Premieres by Rachel Bonds, Jason Kim and The Bengsons Set for Ars Nova's 2017-18 Lineup
Ars Nova, under the leadership of Founding Artistic Director Jason Eagan and Managing Director Renee Blinkwolt, has announced 18 months of boundary-pushing world premiere productions, all commissioned and developed by Ars Nova at their West 54th Street home.
The 2017-18 season will include the world premiere of Sundown, Yellow Moon a play, with songs, by Rachel Bonds, directed by Anne Kauffman (OBIE and Drama Desk Award winner) with songs by the indie-folk duo The Bengsons with additional lyrics by Bonds, in a co-presentation with WP Theater. Kauffman will also direct the world premiere of the new musical The Lucky Ones by The Bengsons and Sarah Gancher and choreographed by Sonya Tayeh. The season also includes the world premiere of KPOP, a new immersive musical conceived by Woodshed Collective (Empire Travel Agency) and Jason Kim (HBO's Girls) with a book by Kim, music & lyrics by Helen Park & Max Vernon, directed by Teddy Bergman, and choreographed by Jennifer Weber. KPOP will be presented in association with Ma-Yi Theater Company and Woodshed Collective.
As it has done since its founding in 2002, Ars Nova will continue its work discovering and developing the most promising emerging theater, comedy and music artists through its unique development programs. Recognizing the critical need for performance as part of that process, Ars Nova's programs bring smart, surprising new work to the stage all year long, with concerts, readings, variety shows, workshops, and special events. Its annual festival of All New Talent, ANT FEST, will be presented from June 5-30 and will showcase hybrid, adventurous entertainment from the next wave of uber-promising emerging talent. Each year, Ars Nova provides audiences over a hundred opportunities to catch something extraordinary and remains committed to making art accessible to the next generation by offering regular price tickets from just $5-$35 all year long.
Mighty Nova ticket packages for the 2017/18 line-up are now on sale and start at $120, or just $7/month. Single tickets will go on sale January 17. In addition to exclusive early booking to al world premiere productions, Mighty Novas receive discounts at BArs Nova, and more. More info at ARSNOVANYC.COM.
Ars Nova 2017-2018 WORLD PREMIERE PRODUCTIONS:
SUNDOWN, YELLOW MOON
a world premiere play with songs by Rachel Bonds
Music & Lyrics by The Bengsons
additional lyrics by Rachel Bonds
Directed by Anne Kauffman
a co-production with WP Theater
at the McGinn/Cazale Theater
RACHEL BONDS' (Playwright, Additional Lyrics) plays have been developed or produced by South Coast Rep, Ars Nova, Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre, Roundabout Underground, Atlantic Theater Company, Studio Theatre, New Georges, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Williamstown Theatre Festival and New York Stage & Film, among others. Her plays include: Curve of Departure (South Coast Rep commission, PPF 2016, Kilroys List 2016); Five Mile Lake (South Coast Rep, McCarter, Weissberger Award); The Wolfe Twins (Studio Theatre, Kilroys List 2015); Swimmers (Marin Theatre Co., Rella Lossy Award, Sky Cooper Prize, Kilroys List 2014); Sundown, Yellow Moon (Ars Nova/WP Theater); Alma (Atlantic Theatre Company commission); Firecracker (Kilroys List 2016); At the Old Place (Arden); Michael & Edie (NY Times Critic's Pick, 2010); Winter Games (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Heideman Award); and Anniversary (EST, Sam French OOB Festival Winner). She is an Alumna of the EST's Youngblood, Ars Nova's Play Group and SPACE on Ryder Farm's Working Farm Writers' Group. She was recently named the 2016 Tow Foundation Playwright in Residence at Ars Nova. Current commissions include The Geffen and McCarter. Bonds is a graduate oF Brown University.
THE BENGSONS (Music & Lyrics) have performed around the world. Their music was featured in Sonya Tayeh's You'll Still Call Me By Name (New York Live Arts), The National Theater of Scotland and The Team's Anything That Gives Off Light (Edinburgh Theater Festival), Sarah Gancher's The Place We Built (The Flea), Anne Washburn's Iphigenia in Aulis (Classic Stage Company) and their concert musical Hundred Days at the Under the Radar festival at The Public Theater. They have had three singles featured on So You Think You Can Dance (FOX). Abigail Nessen Bengson has toured as a member of tUnE-yArDs, including an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Upcoming work includes commissions with Ars Nova and Lincoln Center Theatre.
