nick Kourtides (sound designer), Stefania Bulbarella (projections designer), JJJJJerome Ellis (additional music and arrangements), The Telsey Office / Destiny Lilly, CSA (casting), and Esti Bernstein (production stage manager). 

Founding Artistic Director Jason Eagan remarked, “James Harrison Monaco has been an integral part of the Ars Nova community for the last decade. In that time, we’ve seen his approach to storytelling organically evolve and embrace new forms. Travels brings it all together, capturing the adventure and euphoria we can all find in the world and each other, if we’re willing to search for it. Andrew Scoville has assembled an extraordinary team of collaborators who have created a transporting experience that I can’t wait to share with audiences.”

Performances of Travels will take place March 20, 2024 - April 20, 2024, at Ars Nova, located at 511 W 54th Street in Manhattan. Critics are welcome as of Friday, March 29, for a press opening on Tuesday, April 2. Performances take place Monday–Saturday at 7pm with additional performances on Saturdays at 2pm starting March 30.

Tickets to Travels are Name Your Price, which start at $5 for the first week of performances, $15 for the second week of performances, $25 for the third week of performances and $35 for performances thereafter. All tickets are general admission and can be purchased at www.arsnovanyc.com/travels/.


About the Creative Team

James Harrison Monaco (Writer & Performer) tells stories with music. He considers this one of the oldest art forms in the world, and he’s always looking for new ways to do it. He’s obsessed with stories of travel, immigration, quiet violence, quiet grace, global loneliness, and time. He’s also a translator (Spanish and Italian), a music composer, and he writes fiction & non-fiction. His work has been presented at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center (where he’s a New Writer in Residence), MASS MoCA, The Bushwick Starr, The Momentary, and many others. He is one half of the music-storytelling duo Jerome & James. www.jamesharrisonmonaco.com

Andrew Scoville (Director) is a director specializing in immersive layouts, technological landscapes, and hybrid-genre theater-making. He recently directed Theater of the Mind, a large-scale multi-room theater/neuroscience experience by David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He recently served as Associate Director to Alex Timbers on Byrne’s immersive musical Here Lies Love on Broadway. Previously he collaborated with James as the duo James & Jerome on Piano Tales which has been performed in theaters across the country, brownstones, flower shops and restaurants. 

Or Matias (Music Supervisor) is an Obie award-winning music director, pianist, and orchestrator based in NYC. Select highlights: Grey House (Broadway), Love Around the Block (Hermès), Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (Broadway), Octet (Signature Theater & Berkeley Rep; Special Citation Obie Award), Preludes (Lortel nomination), and First Daughter Suite (Public). As music director he has worked extensively with Josh Groban, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Duncan Sheik, Phillipa Soo, Dave Malloy, and Rachel Chavkin. BM: Juilliard. MFA: NYU. Sponsor: Yamaha. https://www.ormatiasmusic.com

Diggle (Scenic Design) is a proud Gay Mexican designer with Indigenous Mexica (Aztec) roots. Selected credits: Merry Wives of Windsor (Old Globe); The Harder They Come (Public Theater); Hair, Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy, Really (Portland Center Stage); Cowboy Bob (Alley Theatre/NAMT); Gruesome Playground Injuries (St. Louis Rep); Fires in the Mirror (Baltimore Center Stage/Long Wharf Theatre); Shakespeare: Call & Response (Public’s Mobile Unit); The Conversationalists (Bushwick Starr); Electra, Fade (DTC). Princess Grace Honoraria. www.diggledesigns.com

Sarita Fellows (Costume Design) was born in Freetown Sierra Leone, her more recent works include projects such as Death of a Salesman (Broadway); Drinking in America (Audible Minetta Lane Theater); Theater of the Mind (Denver Center of Performing Arts); Elyria (Atlantic Theater); Blues for An Alabama Sky and Sweat, (Guthrie); Joy and Pandemic, and Our Daughters Like Pillars (Huntington Theater); Seize The King (Alliance Theater); A Bright Room Called Day (Public Theater); Fefu and Her Friends (American Conservatory Theater). In the dance world, Sarita has worked with choreographers such as Liz Lerman, and Edisa Weeks. MFA in design from Tisch School of Design. She recently was awarded Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design (The National Black Theater Festival 2022). Lily Award (2020).

Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (Lighting Design) award-winning designer for theater, dance, opera, musicals, music performances and large-scale immersive installation. The New York Times described her designs as “clever” and “inventive.” For Ars Nova: Oratorio for Living Things, KPOP. Recent: Kimberly Akimbo (Broadway), King Lear (STC), WILD: A Musical Becoming (A.R.T.), The Nosebleed (LCT3), Gloria: A Life (Daryl Roth Theatre), Walden (Theaterworks), Golden Shield (MTC), cullud wattah (The Public).. Plus designing for immersive experiences like Nevermore Park: Home of Flyboy with artist Hebru Brantley. www.jeanetteyew.com

Nick Kourtides (Sound Design) designs for musical theater and creates sound environments for devised ensemble works. He is the global sound designer for Magic Mike Live in Las Vegas, London, Berlin, and Australia. For Ars Nova: Oratorio for Living Things, The Lucky Ones. Off-Broadway: Terce (Irondale/Prototype), Blacklight (Greenwich House), Object Lesson (NYTW, BAM), Elephant Room (St. Ann’s), Carson McCullers Talks About Love (Rattlestick), and Jomama Jones: Radiate (Soho Rep). Regional: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cleveland Playhouse, New York Stage and Film, McCarter, the Geffen, Center Theatre Group, the Folger, Studio Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre, Arena Stage, Milwaukee Rep, the Wilma, the Arden, PTC, Prince Music Theater, and La Jolla Playhouse. He has received an Obie, Lucille Lortel, Bessie, and Barrymore awards. www.nickkourtides.com.

Stefania Bulbarella (Projections Design) is a Projections Designer from Argentina based in Brooklyn, NY.  Broadway: Jaja's African Hair Braiding (MTC). Off Broadway: Space Dogs (MCC), A Bright New Boise (Signature Theatre), Semblance (New York Theatre Workshop),  The Watering Hole (Signature Theatre), amongst others. Awards: Hola Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Theatrical Design for Vamonos. Nominations: Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Video/Projection Design for Space Dogs. www.stefaniabulbarella.com

About the Cast

El Beh is a genderqueer, chinese-american theater artist, performer, actor, musician, singer, composer, drag artist, mover, shaker, educator, forever student and glowing unty to many a nibling. Growing edges and digging deep are their fuel along with shared experiences, community making, alternative mutual aid solutions and constantly trying to fuck up the systems that need f-ing. He was most recently seen in Sam Pinkleton's Wizard of Oz (ACT), César Alvarez's Noise (Northern Stage), and Taylor Mac and Matt Ray’s Bark of Millions (Sydney Opera House, BAM & Zellerbach Playhouse).

Ashley De La Rosa Ars Nova: (pray) Broadway: Mean Girls, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. National Tours: Hamilton: An American Musical, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, RENT. Television: “Dear Edward” (Apple TV+), “The Other Two” (HBO). Her original music is available for streaming on all digital music platforms.

Mehry Eslaminia Broadway: 1776. The Shed: Here We Are. Regional: ENGLISH (Berkeley Rep), 1776 (A.R.T.), Twelfth Night, Appoggiatura, Denver Center: The Corpse Washer, Actors Theatre of Louisville; You Can’t Take It With You, The Curious Incident ... Indiana Repertory/Syracuse Stage; Guys and Dolls, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Creede Repertory. Graduate University of Northern Colorado. A first generation El Salvadorian-Iranian-American.

John Murchison is a multi-instrumentalist who has played bass, qanun, and oud in theater works like Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (Broadway), In The Green (LCT3), The Conversationalists (Bushwick Starr) and Oratorio For Living Things (Ars Nova). He is one of the most in-demand bassists for Arabic music in the United States, and is cofounder of Brooklyn Maqam, a non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and promoting Arabic music around NYC. 




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