'Oh What War' To Be Presented at HERE Arts Center Starting 9/10

A co-production from the OBIE-winning HERE Arts Center and The Juggernaut Theatre Company, OH WHAT WAR will play Wednesday, September 10 – Saturday, October 4 at HERE Arts Center. Conceived and directed by Mallory Catlett, OH WHAT WAR is presented as part of HERE's 2008-09 mainstage season of new multi-disciplinary productions spanning theatre, dance, puppetry and multimedia works. Official Opening is Saturday, September 13 @ 7:30 PM. A fantasy of flagrant disobedience to authority, OH WHAT WAR, is underground entertainment performed by a band of deserters stuck in No Man's Land.

Their scavenged video battlefield, is a mash-up of mud, noise, history and song that zeros in on the great war machine that holds us captive. With OH WHAT WAR, director Mallory Catlett counters the current wave of documentary theater that takes up war as subject matter. Her inspiration, as the title suggests, is Joan Littlewood's seminal work OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR--a production that used popular song, clowning, and visual projection to chronicle the folly and atrocity of WWI. Although radically re-imagined, Catlett remarks, "The production shares an episodic structure, an interdisciplinary form and many of the original WWI songs. It also maintains a clear connection to the originators intent--to expose the inherent contradiction in war between sensory experience and mythic representation.

By focusing on the sensory experience of the individual, the absurdity of war is unleashed. With characters drawn from WWI legend OH WHAT WAR uses history as the basis for a total fiction and style of play that celebrates irreverence in the face of calamity. In this way, OH WHAT WAR is an appeal to the irrational, that more vital resistant spirit so crucial to combatting the resignation of war-weary world." OH WHAT WAR marks a collaborative effort between director Mallory Catlett, writer Jason Craig, musical director/composer Lisa Dove, designer Peter Ksander, video designer Zbigniew Bzymek and noise artist G. Lucas Crane. This unique collaboration combines graphic, poetic and playful writing, a set that actually takes you underground, an acoustic score of songs arranged for tuba, toy piano, accordion, and ukulele, video that animates a scavengEd Battlefield and the analog tape mixing of a live DJ performing a palette of noise and historic text. Director/Dramaturg Mallory Catlett lives and works in NYC. In the last year, she has directed and been in development on a variety of projects including: OH WHAT WAR, Red Fly/Blue Bottle (HERE Spring 2009 Premiere) and The Fall and Rise of Rising Fallen (Banana Bag and Bodice @ P.S.122, 2007). Her NYC affiliations include: The Juggernaut Theatre Company (Hair Blood Vinyl created in collaboration with Rinde Eckert and The First 100 Years, the Professional Female Playwright--a city-wide reading series); Banana Bag and Bodice (The Sewers, Panel . Animal and The Young War (Director). Beowulf and Gulag Ha Ha (Dramaturg)); and Restless NYC, a site-specific company dedicated to intimate productions of the classical cannon (As You Like It: restless in arden).

Her work has been seen at the Ontological, 3LD, the Collapsable Hole, HERE, the Culture Project, the Public, Women's Interart, Chashama, SUNY Purchase and Bard College. She has received support from the NY State Council for the Humanities, the NY Music Fund, NYSCA, Chashama, LMCC (Swing Space & MCAF), Abrons Arts Center, Puffin, Digital Performance Institute, Edith Lutyens & Norman Bel Geddes Foundation, the Tobin Theatre Fund, The Greenwall Foundation, Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, The Strickland Family Foundation and The MAP Fund. She was a member of the 2005-06 Soho Rep writers/directors lab, an Ontological Incubator resident, and a longtime resident artist at HERE Arts Center. Catlett received the Elliot Hayes Award for Dramaturgy for The First 100 Years and was a 2007 TCG Directing Fellowship Finalist. The Juggernaut Theatre Company is a group of classically trained theatre artists who create original work in a fearlessly collaborative manner, often bringing musicians and dancers into the process. Specific interests include: creating theatrical work out of non- theatrical material, exploring forgotten texts, and discovering new technology & performance techniques that can be integrated as a means of telling dramatic stories in new ways. In all productions, Juggernaut seeks to evince through structure, performance styles and technology, the liveness of theatre. Juggernaut is a member of ART/NY and receives support from NYSCA.

Since 1993, the OBIE-winning HERE Arts Center has been a premier arts organization in NYC and a leader in the field of new, hybrid performance work. Under leadership of Founding Artistic Director Kristin Marting and Producing Director Kim Whitener, HERE has served over 12,100 emerging to mid-career artists developing work that does not fit a conventional programming agenda. Work presented at HERE has garnered 11 OBIE awards, an OBIE grant for artistic achievement, three Drama Desk nominations, two Berrilla Kerr Awards, two

NY Innovative Theatre Awards, an Edwin Booth Award and a Pulitzer Prize nomination. HERE proudly supports artists at all stages in their careers through full productions, artist residency programs, festivals and subsidized performance and rehearsal space. Work at HERE is curated based on the strength and uniqueness of the artist's vision. HERE's Artist Residency Program (HARP) provides development, commissions and full production for up to 20 artists over one-to-three years.

In 2005, with the support of the FJC, a foundation of donor advised funds, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the City of New York, HERE Arts Center purchased its long-time home as part of a five-year "Secure HERE's Future" campaign. With full-scale renovations to the space concluding last June, thanks to generous support from the City of New York, HERE is poised to continue and expand its role as a downtown haven for the finest emerging art. Offering a comfortable, eclectic setting for artists and audiences alike, HERE features a new and improved café/gallery and two state-of-the-art performance spaces.

OH WHAT WAR will play as follows at HERE Arts Center (145 Sixth Avenue, one block below
Spring Street):
Wednesday, September 10 – Saturday, September 13 @ 7:30 PM
Wednesday, September 17 – Saturday, September 20 @ 7:30 PM
Tuesday, September 23 – Friday, September 26 @ 7:30 PM
Wednesday, September 30 – Saturday, October 4 @ 7:30 PM
Tickets for performances are $18. Student tickets are $15 (requires valid ID at the box office).
Ticket purchases can be made online at, by calling (212) 352-3101 or at the HERE
Box Office (4 PM until curtain on show days). For more info, visit

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