Anne Kauffman (Director) New York: A Life, Marjorie Prime (Lortel Nomination, Drama League Nomination); Detroit, Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra and Maple and Vine (Playwright's Horizons); The Nether, Smokefall (MCC); Buzzer (The Public); Belleville (Lortel Nomination, NYTW, Yale Rep); You Got Older (Drama Desk Nomination, P73 Productions); The Muscles in Our Toes (LAByrinth Theater Company); Somewhere Fun, God's Ear (New Georges and Vineyard Theater); Stunning, Slowgirl (LCT3). Regional: The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, Smokefall (Goodman Theatre); And No More Shall We Part, You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents' Divorce, Six Degrees of Separation (Williamstown Theater Festival); Hun Days (Z Space, The Know Theater); Belleville (Yale Rep, Steppenwolf). Artistic Associate and Founding Member of The Civilians, Sundance Program Associate, Clubbed Thumb Associate Artist and co-creator of the CT Directing Fellowship, New Georges Associate Artist, Artistic Council of Soho Rep, SDC Executive Board Member. OBIES (Directing and Sustained Excellence), the Joan and Joseph Cullman Award for Exceptional Creativity from Lincoln Center, the Alan Schneider Director Award and two Barrymore Awards.
WP THEATER (Formerly known as Women's Project Theater), under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Lisa McNulty and Managing Director Maureen Moynihan, is the nation's oldest and largest theater company dedicated to developing, producing and promoting the work of female-identified theater artists at every stage in their careers. For nearly four decades we have served as leaders at the forefront of a global movement towards gender parity, and the example we set and the artists we have fostered have grown into to a robust and thriving community of female writers and directors in theater and beyond.
WP empowers female-identified artists to reach their full potential and, in doing so, challenges preconceptions about the kinds of plays women write and the stories they tell. As the premiere launching pad for some of the most influential female theater artists today, our work has had a significant impact on the field at large. Nearly every prolific female theater artist has been through our doors, including Eve Ensler, María Irene Fornés, Katori Hall, Pam Mackinnon, Lynn Nottage, Leigh Silverman and Anna Deveare Smith. These powerful female artists found an early artistic home at WP, and are a testament to our role as a driving cultural force.
WP was founded in 1978 by visionary producer, Julia Miles, to address the significant under-representation of women in theater. Today, WP accomplishes its mission through several fundamental programs, including: the WP Lab, a two-year mentorship and new play development program for women playwrights, directors and producers; the Playwright In Residence commissioning program; the Developmental series; and the Main Stage series, which features a full season of Off-Broadway productions written and directed by extraordinary theater artists.
a world premiere immersive, new musical
Conceived by Woodshed Collective & Jason Kim
Book by Jason Kim
Music & Lyrics by Helen Park & Max Vernon
Immersive Design by Woodshed Collective
Directed by Teddy Bergman
Choreographed by Jennifer Weber
presented in association with Ma-Yi Theater Company & Woodshed Collective
at Ars Nova and the A.R.T./New York Theatres
Jason Kim (book) is a Korean-born dramatist based in New York City. His work has been presented at The Williamstown Theatre Festival, Ars Nova, Ma-Yi, Keen Company, Naked Angels, The Flea, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington National Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Manhattan School of Music, Spoleto Festival, Opera America and others. He is an IFP-Marcie Bloom Fellow in Film, a Screenwriters Colony Fellow, a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow for New Americans and a Mark Campbell Chair Librettist Fellow in American Opera Project's Composers & The Voice. He is a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab and Ars Nova's Uncharted. He is currently Lincoln Center Theater's Resident Writer. In television, he has written for HBO's Girls and Fox's Gracepoint and has adapted The Middlesteins for Showtime. He is currently the Consulting Producer for Love on Netflix. BA Columbia University, MFA New School for Drama. waytooserious.com
HELEN PARK (Composer) is a composer, arranger and performer. She has written music for the musicals Last Resort, The Large Life of Alice Liddell and Baked Goods. Helen holds an MFA from NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, and is currently a member of the BMI Advanced Workshop. helenparkmusic.com
