PS 122 Presents CHAUTAUQUA! 2/21-3/15

At last, The National Theater of the United States of America returns to Performance Space 122 with its triumphant educative spectacular CHAUTAUQUA!

In its own explosive style and rhythm, the NTUSA uses the historic narrative of the late 19th century adult education movement to explore ever prescient questions about art, education and commerce. The Chautauqua Circuit, a wildly popular lecture circuit that flourished across America from 1874 to the Great Depression, used lecture, debate, demonstration, and performance to spread ideas about history, science, art, culture and progressive politics from farmland to rural community in an attempt to strengthen the national fiber by educating and uplifting the common man. Embracing this mission, the NTUSA combines its own work with that of a revolving roster of guest scholars, artists and performers, as they attempt to disseminate their own status as artist and entertainers, and the figure out the place of art in our common culture of commerce.

SPECIAL UPDATE Nightly surprise guests & lecturers will include:

Mark Russell Founding Artistic Director, P.S. 122

Rich Maxwell Musical Intrigues

the Vintage DJ Time travelling with his VINYL grooves

Vallejo Gantner! Yep, today's Artistic Director of P.S. 122 makes his P.S. 122 debut

Jonathan Lethem Novelist, "Motherless Brooklyn"

Robert Zukerman Director, Theater Program, NYSCA; lecture on Henry Hudson & Samuel de Champlain, and the 400th anniversary of the "discovery" of New York, (September 2nd 1609)

Master prestidigitator Steve Cuiffo!

Kathleen Russo Producer, Washington Square Arts

Barbara Allen Tap dancing and canine feats of daring-do

Dalton Helms In conversation with his 96 year old landlord

Noah Lindquist Chemist and classical pianist playing Charles Ives Sonata no 4

Ethan Lipton Music and incidentals

Rollo Romig Journalist poised to reveal a series of strange and shocking truths about streets named after people in New York City

Samantha Hunt Author; will lecture about inventor Nicola Tesla and read an excerpt from her latest novel, The Invention of Everything Else

Juliana Francis Kelly Playwright and actor will give a lecture entitled "Facts collected by a scriptomaniac"

Greta Byrum Poet; Lecture on her great-great-great uncle Vitruvius Frazee and his father, her great-great-great-great grandfather John Frazee.

Zoe Rosenfeld Writer and editor will give a talk using quotations about New York to illuminate different facets of the city's character and history.

Edgar Oliver Legendary NYC playwright

BOXCAR Billy Burns and his puppet Horizontal John! A lecture on HOBO symbology

PLUS A grand semi-finale dance valentine to N.Y.C. furnished by Faye Driscoll & The Lafayettes (dance troupe's name at press time). Get your jazz-hands ready people!

ALSO NOTE: The next Winner of the Spalding Gray Award will be announced on Wednesday, March 4th during the performance of CHAUTAUQUA!. Kathie Russo, Spalding's widow, and her children will be part of the show that evening. Stay tuned.

Commissioned by the 2007 Spalding Gray Award, honoring innovative theatrical vision, Chautauqua! has been presented at the Walker Art Center, Vanderbilt University, the CUNY Graduate Center and the Collapsible Hole.

The NTUSA is an ensemble theater company that democratically creates new works for traditional and non-traditional spaces. In the past seven years, their focus on theatrical environment has been matched by a devotion to the exploration of American history and the history of American entertainment. The NTUSA's theatrical creations are intensely visual and densely layered spectacles which are laced with the questions and arguments they bring to the exploration of each subject. This multiplicity of image and argument invites a complicit audience to engage with each piece as an active participant.

Recent History of NTUSA
In 2007, the NTUSA received the second Annual Spalding Gray Award honoring innovative theatrical vision for CHAUTAUQUA!.

The NTUSA's 2006 premier of Abacus Black Strikes Now: The Rampant Justic of Abacus Black at P.S. 122 earned them a Village Voice OBIE award. Additionally, an adaptation of Moliere's Don Juan, which was presented as a workshop to limited audiences at chashama's space in Long Island City, Queens, was also presented and will premiere in early 2008 at the Chocolate Factory. At The Stable in 2004, the company prepared its return to the ESB-Dublin Fringe Festival with Placebo Sunrise and work-shopped material for a new work. They also provided space for companies and individuals whose work went on to be seen at St. Anne's Warehouse, Symphony Space, the Brooklyn Museum, the Ice Factory Festival, and P.S. 122.

There's more legend to be had here:

More about Performance Space 122
Performance Space 122 is New York's ultimate destination for cutting-edge theatre, dance, music, live art and cross-media. Founded in 1979, Performance Space 122 is dedicated to supporting and presenting artists whose work challenges the traditional boundaries of dance, theatre, music, and performance. Committed to exploring innovative form as well as material, P.S. 122 is steadfast in its search for pioneering artists from a diversity of cultures and points of view.

The Spalding Gray Award
The Spalding Gray Award supports gifted writer/performers who fully realize both aspects of Spalding's legacy, who are fearless innovators of theatrical form, who reach into daily experience and create resonant, transcendent work that makes us all bigger, wider, wiser and, somehow, more than we were when we entered the theater. The award is a special commission created in Spalding Gray's honor by Performance Space 122 in New York , UCLA Live, University of California, Los Angeles' public performing arts program and The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.


CHAUTAUQUA! runs Saturday, February 21 - Sunday, March 15 on the following schedule: Wednesday - Saturday at 7:30pm/Sunday at 5:30pm. Tickets from $25, $15 (students/seniors), $10 (P.S. 122 members). Tickets may be purchased online at or via phone at (212) 352-3101. Performance Space 122 is located at 150 First Avenue at East 9th Street, New York, New York 10009.

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