Rattlestick Theater Unveils 2024-2025 'On The Road' Season

The season opens in Fall 2024 with the world premiere of a new musical, We Are Your Robots, by Obie-winning playwright Ethan Lipton.

By: Jun. 13, 2024
Rattlestick Theater Unveils 2024-2025 'On The Road' Season
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Rattlestick Theater has revealed its 30th anniversary season, which not only finds the company “on the road,” producing in partnership with Theatre for a New Audience and New Georges, and also launching Waverly Performance Studio, an ambitious, multi-year commitment to the creation of new work in a robust, meaningful, and fully-supported way. Rattlestick's 2024-2025 season also marks the first season to be fully envisioned and curated by Davis, the first transgender leader of a major institution without a defined LGBTQIA+ mission. Davis began his work as Artistic Director in May 2023.

“Rattlestick's 30 year legacy of championing new work that sits outside the mold of traditional theater making has made an indelible mark on the American theater,” says Artistic Director Will Davis. “Our 2024-2025 season, my first, builds on this foundation as we move towards holistic commitments to our artists, making space for them to develop their work on their own terms. Rattlestick is committed to championing theatrically expansive artists who create in inventive and unexpected ways. As we begin our ‘On the Road' season, we are thrilled to partner with Theatre for a New Audience and New Georges to present innovative work by Ethan Lipton, Emma Horwitz, and Bailey Williams. In addition, I'm excited to launch our bespoke development program, Waverly Performance Studio which will include new work by Arturo Luíz Soria and Danilo Gambini, and myself. Simultaneously, as our beloved West Village home undergoes a transformation, our fellowship programs will continue to provide invaluable resources and creative space to ambitious theatermakers."

The season opens in Fall 2024 with the world premiere of a new musical, We Are Your Robots, by Obie-winning playwright Ethan Lipton (No Place to Go, Tumacho) and directed by two-time Tony nominee and frequent collaborator Leigh Silverman. Co-produced with Theatre for a New Audience at Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn, We Are Your Robots features book and lyrics by Lipton, and music by Lipton and his bandmates of 20 years: Vito Dieterle on saxophone, Eben Levy on guitar, and Ian Riggs on bass. The quartet play robots who've come to the theater to answer the question, “What do humans want from their machines?” With witty songs that are “twisted, dark and sophisticated both lyrically and musically, yet schleppy, sweet and sad all at once” (NPR), We Are Your Robots looks at brain mapping, consciousness, violence, surveillance, and the problem better known as being human.

In Spring 2025, Rattlestick will team up with New Georges to present Two Sisters Find a Box of Lesbian Erotica in the Woods, a fun, titillating, and surreal theatrical experience by the playwrights and performers Emma Horwitz and Bailey Williams and directed by Tara Elliott. In every woods, there is a box. The box is full of lesbian erotica. Emma and Bailey are going to read some for you. Set inside an intimate archive of towering bankers boxes, Two Sisters… teases a literary reading, a dialogue, an interview, a magazine. A researcher collides with a librarian, paranormal investigators are abducted by aliens, and a pet shop owner receives a late night visitor. As these narratives weave and connect, the private becomes public. Two Sisters… asks how we become visible to ourselves.

Rattlestick's 2024-2025 season will also usher in a new era of supporting theatrically expansive new works via the Waverly Performance Studio. This one-of-a-kind approach to the act of theater making will include commissioning support, multi-year development, and week-long workshops with the entire creative team called Production Incubators, all building towards an eventual Off-Broadway premiere.  

The Waverly Performance Studio will begin in October 2024 with actor and writer Arturo Luíz Soria, whose solo show, Ni Mi Madre, premiered at Rattlestick and won an Obie Award for Best Performance. Soria, in collaboration with director Danilo Gambini, will begin work on Sin Padre, a companion piece to Ni Mi Madre. Sin Padre thrusts us into the heat of the kitchen where Turo drunkenly fumbles to make his Nonno's famous tomato sauce for his niece. Following the sudden death of his brother, he's left to pick through the pieces of his life as he grapples with what it means to be a queer man thrust into a father figure role.

Artistic Director Will Davis, who recently directed the “gorgeous, gender-liquid production” (The New Yorker) of Sarah Ruhl's Orlando at Signature Theatre, will also begin work with his collaborators as part of the Waverly Performance Studio in early 2025 . His new dance-theater piece centers on the rise and fall of a lesbian bar.

Public presentations will also include the 6th annual Global Forms, a theater festival in June 2025 showcasing the work of immigrant theater artists. Global Forms was created in 2020 to meet the urgent, specific needs of immigrant artists during the pandemic. Since its inception, Global Forms has grown to a major annual event that has hired over 150 immigrant artists from 50+ countries.

Rattlestick will continue its widely successful fellowship programs which include the Terrence McNally New Works Incubator Fellowship, the Van Lier New Voices Fellowship, and its directing fellowship.

Mellon Playwright-in-Residence Basil Kreimendahl will also continue his residency and develop his new play, Sadie Rivers Drag Ball on the Lawn for a future Rattlestick production.

As a continuation of Terrence McNally's singular legacy of mentorship, and his commitment to fostering bold new voices in the American theater, the Terrence McNally New Works Incubator is designed to support ambitious early-career playwrights by giving them time, space, financial support to develop their work, professional mentorship with veteran playwrights, and access to the community of artists and work being developed at Rattlestick and Tom Kirdahy Productions. The Cycle 2 Fellows are Jesse Jae Hoon, Sam Mueller, and Eliana Theologides Rodriguez.

With the support of The New York Community Trust and the Jerome Foundation, the Van Lier New Voices Fellowship was rehomed from The Lark in 2022. This fellowship provides substantial support to two emerging playwrights of color. The 2024-2025 cohort of Van Lier fellows will be announced in Summer 2024.

Additionally, Pride Plays, the initiative launched in 2019 by Michael Urie, Doug Nevin, and Nick Mayo, will return, beginning in Summer 2024. Under the new leadership of Sam Gravitte and Sammy Lopez, and with the support of the original founders, Pride Plays will celebrate the rich tapestry of LGBTQIA+ experiences through the power of live theater. Launched in partnership with Rattlestick, the initial Pride Plays festival hosted 19 separate works and involved more than 200 artists over five days. Pride Plays then presented a virtual festival in 2020, along with several online workshops. Pride Plays has also supported LGBTQIA+ creative initiatives, including Donja R. Love's Write Out Loud program. 2024-2025 Pride Plays programming will kick off with a 3-play Pride Plays Celebration at Rattlestick on June 24.

The “On the Road” season enables Rattlestick to begin reimagining its beloved home in the heart of the West Village. First built in 1854 and occupied by Rattlestick since 1999, Rattlestick's home will undergo a renovation that enhances accessibility with the installation of an elevator and new bathrooms. The theater will transform into a responsive, flexible performance space that can be reshaped for each show and capable of hosting more community events and celebrations.

Please visit www.rattlestick.org for more information.


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