Max Vernon (Composer) is a composer/lyricist, playwright and performer. His work has been performed and developed at Ars Nova, Actors Theatre of Louisville (Wondrous Strange, Humana Festival 2016), Lincoln Center (LC Originals), Keen Company, Disney Creative Entertainment, Berkeley Rep, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Naked Angels, New Dramatists, Two River Theater (NJ), Goodspeed Opera House, and Pride Films and Plays (Chicago) among others. He has received the Jonathan Larson Grant and JFund Award from the Jerome Foundation, NYFA Fellowship for Music, as well as New York Stage and Film's Founders Award. He is a former Dramatist Guild Theatre Fellow, member of Ars Nova's Uncharted and The Civilians' R&D Group. Other residencies include Rhinebeck Writer's Retreat, the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony, and Berkeley Rep's The Ground Floor. His musicals include The View UpStairs, KPOP, WIRED, 30 Million, Co-Op, Show & Tell, and Nincest (book and lyrics by Jen Silverman) MFA: NYU, Musical Theatre Writing. maxvernon.com
Teddy Bergman (Director) is a New York based director, producer, and actor. As the Artistic Director of acclaimed immersive theater company Woodshed Collective, he has co- conceived and directed many productions including: Twelve Ophelias, The Confidence Man, The Tenant, and most recently Empire Travel Agency. His work as a director has also been seen at Ars Nova, Portland Center Stage, Columbia University, Primary Stages, The Vineyard Arts Project, Space on Ryder Farm, Clubbed Thumb and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. As an actor he currently appears in a major role in the Amazon Studios Original Series "Good Girls Revolt." He was in the original Broadway cast of the Tony Award Winning play Peter And The Starcatcher. His film work includes Wolves (upcoming) Listen Up Philip, Fading Gigolo, Hairbrained, Julie and Julia, Little Big League and Honeymoon in Vegas. Other TV work includes: "The Affair," "Law and Order: SVU, "As The World Turns," and "Submissions Only" in addition to National and International Commercials. Other theater credits include: Philip Goes Forth (The Mint), Peter and the Starcatcher (NYTW), Seven Minutes in Heaven (HERE), Hell House (St. Ann's), I.E. (The Flea) and regionally at Bay Street, Williamstown, Huntington and La Jolla.
JENNIFER WEBER (Choreographer) "Outstanding Emerging Choreographer" New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) nominee, Jennifer Weber is the artistic director of the award-winning, theatrical hip-hop Dance Company, Decadancetheatre. Based in Brooklyn, NY, the company has toured across the US, UK, Russia and France performing at venues including Jacob's Pillow, The Apollo Theater, The Kennedy Center, London's Southbank Center, The Everyman in Liverpool, New York City Center, Bumbershoot in Seattle, The Stanislavsky Music Theatre in Moscow and The Music Center in Los Angeles. She has choreographed for American Express, Uber, Ulta, L'Oreal Matrix, Reebok, Bloomberg, Philosophy, Marc Jacobs, CK2 and UK TV show, Blue Peter. Weber was the creative director for the 2016 tour of Lifetime's Bring it! Live and choreographed the 16/17 tour of PBS's Odd Squad Live. Weber and The Deca Crew were featured on Season 2 of TruTV's theatrical competition series Fake Off. She is the director and choreographer for The Hip hop Nutcracker, currently touring the US. jenniferwebernyc.com
Ma-Yi Theater Company recently enjoyed great critical and popular success with Hansol Jung's Among the Dead, Nandita Shenoy's Washer/Dryer and A. Rey Pamatmat's House Rules. The company won the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for its critically-acclaimed production of The Wong Kids in The Secret of the Space Chupacabra GO!, which recently made its international premiere at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila. Founded in 1989 and now celebrating its 28th season, MA-YI is a Drama Desk and OBIE Award-winning, Off-Broadway not-for-profit organization whose primary mission is to develop and produce new and innovative plays by Asian American writers.
Since its founding, Ma-Yi has distinguished itself as one of the country's leading incubators of new work shaping the national discourse about what it means to be Asian American today. Its numerous acclaimed productions include Mike Lew's Bike America, Qui Nguyen's The inexplicable Redemption of Agent G and Soul Samurai (with Vampire Cowboys), Mike Lew's Microcrisis and the revival of Ralph B. Peña's Flipzoids. Other productions include: Rescue Me by Michi Barall, Lloyd Suh's American Hwangap and The Children of Vonderly and The Romance of Magno Rubio. Through successful programs such as the Writers Lab, Ma-Yi emboldens a new generation of Asian American artists to voice their experiences, while developing a steady stream of quality new works by Asian American Playwrights for its own performing repertory. New works developed at the Writers Lab have gone on to successful productions around the country, at such theaters as Victory Gardens, Laguna Playhouse, Long Wharf Theater, Woolly Mammoth and the Actors Theater of Louisville, to name a few. Ma-Yi Theater Company productions have earned 10 OBIE Awards, numerous Henry Hewes Award nominations, a Drama Desk nomination for Best Play and the Special Drama Desk Award for "more than two decades of excellence and for nurturing Asian-American voices in stylistically varied and engaging theater."
Ma-Yi Theater is under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña and Executive Director Jorge Z. Ortoll.
