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ANT Fest 2011 Plays Ars Nova 10/17-11/19

Ars Nova (Jason Eagan, Artistic Director; Jeremy Blocker, Managing Director) announces the lineup for ANT Fest 2011. From October 17 - November 19, Ars Nova presents 30 new shows spanning theater, music, comedy, variety and a fusion of all four not seen anywhere else. ANT Fest 2011 serves up everything from new plays exploring subjects like kung fu, the underworld and hipster Bushwick to live hip-hop performed in life-sized Lego costumes, to a video and burlesque-fueled examination of the Atomic Age, and much more. ANT Fest kicks-off Monday, October 17 at 8:00 PM with an exclusive blowout launch event for this year's 200+ participants of the Fest, featuring performances by ANT Fest alumni. Complete festival schedule & lineup below.

By selecting shows through an open submission process, Ars Nova ensures that ANT Fest offers diverse emerging artists a point of entry into the New York performing community. This year's call for submissions drew nearly 200 applicants. Now in its fourth year, the festival of All New Talent is a prime destination for an eclectic mix of brand new shows across disciplines. ANT Fest has proven to be an important first step in the lifecycle and development of new works. Shows that debuted at ANT Fest include: Seven Minutes in Heaven (ANT Fest 2009; HERE Arts Center Spring 2010), Songs of a Night Owl (ANT Fest 2009, Berkshire Theater Festival Summer 2010 as Pool Boy), Samuel and Alasdair (ANT Fest 2009, 2010 NY Independent Theater Award for Outstanding Production of a Play), Ithaca (ANT Fest 2008, sold out Joe's Pub run in 2009) and The Harmonious Pimps of Harmony's Last Show (extended run at Ars Nova this year).

In addition to this year's 30 nights of shows, Ars Nova offers special ANT Fest editions of its hit variety show Showgasm throughout the Fest. Showgasm performances take place late night on three consecutive Thursdays: 10/27, 11/3 and 11/10 at 10:00 PM (immediately following ANT Fest presentations on those evenings). As always, Showgasms are FREE, but reservations are encouraged at

ANT Fest 2011 plays October 17 - November 19 as follows: Monday - Saturday at 8:00 PM. Ars Nova is located at 511 West 54th Street. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at, (212) 352-3101, or at the Ars Nova Box Office (30 minutes before showtime, subject to availability).

ANT Fest 2011 (all performances at 8:00 PM, unless noted):

Tuesday, October 18: Estrella Cruz [The Junkyard Queen]
Written by Charise Castro Smith; Directed by Jen Wineman
Funny, imaginative and poetic, this feisty play about a mother and daughter involves a spunky heroine, a little bit of sex and a lot of glamour. Lush video and music underscore this tale of love, the Underworld and Bette Davis.

Wednesday, October 19: Play Chunks!
Written by Mya Kagan; Directed by Bryn Boice & Greg Cicchino
If comedy writer Mya Kagan were a tree, she'd be an inflatable palm. If she were a form of transportation, she'd be a trampoline. If she wrote a show, it would be a theatrical casserole of spatula robberies, drunken puppets and puff ball puke. A team of hot talent performs Kagan's juicy sketch, play-lets and chunks, whipping up an entirely new way to experience comedy.

Thursday, October 20: The Fantastic Adventures of Teen Girl Scientist Monthly and The Terrifying Haunted Mansion of Uncle Grunkle (In Stereo Where Available): A Saturday Morning Extravaganza...At Night!
Composed & Performed by Teen Girl Scientist Monthly; Written by Jonathan Goldberg; Directed by Stephen Stout
Team up with intrepid indie rock adventurers Teen Girl Scientist Monthly for this puppet-punk-rock joyride through a terrifying haunted mansion, where they try to defeat their evil twins in the ultimate test of wills...a battle of the bands!

Friday, October 21: USBUiLLD
Created & Performed by iLL-Literacy
Fusing live hip-hop and electronic music with life-sized Lego costumes and projected visual imagery, USBUiLLD is something like Sesame St. for disenchanted liberal arts students. Join iLL-Literacy on its campaign to conjure the spirit of shared musical experience.

Saturday, October 22: Death of American Centaur
Created & Performed by American Centaur; Directed by Cory Antiel
Willy Loman dreamed of money and success. American Centaur dreams of heart-stopping painfully entertaining theater. With a frolicking high-tech/low-tech approach, this irreverent team of six puts on a wildly disrespectful, pathetically desperate-to-please tribute to a certain musty relic of mid-century American drama. A rollicking tragedy of one company's dream and how it died.

Monday, October 24: ANT Tunes
New musical theater excerpts by two imaginative writing teams:

Lightning Man
Music by Jeffrey Dennis Smith; Lyrics by Shoshana Greenberg; Book by Maggie-Kate Coleman
Seven-time lightning strike survivor Roy Sullivan struggles to regain control as he is relentlessly pursued, seduced, toyed with, adored, tortured and repeatedly struck by lightning.

Mortality Play
Music by Scotty Arnold; Lyrics by Alana Jacoby
Todd wants to be a rock star, but it's 1349 London and the Plague keeps getting in his way. Selections from a new rock musical about choosing between what you need and what the world needs.

Tuesday, October 25: The Beautiful Beautiful Sea Next Door
Written by Annah Feinberg; Directed by Barbara Harrison
Medusa returns to the Hairdresser who once sheared the snakes from her scalp and begs him to help raise her winged child. Fifteen years later, Pegasus dreams of scouring the seas, but must first confront his mythical history in this fantastical take on Greek storytelling.

Wednesday, October 26: Nothing Left to Burn
Written & Directed by Patrick David Vassel; Performed by Adi Hanash
A young man sets himself ablaze in rural Tunisia, setting off a wave of political and social upheaval across the Middle East. In this imagined explanation of the event, told from the perspective of the young man himself, the political is quite personal and the Arab Spring began (as have so many other springs) with a love story.

Thursday, October 27: An Evening With Drew Citron
Created & Performed by Drew Citron
Folk-pop chanteuse Drew Citron reinvents herself for the ANT Fest stage following the success of her self-titled album. While continuing to write her signature brand of honest soul-pop-rock, this time, Drew comes armed with a harder funk edge, an R&B swing and a sizzling backing band.

Friday, October 28: The Other Baldwins in "The Other Barrymores"
Created & Performed by The Other Baldwins
Hey, you! Smart guy! Grab your dame, hit the giggle water and wiggle on down to see The Other Barrymores, the niftiest sketch comedy group in this year of our Lord, 1929! What's the worst thing that could happen - a stock market crash in the middle of the show?!

Saturday, October 29: Stairway to Stardom
Created & Performed by Molly Anne Coogan
Move over Ryan Seacrest, amateur talent show Stairway to Stardom is back! Thanks to the dedication of a few die-hard fans, the cult-hit public-access show of the 80's is now on stage. Join a live taping as your host Italian stallion Frank Masi showcases the local "talents" of New York's his basement in 1984. Warning: contains singing and painfully awkward spandex.

Monday, October 31: Salamander Leviathan
Created by Krista Knight & Barry Brinegar; Directed by Jess Chayes
It's 1890 in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. The loneliest man in the world makes a deal with the Devil: a wife and family in exchange for his soul. When a beautiful stranger steps off the train, everything seems headed towards happily ever after. But neither the stranger nor the Devil is quite what they seem in this Casio-pop Grand Guignol about the price we pay for love.

Tuesday, November 1: About That Whole Dying Thing
Written & Performed by Samantha Chanse
One woman's heroic attempt to flee her Self and her Failings by launching a podcast about other people's Selves and their Failings. Expect intense spoken word, grudging introductions and uninvited guests in this probing examination of that whole "human condition" and "nature of existence" thing.