WOODSHED COLLECTIVE is one of the country's premier immersive theater companies. Since 2008, the company has presented large scale theatrical events including: Twelve Ophelias performed in McCarren Park Pool in Williamsburg, The Confidence Man adapted from Melville's novel and performed on a decommissioned steamship in the Hudson River and The Tenant adapted from the novel and film and performed in a five story 19th Century Parish House on the Upper West Side.
Most recently, the company presented the critically acclaimed Empire Travel Agency, a grail quest crisscrossing Lower Manhattan, where groups of four audience members at a time hunted for the secret to the essential vibrancy of New York. Driven by the belief in The Combined power of stories and architecture to break down the barriers of everyday life, Woodshed's shows aim to create genuine awe.
THE LUCKY ONES
a world premiere new musical
Book by The Bengsons & Sarah Gancher
Music & Lyrics by The Bengsons
Directed by Anne Kauffman
Choreographed by Sonya Tayeh
Sarah Gancher's (Book) writing has been seen on stages across the US and internationally, including London's National Theatre, Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, Budapest's Quarter6Quarter7 Festival, The Public Theatre, Steppenwolf, Hartford Stage, Seattle Rep, PS122, Ars Nova, P73, The Flea Theatre and NYC SummerStage. Honors include the New York Stage and Film Founders' Award and the AR Gurney Prize. Co-writer of The TEAM's Mission Drift, directed by Rachel Chavkin (Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Prize, Scotsman Fringe First, Herald Angel; London's National Theatre, int'l tour.) Time Warner Fellow at Women's Project Lab, Playwrights' Realm Writing Fellow, alumna of P73 and Ars Nova Play Group. She frequently partners with devising ensembles including NYC's The TEAM, Colorado's Telluride Theatre, Portland's Hand2Mouth and Blue Man Group. With The Bengsons and Anne Kauffman, she is also writing Hundred Days, playing at the Public's Under The Radar festival this January. MFA: NYU.
THE BENGSONS (Music & Lyrics, Book) see above.
Anne Kauffman (Director) see above.
Sonya Tayeh (Choreographer) has gleaned accolades for her work as a choreographer across the worlds of commercial, theater, and concert dance, including two Emmy nominations for Fox's So You Think You Can Dance (2015 and 2013), and the 2014 Lucille Lortel Award and an Obie Award for "Outstanding Choreography" for her work on David Henry Hwang's dance-play Kung Fu, for which she also received a Drama Desk nomination. Her range of choreographic credits include but not limited to: Andrew Lippa's Wild Party (City Center Encores! / Dir. Leigh Silverman); Martha Graham Dance Company's 2015 Lamentation Variation series (The Joyce Theater); Iphigenia in Aulis (Classic Stage Company / Dir. Rachel Chavkin); The Last Goodbye (Old Globe / Dir. Alex Timbers); Kung Fu (Signature Theatre/Dir. Leigh Silverman); Cirque du Soleil's Walk for Water (premiered in Las Vegas). Additionally, Tayeh is an Artist in residence at New York Live Arts creating an evening length original work opening in December 2016.
Ars Nova is committed to developing and producing theater, comedy and music artists in the Early Stages of their professional careers. Our unique development programs are designed to support outside-the-box thinking and cross-pollination to encourage innovative 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 safe environment where risk-taking and collaboration are paramount, Ars Nova gives voice to a new generation of artists and audiences, pushing the boundaries of live entertainment by nurturing creative ideas into smart, surprising new work.
Ars Nova was honored with a 2015 OBIE Award and a 2015 Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics' Circle for our sustained quality and commitment to the development and production of new work. Notable past productions include: Outstanding Musical Lortel Award-winner Futurity, by César Alvarez with The Lisps; New York Time's "Best of 2015" Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl (Off-Broadway transfer production currently running); Time Out NY's "Best of 2014,"Jacuzzi by The Debate Society; Drama Desk nominated Charlatan by Vinny DePonto and Josh Koenigsberg; the award-winning smash-hit Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 by Dave Malloy (Lortel, Obie, and Richard Rodgers Awards; Broadway transfer production 2016); Jollyship the Whiz-Bang by Nick Jones and Raja Azar directed by Sam Gold; the world premiere of the 2009 season's most-produced play boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and directed by Alex Timbers; Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle nominated From Up Here by Liz Flahive; audience favorite Dixie's Tupperware Party by Kris Andersson; the show that put Bridget Everett on the map, At Least It's Pink, by Everett and Kenny Mellman; and Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Kail's first New York production, Freestyle Love Supreme, by Anthony Veneziale and Miranda.