Wednesday, November 2: ‘Fraidy Cat: A (Sort of) Solo Show
Written by Meghan O'Neill; Directed by Megan Kellie
Meghan O'Neill is a fraidy cat. She's ready for her breakout solo show debut; all that's holding her back is the "solo" part. So she's called on some comedy pals to add a security blanket of sketch to this (sort of) solo show, thus creating a strange and beautiful comedy hybrid. It's like Suri Cruise with less cult ties.

Thursday, November 3: People We Thought We Liked
Created & Performed by Jackie Danziger and James Tison
James and Jackie don't have many friends, but what they lack in social grace they Make Up For in passive aggressive banter and physical feats of clumsy ineptness. A comedic celebration of the painful, hilarious, manic, rewarding and miserable experience of being human.

Friday, November 4: Nuclear Love Affair
Created by Built for Collapse
Unnerving rhythms, disturbing text and violent slapstick collide to create an erotic pop culture explosion in this multimedia investigation of the Atomic Age. Featuring Elvis dancing through Vietnam, Charlie Chaplin at Hiroshima, and Marilyn Monroe teaching us how to "Duck and Cover," Nuclear Love Affair is a daring take on the evolution of the American Dream.

Saturday, November 5: Darling
Created by A Collection of Shiny Objects: Jesse Geiger, Nathan Leigh & Elizabeth R. English
A concert version of the Peter Pan-inspired rock musical that recasts the Lost Boys as geeky Bushwick hipsters wandering through video game- and pop-culture-infused Brooklyn. Refocusing the story on Wendy, Tiger Lily and Tink, Darling questions how our evolving definition of adulthood is altering the relationship of the sexes.

Monday, November 7: No No No Yes (Or: How the Dumb Part Can Steal Your Smart)
Created & Performed by Matt Dellapina; Directed by Adam Knight
Pat Bellatina has been selected as the keynote speaker at his former high school's commencement. Will he be brave enough to admit that he knows nothing? This comedic musical memoir explores the illusion of success, the joy of lying and growing up in the Bronx while pretending you didn't.

Tuesday, November 8: DOUBLE BILL

Choral Rage Presents: The Improvised Rock Opera
Performed by Choral Rage; Directed by Louis Kornfeld
Depart on an out-of-this-world musical journey into the depths of your imagination. Through masterful harmonies and comedic colloquy, this impressive musical improv team creates an entire original rock opera from one audience suggestion.

Squirm and Germ: Word, Word, Word.
Created & Performed by Tim Girrbach & Rodney Umble
Devouring the mic and blurring the lines between hip-hop and comedy, these high-energy wordsmiths use the architecture of the rap game to get self-deprecating, self-revelatory, and non-misogynistic up in here! Squirm and Germ serve up all the non-stop hits you haven't heard yet!

Wednesday, November 9: P.S. 245
Created & Performed by Joel Perez; Directed by Tamara Fisch
A high school in the South Bronx is the unlikely setting for this comedic solo show about family, class and figuring out where you belong amidst the hallways of P.S. 245. In The Heights' Joel Perez brings his chameleon-like skills to the portrayal of an eclectic cast of characters in this funny and touching solo show.

Thursday, November 10: Doin' It (For Love) With Reformed Whores
Created & Performed by Marie Cecile Anderson & Katy Frame; Directed by D.H. Johnson
What do you get when you combine an accordion, a ukulele and two southern belles who've washed away their sins but forgot to rinse out their mouths? The musical/comedy duo Reformed Whores, of course! Watch them struggle to clean up their act at this knee slapping, toe tapping, hoedown.

Friday, November 11: Must Be The Music
Created & Performed by Greg Scarnici
Greg Scarnici unpacks his passion for New York nightlife in an evening filled with raucous original songs, bumping club classics and intimately researched sketches about the NYC after dark scene.

Saturday, November 12: Eager to Lose
Created & Performed by Tansy Tan Dora; Written by Matthew-Lee Erlbach; Directed by Wes Grantom & Portia Krieger
Starring the fabulous Tansy Tan Dora, this theatrical burlesque extravaganza combines the best of burlesque (sex! liquor! debauchery!) and the best of theater (actors! storytelling! design!) to ask: just what does it take for a regular person to transform into a striptease supernova and back again?

Monday, November 14: 1 Night Only: A Hanukkah Jamboree
Written by Rob Shapiro; Directed by Leah Bonvissuto
(They prefer: Book, Music & Lyrics by Rob Shapiro; Directed by Leah Bonvissuto)
Calling all Jews, musical theater lovers, and Jewish musical theater lovers: It's time for another Jewish holiday! Rob Shapiro and friends present the story of Hanukkah, with no help from the biggest Christmas show in West Nyack. Celebrate the Festival of Lights with latkes and dreidels and shiksas, oh my!

Tuesday, November 15: Tapefaces: Legend of a Kung Fu Master-Season 1 DVD
Written by Jon Kern; Directed by Sherri Eden Barber
This kinetic action adventure/absurdist comedy uses the pop language of the Kung Fu tradition to explore existential questions of multi-ethnic identity. Accompany our legendary protagonist-a half-Chinese, half white-American martial arts expert-on an epic journey to San Francisco to find his lost family and confront questions about his heritage, appearance and cultural inheritance.

Wednesday, November 16: Flying Snakes in 3-D!!!!
Created by Lindsay Mack, Teddy Nicholas, Chase Voorhees & Leah Winkler
Packed with extremely cheap special effects and surprisingly stunning video design, this tongue-in-cheek science fiction parody aims to wildly entertain while examining the ever-present threat of selling out.

Thursday, November 17: Beyond the iChatter
Created by Ashley Rodbro
An original variety show driven by the magic of digital exploration. Discover what is possible when, instead of using them as the usual time suck, we combine the power of the iPhone/iPod/iPad family with live music, theater and comedy. A technological entertainment revolution!

Friday, November 18: Acres of Clams: A Tour Through the Complex, Damp and Poignant History of Washington State
Created by Arm and El Beau
Welcome to the mythical land of Western Washington! Set to a soundtrack of Pacific Northwest folk music, Acres of Clams gives you an overview of all-things-Washington History. A pioneer woman, her backup band of indie rock loggers, and a pack of dancing crabs are your hosts in this variety show depiction of a people, their state, and the rain-soaked forging of a regional identity. Brought to you by Greenpoint-based theater creators Arm and El Beau.

Saturday, November 19: Travis and the Terpsichorean Factory
Created & Performed by Travis Buchanan; Written by Zackary Grady; Directed by Morgan Gould
Travis Buchanan: a boy who's more giving than Oprah, more mysterious than Willy Wonka, and more attractive than Hugh Jackman is holding his biggest contest to date. All are invited, but only a lucky few will get to compete. Participants must come armed with an iPod and a competitive spirit...

About Ars Nova:
Ars Nova is committed to developing and producing theater, comedy and music artists in the Early Stages of their professional careers. Its unique development programs are designed to support outside-the-box thinking and encourage innovative, genre-bending work. 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. For more information on Ars Nova's programs, visit Ars Nova was founded in memory of Gabe Wiener.

Producing credits include: The Lapsburgh Layover, The 54/10 Music Marathon, Be A Good Little Widow, The Wii Plays, ANT Fest, Now Circa Then, Bloodsong of Love, Missed Connections NYC, Sax & Dixon: We Thee Wed, Mel & El: Show & Tell, Two Girls for Five Bucks and the Ten Dollar Heartbreakers, Playlist, Jollyship the Whiz-Bang, boom, From Up Here, Dixie?s Tupperware Party, At Least It?s Pink, 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, Holy Cross Sucks!, Freestyle Love Supreme and The Wau Wau Sisters.

ANT Fest 2011 plays October 17 - November 19. Monday - Saturday at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at, (212) 352-3101, or at the Ars Nova Box Office, 30 minutes before showtime (subject to availability). Ars Nova is located at 511 West 54th Street.

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